“Two Paws Up Tuesday Tip of The Week”
Knowing and practicing certain behaviors can mean the difference between life and death. This is the second part of a 2 part series on key commands that should be practiced every day – for life – and that all dogs should know and respond appropriately to every time.
And here are some of the ways by which you can train your dog the commands of “Drop it” and “Leave it”.
Drop it Command
Some dogs are protective of their toys, even non-aggressive dogs. If your dog appears to be overly protective of toys or food, he may be having a fear response. Fear can lead to biting, and biting leads to the dark side. Nipping this problem in the bud, as it were, is very important while your puppy is still young. Don’t wait for the growling and biting before taking action.
In any case, dropping toys on command is the first step to learning to drop anything that is in her mouth when she hears the command from you. While your dog is calmly playing with a toy, or playing with you and a toy, offer her a treat in exchange for the toy, saying “drop it” as you make the offer. In the beginning, when she drops the toy for the treat, leave the toy where she dropped it and walk away. If she does not drop the toy when you say “drop it” and offer the treat, toss the treat a little ways away from her so she can see it and then walk away. She will drop the toy to get the treat, but don’t pick up her toy just yet. After several successes with this, when she drops the toy at your command in exchange for the treat, give her the treat while picking up the toy and then give the toy right back to her. Gradually change the time that you hold the toy, making it a few seconds longer each time.
Practice these commands every time you see your dog with a toy or during play with your dog. If this is done several times a day, every day, she will drop the toy as soon as you say “drop it” and show her the treat. Make sure to practice this command with her outside too. Keep treats in a bag in your pocket or carry-pack at all times so that you are prepared for opportunities.
Leave it Command
Once your dog has gotten into the swing of dropping her toys on command, you should start adding “leave it” into the process. When she drops the toy, pick it up and place it on the other side of you. She will probably go for the toy after she has had her treat. Saying “leave it”, give her a treat when she steps away from the toy. Do this with several different types of toys.
Practice outdoors as well. Whenever your dog sniffs around something on the ground, say “leave it” and give her a treat when she stops and looks up at you, She will be learning that when she hears those words, stops what she is doing, and looks at you, she gets a treat.
*Remember that with all commands, you should go back to one of the initial guidelines for puppy training. The dog should always be sitting before getting any treats, so adding the “sit” command to the other commands will help to keep this consistent.
These critical commands can also be practiced in obedience class, but classes should not replace home practice. Classes are a great complement to home training, and are even an ideal place for your dog to learn to ignore the distractions of other people and dogs. You want your dog to obey these commands wherever he, or she, may be.
Information courtesy of Pet MD
FUN FACT: The largest litter of puppies is 24, all of whom were born on November 29, 2004 to Tia, a Neopolitan Mastiff owned by Damian Ward and Anne Kellegher of Manea, Cambridgeshire, UK. They were born by Caesarian section.
Fun Fact provided by Guinness Book of World Records