Getting a dog is one of the most life-changing experiences a person can have. Nothing quite matches the joy of having a furry best friend, one where you can walk in the morning with, cuddle with, and essentially enjoy life with. Unfortunately, certain measures must be taken to ensure that they live comfortably, which can begin by creating a communication channel between the two of you.
While dogs cannot speak, they can be trained to learn and acknowledge hand signals. These essentially work like sign languages, and anything you wish to communicate will be known by your dog. They can sit and stay upon command, all by understanding your words and hand signals.
Here are some of the most crucial ones to learn:
Command #1: Sit
Teaching your dog to sit is the easiest way to start training. Dogs who learn how to sit upon command and general much calmer and their behaviors will be easily contained. To start you will need to get a bag of treats. You’ll want to hold one close to your dog’s nose, and then proceed to move your hand up.
This small gesture allows your dog to follow the treat, which then leads to his bottom lowering on the floor. Once he’s sitting, proceed to say the command: “sit”. Give him the treat and share affection, perhaps a little pat and cuddle. You’ll want to repeat doing so until they finally learn it, to be later incorporated into their daily routine.
Command #2: Stay
Teaching your dog to stay is also an easy command, and mastering it allows them to take on more desirable behavioral patterns. This can prove to be useful for numerous reasons, especially if you wish to clean around the home or entertain guests. This command ensures that your dog stays out of trouble, or perhaps prevents them from accidentally hurting or overwhelming guests.
To do this, you must ask your dog to sit down. Open your palm out with a treat on top, and then proceed to utter “stay”. Make sure to take a few steps back and if he stays, give him the treat and shower him with affection. You’ll want to gradually increase the number of steps before giving the treat, but make sure to always make the training a positive experience.
Command #3: Come
When it’s time for walks or trips to the vet, asking your dog to come is vitally important. This will also come useful when you accidentally drop his leash or they somehow end up speeding through the front door—both of which can be dangerous, especially if they end up running down the street.
To begin the training, put a collar and leash on your dog. It’s important to get down on his level, all the while saying “come” as you pull on the leash—gently. When he walks forward to you, provide him with the treat and affection he deserves. Continue doing this until he has mastered the command with the leash, but continue to practice without it.
The Bottom Line
Teaching your dog commands can be incredibly rewarding, but make sure to never rush the learning process. You’re already asking for too much by commanding, and if you see him struggling, never push anything. The key is to make the experience as positive as possible, so patience is key. It will be well worth it in the long run!
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