February is Dog Training Education Month! If Fido doesn’t listen to basic obedience commands, you may want to send your pooch back to school. Making sure your pet listens to you is very important, both for petiquette and safety reasons. As your Marion, IA vet, I list some important commands to teach your canine buddy in this article.
This is actually one of the easiest things to teach Fido, so it’s a good one to start with. Start by getting a yummy treat. Hold it up above your pup’s head, so that it’s out of his reach. Then, move your hand backward, so the treat goes from being above his nose to above his ears. Chances are, your pooch will naturally sit. When he does, say ‘Sit’ and then give him the treat. Once he has connected the command and the treat, he should start sitting on command.
Stay is one of the trickier commands to teach. Dogs are quite active, and don’t always stay still very long! Make sure Fido is focused on you, and have him Sit . Then, when he has been sitting quietly for a moment, say ‘Stay’ and give him his snack. Once your pup is responding correctly, start making him wait longer and longer to get his treat.
Many dogs learn to ‘Come’ almost by accident: the trick is to get them to come to you every time you call them. Get a retractable leash to work with Fido on this. Let the leash all the way out. Then, hold out a treat, and walk backwards. Tell your pup to ‘Come.’ When he reaches you, give him his reward.
Heel can also be a bit difficult to teach. You’ll want to train your pet to come to your side when you say a specific word or phrase. Start by getting Fido’s attention. When he looks up, slap your leg, and say ‘Here.’ When he gets into the spot where you want him, immediately reward him. Next, take a step forward. Fido will likely follow. Immediately stop, and give him a treat. Then start doing two steps, then three steps, and so on. Training takes time, so work on it each time you walk your pup!
Please contact me, your Marion, IA vet clinic, for all of your pet’s veterinary care needs. I’m here to help.