When you’re preparing your dog for the arrival of your baby, the first order of business is establishing a clear system of obedience.
That’s what my Doggy 12-Step Program teaches you in the beginning of Good Dog Happy Baby. It provides you with step-by-step “rank management” instructions for implementing complete behavior modification.
And recently, I wrote a guest post that distills that information into one simple command. Here it is:
I’ve been training dogs full-time for more than 22 years, have performed over 30,000 private consultations and trained thousands of dogs in my classes. Over that time, I’ve often heard some version of this question: What is the one training command you recommend every owner should teach their dog?
My response is twofold.
First, there is no single command that’s going to magically transform your life with your dog. Obedience training and relationship building are forged from a deeply interconnected constellation of factors, each influencing the other.
Solid obedience training using a variety of motivators teaches a dog to enjoy learning while providing a context of structure, guidance and authority. This teaches the dog to exercise impulse control and look to the owner for most of the things it values. And each is key to the other.
That said, there is a powerful foundational exercise that I first learned from my primary training mentor decades ago. It’s simply called the “pay attention game.” It can be performed with different length leashes to encourage the dog’s attention at a variety of distances. Essentially it involves changing a direction without warning while engaged in different activities with your dog.
Here is what you need to do to help build this connection.