Dog training is a wonderful way for your dog to master the basics of good manners and obedience. A dog owner can make sure his dog knows how to behave well in any situation – by taking your dog to a formal class or training him at home you can ensure that he is safe at all times and doesn’t pose a threat to people or other dogs.
But how do you know if your dog is ready to become an upstanding member of canine society? Some basic skills need to be learned by your dog before he or she is ready to be let loose on the world. If you don’t have the benefit of a formal class in dog training it may be difficult to discern how well your dog is learning.
This article examines the basic dog training that your dog needs to be exposed to in order to qualify him for life in society.
Let’s start with the basics of canine health. While it isn’t a part of dog training per se, your dog should have all the necessary vaccinations. This will protect him from illnesses and make sure that other dogs don’t get sick from coming into contact with him.
Your dog should never growl or show any form of aggression around other people or dogs. He should be comfortable with his collar which should preferably be a buckle collar or limited slip collar (leather, fabric or chain). He should be comfortable on a leash but obey the specific dog training hand signals rather than needing to be restrained by his leash.
It is important for your dog training methods to teach your dog to sit calmly at your side as you say hello to and shake hands with a friendly stranger. He should obey your command to sit stay or down and not appear shy. In this position he should keep all his feet firmly planted on the floor and never jump up. He should not have to be restrained using his leash or collar.
Your dog should be able to sit still while he is being petted by a stranger. In this case he should sit, stay or stand and not be shy in any way. He should be able to do all this without you placing any pressure on his leash or collar. During your dog training lessons your dog should have become familiar with other people. If your dog ‘wiggles’ or rolls over, this is fine but he should not jump, lunge at the person or rush forward when approached.
When your dog needs to be examined or groomed is he able to behave? Your dog training must teach your dog to hold a position like sit, stand or down and not shy away from the vet or pet grooming professional. He should look happy but never jump, lunge or rush forward. He should be allowed some body movement but not so much that he can’t be examined or brushed. He should submit to having his ears examined and allowing his foot to be lifted.
What about walking on a leash? Your dog should be able to walk on a loose leash. To test whether your dog training lessons have been successful, ask him to walk a course that includes a right turn, left turn and two or more stops along the way when he will be expected to sit next to you. There should be no tension on his leash.
A second skill your dog should have mastered during dog training is how to walk through a crowd. He or she should be able to walk about in a crowded area and stay under control in public areas. The dog should show interest in the people but when commanded he should readily move on. He should never jump up onto people or hide behind you – or pull you along!
Another important aspect of dog training is the ‘sit’, ‘down’ ‘stay’ command. Your dog should obey your hand or voice signals and stay in place even when you walk as much as 20 feet away. You should never need to place your dog in any position and he should obey your command promptly. If your dog does stand up this is ok but he musn’t move towards you.
Does your dog know how to come when called? Your dog training should include teaching your dog to obey the ‘come’ command. When you call him, he should come close enough so you can touch his collar.
Other skills that should be included in your dog training are getting your dog to be friendly around other dogs, stay calm and obedient in noisy surroundings or when distractions are present and remain in the care of a trusted individual while you walk away.
Make sure that your dog has mastered all of these basic skills during dog training classes and your dog will be a model canine citizen!