The most important first commands to teach your puppy or new dog are:
- Watch me
Most people choose sit and down as the first commands to teach their new puppy, but I recommend you fight tradition and focus your energy on teaching your dog to patiently wait in a designated place and give you her attention when you ask for it.
A dog naturally chooses to sit and lie down, and it will be easy for you to positively reinforce these actions when your dog does them. It is MUCH harder for a dog to control his impulse to run, chase, play and investigate. If you want to help your urban dog be successful, then you need to TEACH him to ignore these basic instincts.
A dog who can watch you is able to ignore a distraction and choose to give you his attention instead. By getting your dog to freeze in place and patiently wait you can help her avoid running into a dangerous situation, and a dog that can patiently sit in one place regardless of environment is ultimately a happier, more confident and less anxious dog. Can you see how these behaviors are critical for a dog who lives in a city?
Stay tuned for detailed instructions of how to teach your dog these critical behaviors. Or if you're anything like your dog and just can't wait, you can always email me at email@example.com :-)
Growing up in the country in Pennsylvania gave me tons of experience with animals from a very early age. I later pursued a career in horseback riding and also have experience as a veterinary technician. I have a strong passion for animals and have an uncanny ability to connect with all sorts of furry friends.