Training is about relationship building. Relationship building is about trust. Trust comes with being concise, clear, and supportive in what exactly is needed and wanted from your dog.
Training is not about showing off, it is about keeping your treasured family pet safe and happy in a world which humans drive cars, leave gates open, ride bikes and are very loud and erratic.
Having said that training doesn’t stop when the dog understands the concept of what a command is. A dog can sit a thousand times in the perfect setting, but to know there is trust, he should be able to do it while distracted with any stimuli and look to you for further direction.
That is when the theory becomes mutual respect and trust. A dog looking up to you, literally, is asking for direction and trusts you to keep him safe.
Owning a pet is not just about walking, feeding, brushing and vet bills – it is about enjoying and having an ally, partner in crime, companion and buddy to improve both of your lives and basic commands help you achieve that bond.
This command is important because it keeps the dog exactly where you want it while you are making sure the environment is safe. Think of coming to a street corner and having to look both ways to make sure there are no cars. How easy is this if the dog is pulling on the lead and darting between cars? If the dog is under control – sitting waiting for you to make sure the situation is safe, everyone wins
Now that your dog is sitting, we need to let him know when it is safe to start moving again. Yes they will see you start to walk – however at this point if they don’t know the heel command – they tend to bolt to the end of the leash taking YOU for a walk. This command gives the dog understanding of where you expect him to be at all times when walking.
Let’s keep with the example of the car in the road. Say as you are looking for traffic, a child’s soccer ball comes bouncing out between two parked cars. A quick ‘Stay’ and you can walk out and get it safely returning to your pet knowing that he trusted you enough to know that you would be right back.
This one is just so amazing. To recall a dog from the middle of playing, chasing a cat, running across the yard or anything else you can imagine, opens up a whole new world of experiences for you and your pet. To mutually respect each other enough to go to the dog park and not have an hour of trying to bribe or trick your dog into leaving is really rewarding as an owner.
5. Release. This command allows your dog to be totally free. This is what the word ‘candy’ is to kids. Go, have fun, run in circles, be a dog. Mind you – respect is still needed. A ‘come’ command should be able to shut the activity down and return him to heel.
Dogs are amazing, they really are. They enhance our life in a way absolutely nothing else can. By teaching them these simple commands it will increase your bond and relationship that you have together.