By: Daniel Millions
“Stay” needs considerable practice when training your puppy. You can teach him to stay either seated or lying down. By repeated practice, say “Stay,” walking away, and acting shocked if he rises and follows. Take him back and go through it again.
Always, of course, return to praise him mightily when he has “stayed” for even a few brief seconds. Gradually lengthen the time. You can perfect this obedience command while moving about at housework or in a cellar workshop; it needn’t take too much time after the idea has been implanted.
Your dog should also learn to walk on a leash without pulling; the command “Heel” is often used here. As with “Stay,” practice makes perfect. He should also be taught some signal to use when he wants to go out. The appropriate bark for speak means he will let you know, if you do not see him at the door, that he needs to go out.
He should learn not to jump on people, and having him “Sit” as a new friend approaches will control his enthusiasm. He also should not bark and dash forward at anyone, even a suspected interloper, until given a command. He should not be allowed on furniture, unless you permit him on one special chair; he also should not beg for food at the table, although here it is often the family that must be trained, not the dog!
You should see that he is not allowed to wander the neighborhood, making a nuisance of himself, and that he never runs loose in the street. The dog should not go off your premises without being on a leash.
Everything you teach him to do or not to do will help at some time, If the leash breaks or he gets outdoors without a collar, obeying your call may save his life. An owner of obedience-trained spaniels once failed to close her house door when she went to cross the street to her car.
Looking back, she saw to her horror two eager little fellows loping down the front steps – and an automobile coming down the street. She called “Down!” raising her arm in the obedience-taught gesture. Instantly, the little things dropped flat, and the car whizzed past between them and their mistress.
Not till she called “Come!” did they rise and trot happily to her. Obedience training won’t “make a robot” of your dog. It certainly will make a better citizen of him – and who knows? – of you. That’s all we could ask, isn’t it?