5 Training Commands That Can Save Your Dog’s Life | PetFirst
Pet Care & Health

5 Training Commands That Can Save Your Dog’s Life

by PetFirst Pet Insurance
1 month ago

Most pet owners know that teaching their dogs basic commands make them well-mannered, easier to take out in public, and overall more pleasant and well-behaved pets.

Not only is it your responsibility to ensure that your dog is a good canine citizen, but the ability to follow basic commands is critical for your dog’s safety and the safety of other people and animals she comes in contact with. 

The following commands listed can even save your dog’s life.

1. Come

This is also referred to as the recall command.  You want your dog to return to you whenever you use this command, regardless of what she is doing (or chasing).

When teaching your dog to come, always use a positive, upbeat tone of voice.  This may be tough to do in an emergency situation, such as when your dog is about to chase a squirrel into a busy street.  However, if you sound panicked, you are more likely to frighten your dog, reducing the chances she will come to you.

Remember never call your dog to punish or scold her. You want her to always associate the recall command with a positive experience.

2. Leave It

When you’re out for a walk or spending the day at the dog park with your canine companion, you can find all sorts of “interesting” things on the ground. Chances are your pooch will be the first to find them because of her excellent sniffer.

As much as these interesting items on the ground intrigue your pet, many of them are not safe. In fact, some are downright dangerous and you need to make sure your dog doesn’t eat that dead animal, the rat poison, or spilled box of raisins that she comes across. 

This is where solid knowledge of the command “leave it” comes in.

You can teach this by holding small dog treats in your closed fist. While your dog attempts to get you to open your fist, is licking your hand, sniffing at it, and even pawing at it, do not open your hand.

Only once she stops paying attention to the hand with the treats should you open the hand, give her the treat, and praise her.

From there, move on to placing treats on the ground and asking her to leave it until you give her one.

3. Drop it

The “drop it” command is perfect for situations when your dog has already picked up that unrecognizable item from the hiking path.

This command is relatively easy to teach.

  • Begin by holding your dog’s favorite toy or ball.  Give it to her and say “take” or “take it.”
  • While she has the toy in her mouth, hold a high value treat up to her nose.
  • The moment she releases the toy, reward her with the treat and praise.
  • Label this action “drop it.”
  • Continue practicing this exercise as many times as necessary until your dog reliably drops the toy in exchange for the treat.
  • Over time, she should drop the toy when she hears the command “drop it.” 

4. Stay

A dog who can be trusted to stay when given the command is always easier to handle, but consider the dangerous situations where the “stay” command might help avert disaster.

Imagine the delivery man accidentally left the gate open and you notice just as you let your dog out into the yard.  If your dog knows to stay on command, you can feel secure that she won’t run into a busy street or run out a door that has been left open.

5. Down-Stay

This command is a combination of the lie-down and stay.  A dog who will respond to this command, even from a distance, can avoid dangerous situations.

There are times when calling your dog to you can cause more danger than directing her to lie down and stay until you can safely reach her.  For example, if you are located on one side of a busy road and your dog is on the other side.

Keep Your Pet Safe

Here at PetFirst, we know accidents and illnesses happen to even the best-trained pets.  PetFirst is here for every canine and cat. Pet insurance can help cover unexpected vet visits.

Pet insurance provides peace of mind that if your pet gets sick or injured, you don’t have to worry about the financial aspect of your pet’s care. Make sure your pet is covered with PetFirst Pet Insurance.  We offer coverage for both dogs and cats and offer Routine Care Coverage to fit every budget.

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