You may not be the type of dog owner who spends a lot of time training your pooch. It's quite alright (most dog owners do not have the time). However, there are two basic commands that could literally save your puppy's life and only takes a few minutes each day to instruct.
Teaching your puppy the “leave it” and “drop it”commands can keep your youngster from doing something dangerous, such as eating mouse poison, rotten food and other yucky stuff, or running into the path of a speeding car.
With your puppy on a leash, walk by a tempting item, such as food or a toy (you can pre-place items for this exercise). When your puppy tries to pick up the item, give a short quick tug on the leash and say, “Leave it.”
Enthusiastically praise your puppy for obeying (“Good Sparky!”). You can offer a treat reward at this time if you prefer, but praise and a pat on the head work just as well. Repeat this routine at home.
Here's another method you can use to teach your puppy the leave it command: Hold a food treat in your closed fist. When your puppy noses your hand, say “Leave it,” and keep your fist closed. When your pup stops nosing your hand, reward with praise, then give a verbal release command (such as “okay”) and let your puppy have the treat. Continue working like this until your puppy will sit quietly without touching a nearby treat until you give the release command.
When your puppy picks up a forbidden object, say, “Drop it!” and walk over to your puppy. If your pup won't release the item, offer it a tempting treat as a trade for the item. When your puppy drops it, offer praise and a safe substitute – preferably one that's more enticing than the forbidden item.
If your puppy runs away from you, don't chase it – it'll think you're playing a game. Instead,ignore your little one and get yourself a treat from the kitchen (something you know your puppy likes). Take the treat to a puppy-accessible area and start to eat it (or pretend to eat it, if it's a dog goodie).
Be dramatic about how yummy it is. Call your puppy over, then give the drop it command and trade the treat for the forbidden item. (Be sure to praise your youngster for obeying.) After your puppy finishes the treat, offer an acceptable toy.
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