By Laura Sutherland ~
We adore our canine fur-babies and treat them like the beloved family members they are.
They are dogs, after all, and when we forget that and treat them like human children, we are doing our pets a real disservice.
A “good” dog is a trained dog. Dogs have their own language, and, if we bother to learn it, we can add much value not just to our dog’s lives, but to our own, as well.
Every dog should know the basic “sit,” “down,” “stay,” and “come” commands. In addition, the following training tips really work. I learned them from Doggy Dan, an excellent trainer from Australia.
These training tips show the pup that YOU are the Pack Leader, which is essential!
■ You control all food. Before you feed Fido, take the bowl of kibble and hold it at chest level. Have him sit while you pretend to eat pieces from the bowl. Do not look at him while doing this. After about 20 seconds, set the bowl down and release him from the sit. Never feed from your own plate.
■ When you come home, DO NOT greet your dog when entering the house. Actually, ignore him! Only after you have been home for five to 10 minutes and your pooch is CALM should you invite him to you for greeting and cuddles!
■ If you have a territorial pooch that barks at the window when others pass, wait for this to occur, then, very quietly, walk to the window or door, look out for about 5 seconds, turn around without looking at your doggie, and calmly say, “Thank you.” Resume your previous activity. This lets the dog know it’s not his job to guard you and the house while you are there. If he doesn’t respond the first time, keep trying. If it still doesn’t work, just quietly, take him by the collar and walk him to a room with no stimulus and close the door without speaking. Wait 30 seconds and release him.
■ DO NOT let your pup on the chair, couch or bed without you inviting him! He must sit patiently at your feet until you do.
■ Take charge of the walk! Train your dog to walk properly on the leash and never allow him to pull, tug, or lunge while walking. There are many online training tips for proper leash training.
None of these things are hard but do require consistent, patient training. Do them every day and give it three weeks. You and Fido will be much happier campers when the rules are established and followed.