Did you adopt your dog with visions of having a perfectly trained pooch that obeyed your every word, only to realize three years later that all you had taught him was sit? Making sure a dog is well-trained and listens to you can help save his life just as much as dog insurance and vet visits can.
Why not spend some time training and teaching tricks? Not only is it easy, as most dogs learn cues quickly, it’s also mentally stimulating for the dog—which is excellent for pet health care—and a wonderful bonding activity.
My favorite way to start training a dog is with the Nothing in Life is Free method. And it only requires a slight change in the dog-owner’s mindset. That is, the dog gets nothing for free. Don’t we teach our kids to “ask nicely?” The same should be taught to your dog. From now on, he doesn’t get fed for free, pet for free, or let outside for free. When a dog realizes that he has to look to you for everything he wants or needs, he’ll start paying closer attention.
If your dog knows “sit” and “stay,” you can start this method today, or you can use any trick or command your dog understands. Just ask your dog to do something before you give him anything he wants. Meal time? He has to sit before you put down the bowl. Walk time? He has to sit and stay before you open the door and invite him out. And he doesn’t get to bolt out ahead of you. Is he giving you the cute “pet me” eyes? You can pet him—as soon as he sits.
That’s it! Just change your mindset and stick with this method from now on, and people will be commenting on what a well-behaved dog you have. Your dog will learn to watch you when he wants something, rather than run towards whatever he wants to devour or trample. Good boy!
Combine this easy method with the best pet insurance and canine health care, and you get an A+ in responsible dog ownership! Good dog owner!