We all love seeing dogs perform amazing tricks, but there are three commands your dog should know that could save their life!
Many owners teach their dog the “down” command but making sure they can do this command regardless of how far away you are or if they are moving is vitally important. This command can help your dog avoid any dangerous situation if they know to drop down and stay on your cue. Search-and-rescue dogs who work for the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation are all taught this command so they can stay put until a possible hazard passes or the handler can safely get to the dog.
In certain situations, our furry family members may need to know this command to help them avoid danger. Sometimes calling them back to us could put them in more danger than if you told them “down” and went to them. For example, if your dog slips out of their restraint and runs across the street, calling them to you could possible put them in front of an oncoming car. By telling them to down stay, this can keep them safely out of the way.
How many times has your pup picked something up in their mouth, and you have had to chase them around or pry open their jaws to get it out? Your dog could pick up something that is potentially toxic or an item that could cause an obstruction. Teaching your dog “drop it” can help prevent them from playing with or swallowing a possibly hazardous object before you are able to take it away.
There is a difference between “come” and using a different word that is used to recall your dog immediately to you. Over time the command “come” can lose its urgency, and your pup may decide to continue what they are currently doing. The recall cue is to be used in an emergency and to indicate to your dog that it is absolutely imperative they come directly to you. For example, dogs who train at Call of the Wild School for Dogs are taught “front” since it is a unique word that cannot be mistaken for anything else.
Written for Blum Animal Hospital by Jackie Sheppard.