Happy New Year!
We hope you had a wonderful holiday season with friends and family! With the holiday season wrapping up and winter in full swing many pet owners have been contacting the shelter looking for ways to keep Fido entertained when the weather is too cold for outdoor fun. Winter is a great time for dog training! A calm, indoor environment is a great place to begin training skills before heading out into more challenging, distracting, outdoor location. To help you get a start on winter training we’ve put together a list of ten skills every dog should know!
Loose leash walking – Loose leash walking not only makes the afternoon stroll more relaxing, but safer for both humans and animals.
“Leave it!” – Leaving an item alone is a vital skill. Whether it is a dropped piece of medication or an abandoned food container on a walk, a well-learned “leave it” command can help prevent Fido from gobbling up a dangerous snack.
Recall – Coming when called, first time and every time, has rescued many a dog from a dangerous situation. Recall commands can call dogs away from traffic, prevent them from approaching unfriendly dogs or create distance between your dog and other potential hazards.
Sit – Sitting is a classic skill that serves as a foundation to build other skills.
Drop it – Sometimes, despite our best efforts, Fido gets ahold of something dangerous or inappropriate. Teaching a “drop it” skill provides you with a safe way to retrieve an item from your dog.
Focus or “watch me” – Teaching your dog name attention and focus will help them respond better to other commands.
Stay – The “stay” command can also help to keep a dog a way from dangerous situations or can buy you extra time to evaluate a situation before acting.
Wait – Knowing that your dog will “wait” in the back seat instead of bolting out the car door brings peace of mind as well as safety.
Release – Teaching your dog a set release cue gives you a way to end a stay, sit or wait.
Polite Greetings – Teaching your dog to greet other people and animals with “four on the floor” prevents accidental scratches and falls from excitable jumping and pawing, particularly if children visit often.
How can I teach my dog these skills?
A structured behaviour class is a great way to help you and your dog build an even better relationship while you both learn important skills. Calgary Humane Society offers a wide variety of behaviour classes for Fido. We also have many free training resources on our website at blog at www.calgaryhumane.ca.
Looking for more information? Wondering if a class is the right fit for your dog? Need extra tips on how to brush up Fido’s manners? Call Calgary Humane Society’s FREE behaviour helpline at 403-723-6019 to speak with one of our incredible behaviour counselors!