Welcome to another edition of Behavior Modification Monday!
By: Harline Larkey, B.S., M.Ed., APDT
This week's topic is Training for Safety
Keeping our dogs safe is, without question, the best reason to train your dog. None of us want to face the nightmare of our beloved dog eating something toxic, getting hit by a vehicle or swallowing something that becomes lodged in the stomach. Additionally, a display of aggressive behavior can quickly become a disaster, even if it’s a nip, let alone a serious bite delivered to a human or another dog.
All owners should take the responsibility to train at minimum, the following three behaviors to a reliable level:
- Stay: A solid stay can keep your dog from dashing out the car or house door, chasing another dog, dashing to you from across a busy street, rushing up to a visitor to jump or deliver a nip/bite and much more.
- Come when Called: Clearly, this is a must. A dog who will not return to you reliably can get lost, hit by a vehicle, be injured by another dog and even accidentally knock down a child with whom he is playing too roughly. There are many ways to teach “reliable recalls,” including food, games, toys, and access to something the dog wants.
- Leave It: You have just dropped something that is toxic for your dog, your dog is seriously eyeballing your steak on the table or is ready to pick up a toy remnant that is too small for him. A well taught and reinforced Leave It can prevent these and many other potential disasters.
Remember to train any behavior with positive reinforcement, as we know that under stressful situations, a relationship built from trust and fun, will yield the most reliable behavior.
For help with these and other behaviors, give us a call!