Importance of Training Your Dog
We don’t discuss dog training very much here at SlimDoggy. Mainly because we are not dog trainers and to be honest, not even very good at training our dogs. We train them just enough so they are as well-behaved as we need them to be.
Quite a justification, huh? Maybe we’re just lazy. But, it’s honest and one of the reasons we have Labradors – they are pretty easy to train. They may be full of mischief, but they are easily trained and anxious to please us.
said admitted that, I can attest to the importance of training, even if it is minimal. There are many times through the years I was thankful that my dogs knew how to sit, lie down, walk politely at my side and wait patiently for their dinner. These would come in handy at the Vets, when dining out or just walking the neighborhood.
But there is much more to training your dog than those few simple commands and some of them can be lifesavers.
I REALLY wish that I had worked with Jack on the “leave it” command more consistently. Once he has a hold of something, there is no letting go. I know this has played havoc with his stomach as he will eat any dead animal he comes upon, no matter how old and disgusting. And sticking my hand in his mouth to try and wrench it out of there is NOT a good idea.
I wish I had worked on the “stay” command with Maggie more diligently. She will sit and lie down just fine, but sometimes her fears will take over and she’s outta there, no matter what I say. This is a particular problem when I take them in the car somewhere and she wants to jump out the rear of the car instead of waiting for me to put the steps down. Sometimes she just has to get out and there is no stopping her. I cringe when I see her jump out and land on her bone-cancer riddled leg, always afraid she is going to hurt it. A good “Stay” would be helpful.
Recall was always a challenge for my dogs. I used to say that Sally had “selective” hearing, meaning she would hear me calling her and come back when she felt like it. Tino was much more reliable at recall unless he was chasing an animal and then all bets were off. Becca was probably the most reliable and that was because she was a trained service dog. Her recall was good, but her “stop barking” I would grade as an F. Jack was usually reliable until he started to loose his hearing, now he’ll come if he hears me, but that only if I’m really close to him. Maggie has an interesting recall when we are walking. She won’t come to us, but she will at least stop and wait for us to catch up to her.
My personal belief is that recall is probably the most important command you can teach your dog. It keeps them out of harms way. Too many dogs are lost, hit by cars or get into dog fights because they don’t have a good recall. I don’t have any magic method for teaching recall but I’d like to open up our comments for you to add your tricks – what has worked for you – how did you get your dog to come when called? If it’s still a work-in-progress, that’s okay, just tell us what you’re working on.