February is National Dog Training Education Month! Making sure Fido knows—and obeys—simple commands is very important. This is of course crucial for petiquette, but it’s also important for safety reasons. After all, you don’t want your pet charging off if you drop his leash, or refusing to come when you call him! A Norwalk, CA vet offers some tips in this article.
There are five simple commands that every dog should know. These are Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down. The Leave It command is also useful. You don’t have to teach Fido anything beyond these basics if you don’t want to, but it’s worth noting that many dogs actually enjoy learning. It helps them build confidence, and can keep them occupied.
Fido doesn’t have a very long attention span, except perhaps when he’s watching you cook or eat something delicious. Long classes will soon bore your dog, which can be quite counter-productive. Work with your canine pal for about 15-20 minutes at a time.
Treats are an excellent training aid, and a great way to keep Fido interested in learning. Choose small snacks, like pieces of kibble or cut-up hot dogs. If you give your pooch a burger every time he obeys, your adorable pupil will soon get really full, and will be more interested in napping than in learning.
Don’t work with your pup when you’re feeling grumpy or stressed. Dogs are extremely intuitive, and it won’t take Fido long to pick up your mood. This may make him uneasy, and can even cause him to become wary of training.
Inconsistency is one of the biggest mistakes people make when training their pups. Don’t tell Fido to ‘Sit’ one day and then the next day say ‘Fido, sit down now.’ Dogs don’t understand the nuances of language, so this will sound like two totally different commands to your pet. Needless to say, this can get quite confusing!
All dogs are different, and each of them will learn at their own pace. One pup may learn several commands in quick succession, while another may take much longer. Be patient, and don’t give up. Your efforts will be well worth it in the end!
Please contact us, your Norwalk, CA vet clinic, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!