Sunday, April 8, 2012

Life Lessons

Teaching important life lessons is essential to keeping your dog safe. One of the most important commands you can teach your dog is to come when called. Once learned, it will give you the confidence and peace of mind that your pet will come when needed and the knowledge that you have taught an important lesson to help keep your pup out of harm's way.

Even the most quite and well mannered dog may unexpectedly bolt out the door. You may not know what triggered the response, all you will know is that your dog is headed into a potentially dangerous situation. Corralling a dog who will not respond to the "come" command could be a long and difficult process.

When out for a walk there is always the possibility that your dog will slip out of the collar, pull the leash from your hand, or get loose in some other way. Nothing is more frightening that seeing a dog running carelessly into harms way with no way to stop them. I have witnessed first hand the almost magical way some dogs have of maneuvering out of collars or even harnesses. When this happens your only recourse is to rely on the lessons that have been taught and take control of the situation to ensure the safety of your pet.

Coming when called is not something your dog will do naturally it is something that needs to be taught and ingrained in you pup. Teaching your dog to come on command is a fairly simple process and only requires time, patience and your dog's favorite treats. Lessons can be taught either indoors or in a secure outside area. Beginning with your dog in close vicinity to you call his/her name and say "come".  Once there is movement towards you give the treat and praise. After a few successful responses, move further away and again give the command.  Repeat to reinforce and practice often being certain to give the treat and/or praise after each success. Never reward without success and never let a correct response go unrewarded. It is most important to always give praise with a treat and at times to give praise only.  This will help to ensure a positive response if there is a time you need your dog to come and you have no treat to give.

Over time, your dog will learn that when you call there will be a reward for running to you.  Running to you will be viewed as a pleasurable experience met with a treat and/or praise.  Now in the unfortunate event your dog runs from the house, bolts out of the car, or gets loose off the lease stay calm, firmly call your dog's name and say "come".  Then give a treat, give a hug, and smile knowing that you have taught your pup a valuable life lesson.                                                                                                                                                                                  


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