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We are almost all guilty of one thing that we as owners are entirely to blame for… and that’s slacking on our pet’s training! We begin our pet’s life with the best intentions to train them well but in reality it doesn’t always go to plan….a stare too long and those irresistible and hypnotic puppy dog eyes result in the much needed obedience training quickly turning into ‘cuddle time’. But it really is never too late to train your dog! I recently met with lifetime pet lover and journalist Amber Kingsley whose pawesome dog training tips I couldn’t resist sharing with you all. I hope you take some inspiration from her Tip Top advice as I know I will!
by Amber Kingsley
When it comes to training pets, we’ve come a long way from the days of swatting a dog on the nose with a rolled up newspaper or rubbing their noses into their “business” while potty training. Just like human children, there’s no need for this type of violence or embarrassment tactics when it comes to training our four-legged best friends.
But beyond the obedience basics, sit, stay, lie down and housebreaking, there are a couple more things that dogs must learn to help protect them from harm. Here are two extremely important commands that every dog should know and follow without hesitation:
#1 – “Paws” For Protection
For anyone has seen the wildly popular Pixar animated flick, Up, one of the main characters, an adorable dog named “Dug” (or Doug), completely loses his attention span and focus whenever a “SQUIRREL” passes by. While it’s comic genius in the fictional film, this poses a real safety hazard for pets.
Dogs (or Dougs) need to learn to pay attention and humans should use a word like “focus” to teach their canines this important command. Even if they’re kept on a lead at all times, they still could break free from their master’s grasp and run after a stray cat or into traffic. With positive reinforcement, like giving them a treat, regain their focus by grabbing their attention while offering them a biscuit and repeating the command.
#2 – Leave It
Many pet owners will teach their dogs to “drop it” as a quick way of ending a game of tug-of-war or following the return of a grand fetch, but it’s more important to teach them to leave something alone altogether and never pick it up in the first place. This goes for everything from rubbish to dead animals that carry any number of possible perils and diseases.
Similar to getting them to pay attention, you can distract them from an unwanted object by a gentle tug on their lead, replacing it with a treat and repeating the command. Remember in both cases to slowly wean them off these goodies and replace it with a reward of “good dog” and praise them with a pat on the head instead.
Check out this infographic on “30 Positive Reinforcement Training Tips For Your Pet” and learn some other techniques on how to teach your pet some of life’s most valuable lessons 🙂
About our Feature Editor Amber Kingsley:
When Amber’s not travelling around the world she’s at home gaining inspiration from her gorgeous pets for her work. She is passionate about animals and what we love about Amber is the positive influence she expresses through her work, making sure that all pets are as happy as they can be 🙂