This is a guest blog post by Amber Kingsley.
Long gone are the days that the majority people believed that using physical contact or force with an animal is a necessary means associated with training. Teaching a pet appropriate behaviours, even accomplishing some entertaining tricks, is more easily and effectively achieved by using positive reinforcement techniques instead.
We can all safely agree that dogs should all know basic commands like, sit and stay, but there are some important lessons they should learn to keep them in control. Speaking of safety, here are some other commands that could actually help to save them from possible injury or loss of life.
Leave It and/or Drop It
Many dogs are well known for putting almost anything they come across into their mouths, similar to a toddler, but there's many things an infant wouldn't even think about putting near their face, like a rodent for example. Since we're not always able to corral these critters ourselves, a dog's natural instinct may lead to them killing or carting off one of these often diseased ridden creatures.
Training a dog to "leave it" alone or "drop it" immediately is an important lesson every canine should learn. This can save them from a number of different problems, everything from potential injury to possible illness, depending upon the item in question.
Stopping and Sitting on Command (especially at street corners)
Especially if you live in an suburban setting, animals should be under their master's control at all times since they could unexpectedly break free from a leash or escape some other type of confinement. Running out into the street during their excitement can be avoided by teaching them to stop and sit on command.
Not only can this save them from being struck by a vehicle, even you live in the country, there's still things like tractors or wildlife that could pose a potential threat to them. There's numerous circumstances that could present themselves to your pet at risk when they should stop dead in their tracks (pardon the morbid association).
This is a double edged sword in a way since you want your animal to be well socialised with other people and children, but at the same time, you don’t want them eating "candy from a stranger" either. Similar to the "leave it" command, you should instruct your pet that food and treats from anyone besides you could be dangerous.
In order to get your pet to perform at their best when training them to perform these behavioural measures, check out this infographic on 30 Positive Reinforcement Training Tips For Your Pet. Whether you're using rewards, praise or affection as an incentive, you should have no trouble helping to keep your dog safer and well trained at the same time.