Imagine a sunny afternoon stroll through the park with your beloved canine companion by your side. The sun shines down warmly, the skies are clear, and you breathe in the scent of fresh grass. Suddenly, a jogger sprints by and your excited dog pulls at the leash, ready to chase. In an alternate universe where you haven’t trained your dog with key commands, this moment could escalate into a dangerous situation for your four-legged friend.
Dog training is often viewed through the lens of obedience or agility, but few recognise it as a lifesaving measure. With the right set of tricks and commands, you can significantly elevate your dog’s safety and well-being. In the points below, we cover essential commands that could be a lifeline for your furry family member in perilous situations.
The Basics: Sit, Stay, and Come
These are the bread-and-butter commands that every dog should know.
- Sit: This command is vital because it provides you with a mechanism to control your dog. A well-timed “sit” can prevent your dog from leaping into a busy street or dashing after another animal.
- Stay: The “stay” command could halt your dog from darting into hazardous areas, like a road or a thorny bush. It gives you the invaluable seconds needed to assess a situation and act accordingly.
- Come: A reliable “come” command ensures you can call your dog back to you if he wanders too far off or is headed toward a potential danger.
Teaching your dog an emergency recall command is distinct from the usual “come” command. This command, often a unique phrase or word, should only be used in life-threatening situations and should be trained to be followed immediately and without hesitation.
Drop It and Leave It
Dogs are curious creatures – while a sniff here and there is usually harmless, sometimes they pick up items that could be dangerous or toxic. “Drop it” can compel your dog to immediately let go of whatever they are holding in their mouth, while “leave it” instructs them to disengage from a tempting but hazardous object.
The “heel” command is particularly beneficial in situations where you need your dog close to you. This can include crossing a street, manoeuvring through a crowd, or avoiding potentially dangerous animals.
An underrated but crucial command, “off” tells your dog to remove themselves from a particular space or object. It’s especially helpful if your dog jumps up onto something precarious or begins to engage with something harmful.
The Utility of Specialised Training
Some dog breeds are more than just companions; they are workers and guardians. If you happen to own one of the best livestock guardian dogs, specialised training tailored to their innate protective qualities is crucial. Even within the realm of guardian dogs, knowing commands like “stay” and “come” can spell the difference between a well-executed job and a disastrous situation.
In the same way that seat belts are for our safety in vehicles, essential commands serve as safety nets for our canine companions in various environments. While you hope never to use them in emergency situations, you’ll be endlessly grateful for the peace of mind they offer if such a moment ever arises.
So, while you invest in toys, treats, and wellness checks for your dog, remember to invest your time in teaching them these lifesaving tricks and commands. The benefit far outweighs the cost – after all, can you really put a price on your dog’s safety and well-being? Happy training!