Published at Thursday, 23 May 2019. Dog Training. By Yvet Bouillon.
Teaching your dog to HEEL makes walks in your neighborhood a pleasant experience. I am sure you have seen or experienced the owner that gets walked by their dog. The owner is fearful of each approaching human or animal because they have not been trained to HEEL. Your goal is that your dog will stay close to you on a walk. He will not pull you or become too hard to control with the distractions of other dogs or humans. Start from SIT, add 'Let's Walk' so your dog knows what is expected after he has learned to HEEL. A good tip, exercise your dog with play before training to HEEL. Work out all excess energy and train your dog in a quiet distraction free area. Start at SIT, use your dogs name and command HEEL. If your dog does not stay with you and darts away, turn in the other direction and repeat command HEEL and dog's name. Remember to always to praise and treat desired responses.
In addition to housetraining your dog, you can use reward training to teach him a number of obedience commands (”sit,” ”stay,” ”come” and ”down,” for example) and an assortment of fun tricks. But you can also discourage problem behaviors with reward training. For example, if you want to train your dog not to chew on your socks, teach him what he is allowed to chew (a toy, for example), and then reward him when he chews on it. Or, if you want your dog to stop jumping up on your guests when they come through your door, teach him to sit when visitors arrive and reward him for that behavior.
Your training may save someone else's life. Also not too far fetched, especially if your dog is one of the so-called ”at risk” breeds, known for their capability and proclivity to inflict injury or worse on people if provoked or if threatened. Or, more likely, if they perceive their owner is being threatened. Humor me and picture another scene. A man is relaxing at home with his Rottweiler Manfred, watching the weekend football game. He hears a knock on the front door, but before he can even get up, walk towards the door and open it, in walks his lumberjack uncle from Vancouver whom he hasn't seen in more than twenty five years. He's big and burly and one of those touchy-feely boisterous types. He opens his arms, strides towards the man with a bellowing voice to give him a big bear hug. Manfred, who followed his owner to the door, sees his master about to be mauled by this loud, huge, human stranger and he instinctively attacks the uncle. A powerful Rottweiler protecting his master versus a perceived human threat. My money is on the Rottweiler. Unless of course, the dog received proper obedience training by his master, who could then quickly diffuse the life-threatening attack with an authoritative ”MANFRED…HEEL!”. Again, I'm sure you can envision dozens of ways a similar scenario could play out that could result in serious injury or worse. Large, poorly behaved, disobedient dogs can be much more than an annoyance; they can be dangerous. Obedience training is imperative. Especially for owners of big dogs. That's all the stories, I promise.
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