The more dogs I train the more I understand that there are three very important things you must have for your dog. 2 of these are commands the third is a way of life. So often people bring home their sweet dog or puppy and give them everything they want and end up creating or encouraging really awful behavior. For example, never correcting a puppy that is mouthing and then they learn that biting gets them what they want... the behavior develops and now your dog that was once a cute puppy bites. Not so cute.
So what are these 3 things? My opinion is you need these three to have a happy, healthy relationship with your dog.
1. Have structure to your home. Have a clear set of rules and guidelines for your dog. This doesn't necessarily mean no couch for your pooch, but it could. It is whatever you want for your home, each person can determine what is appropriate behavior for their dog in their home. But the basic structure should be you determine feeding time, affection time, play time, work time, if they can jump on you or not, is barking allowed or not, what toys can be played with, where they sleep, etc.
2. Recall. The recall command is when you call for your dog and they come to you. This is one of the most important commands to have on your dog if nothing else. To have the ability to call for you dog and them come to you no matter what they are doing or what you are asking them to leave. This means you could call them away from danger or trouble.
3. Stay. The stay command is just that, you ask your dog to stay and they will hold the position until you return to release them. This is important for a number of reasons, but the most important is again danger. If your dog will hold a stay, should they ever be off leash or slipped their collar, you could ask them to down stay until you get to them. Or maybe you have your hands full and need to unlock your door, to be able to drop the leash and say stay until you can get your door open is just handy!
These are my top three must haves for any dog. I hope you find them helpful. If you don't have these three things implemented for your dog, you should consider coming to one of my basic or intermediate classes.
A new basic obedience class starts on May 14th, bark on the link to sign up: Bark!