5 must-learn commands

Basic obedience is a must for all canine citizens. More so for pets in cities as they live in confined spaces, and interact with more humans.
DOG’S NAME
The first thing your puppy should learn is her/his name. It means that your pet must respond by looking at you when you call out her/his name. The easiest way to teach that is by offering a treat or praise (read good boy/girl), each time s/he looks at you, regardless of whether you call out your pet’s name or not. Your dog will soon learn that making eye contact is worth her/his while. Once s/he makes eye contact, add the name just prior to him/her making eye contact. Follow it either by a treat or praise. This way, your pet learns that the sound of her/his name, paired with eye contact, results in a treat or praise. Remember not to use her/his name while disciplining, especially when young.

COME The ‘Come’ command is one of the most important exercises you must teach your dog. A dog who moves reliably when called can be called out of life-threatening situations like running across roads while chasing another animal/ball... A dog that doesn’t come when called can also get lost if s/he manages to run off from the house or is loose from the leash during a walk.
Inside and outside the house, it is important to train your dog to have a reliable recall command. This command allows your dog to be called away from potentially dangerous situations.

STAY
A dog which can be trusted to stay in a particular spot can be a big help in situations where a door is left open, or a leash or collar breaks during a walk.

SIT
While walking on the street, it is a good idea to train your dog to ‘sit’, where a street and sidewalk meet. This way, you will avoid him/her trotting into the street when a vehicle is moving towards him.

DOWN
Pet parents can avoid dangerous situations by asking their dogs to get down when something dangerous approaches them. It gives them time to reach their dogs and save them.

Huzannah Banajee is a dog trainer & therapist (with inputs from Delano Henriques, dog trainer, and Malaika Fernandes)

Tips to motivate your pet
  • Choose the most valuable reward: The key is to find out what drives your dog a little crazy – it can be a toy, a praise, or a valuable treat. Once you know what works, it can be used to train her/him.
  • Train your dog at home first: It’s essential to find out whether your pet is comfortable in her environment. So, begin by having his training sessions at home, where he feels secure and safe to give you his undivided attention.
  • Keep distractions to a minimum: Train him in a place where there are not many distractions so that your intended reward should be the only one
—Malaika Fernandes, canine behaviourist

www.dogsandpupsmagazine.com; www.facebook.com/Dogsandpupsmag

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End of the article

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