|Image credit to: Danny Bruce|
by Kevin Mok, Monday, 1 December 2014
Here's how to teach your puppy two essential commands that could save its life.
Stop what you’re doing pet lovers! Here at PetHomeStay, we know that not all pet carers spend a lot of time training their dog (don’t worry, most pet carers don’t have the time either). However, there are two basic commands that could quite literally save your puppy’s life and it only takes a few minutes each day to do - you can even do it while dog walking.
Teaching your puppy the “leave it” and “drop it” command can keep it from doing something dangerous, such as eating mouse poison, rotten food and other yucky stuff. It may even prevent your young pup from running into the path of a speeding car while you’re dog walking.
Next time you go dog walking with your puppy on a leash, walk by a tempting item, such as food or a toy (you can pre-place items for this exercise). When your puppy tries to pick up the item, give a short quick tug on the leash and say, “Leave it.”
Enthusiastically praise your puppy for obeying (“Good Sparky!”). You can offer a treat reward at this time if you prefer, but most pet lovers know that a praise and a pat on the head work just as well. Repeat this routine at home.
Here's another method you can use to teach your puppy the leave it command: Hold a food treat in your closed fist. When your puppy noses your hand, say “Leave it,” and keep your fist closed. When your pup stops nosing your hand, reward with praise, then give a verbal release command (such as “okay”) and let your puppy have the treat. Continue working like this until your puppy will sit quietly without touching a nearby treat until you give the release command.
When your puppy picks up a forbidden object while dog walking (or at home), say, “Drop it!” and walk over to your puppy. If your pup won't release the item, offer it a tempting treat as a trade for the item. When your puppy drops it, offer praise and a safe substitute – preferably one that's more enticing than the forbidden item.
If your puppy runs away from you, don't chase it – it'll think you're playing a game. Instead, ignore your little one and get yourself a treat from the kitchen (something you know your puppy likes). Take the treat to a puppy-accessible area and start to eat it (or pretend to eat it, if it's a dog goodie).
Be dramatic about how yummy it is. Call your puppy over, then give the drop it command and trade the treat for the forbidden item. (Be sure to praise your youngster for obeying.) After your puppy finishes the treat, offer an acceptable toy.
So spend a few minutes each day and do these things with your puppy, it may very well save its life. Did you find these tips helpful? Was there a simple trick you know to get your dog to drop potentially dangerous objects? Let other pet lovers know in the comments.