A blog about my life with dogs.......

Saturday, November 19, 2011


When you add a new doggy member to your family people often remind you to be patient. Be patient because the two of you are getting to know each other and it takes time to settle in. (And yes this is true) But patience is also an important lesson to teach your dog through-out his life. Using commands and getting into good daily habits that facilitate patience in your dog is an excellent way to make a good dog a great dog.

Here are some habits and commands that can help you facilitate patience in your dog.

*Practice the "stay" command. -start by practicing in familiar and safe places, then work up from there.

*Practice and use a "wait" command. This is a  great command to use at the door. Ask your dog to wait as you open the door to let him out. Then release him with the word "okay" or another release word you choose. You can also practice "wait" at dinner time by setting the dogs food bowl down and have your dog sit and wait until you release him to eat. (start by asking him to wait just a few seconds, then work up from there)

*Practice a "leave it" command with your dog. Helping your dog develop the self control not to run up and scarf down anything that comes within his reach is not only facilitating patience it may save his life one day!

For more information on teaching these super useful commands check out future blog posts or you can check out some dog training manuals like "Feeling Outnumbered? How to Manage and Enjoy Your Multi-Dog Household." By Patricia McConnell or "How to Have the Perfect Pet" By Victoria Stilwell.

I ask my boys to sit and wait while dog food is being set out. Each dog has a spot where they wait. I ask them to sit, or lay down, and set each bowl onto the floor then wait a moment. Then I give the release word "okay" and each dog goes to his bowl to eat. I often but not always ask them to wait a few feet away from the door before they go out to potty. I ask them to wait when we are getting out of the car. I also require a wait when I am handing out meaty bones.

In the above picture all three boys are patiently waiting for me to give them one of the bones. As I unwrapped the bones I said "wait" one time. This is the result. Note should be taken that three big dogs patiently waiting for meaty bones in the company of each other is not the result of me saying "wait" one time. This behavior is the result of me working individually with each dog on wait, leave it, stay, and many other commands, the result of me working with the dogs many times together asking them to wait. This is the result of years of work and living respectfully with these dogs. It's not something that comes overnight. (If this is something you have not done before, PLEASE do not put meaty bones out in front of your dog pack just to see what happens. Not putting unfair expectations on your dog is part of being a good leader.)

Here you can see the bones the dogs are waiting for.
In this picture you can see Comet sniffing the air around the bones. In the previous picture you can see that Bugsy and Harry are looking at me. Comet is looking away from the bones, but has them in sight.

No comments:

Post a Comment