Safety Tricks for Your Dog

Dogs are often driven by their strong sense of smell and ability to live in the moment…

…which are just a couple of the reasons we love them.

But, that intense focus and ability to tune other things out can sometimes get them into a bit of trouble. That’s why it’s a good idea to start early in training your dog to “leave it,” “sit” and “go to your bed” in a variety of situations. Here’s how these types of commands can help keep your dog safe:

Sitting at the Curb

Teaching your dog to automatically sit at the curb is always a good idea considering the rush of cars many of us contend with on our daily walks. Ask your dog to sit at every curb and give him a treat (or click and treat if you clicker train) with praise. If you do this every time, he eventually will start sitting even if he isn’t asked.

Sitting at the Front Door

It’s also a good idea to get your dog used to sitting at the front door in order to prevent door dashing and potentially dangerous situations. One trick involves having your dog sit, releasing him (“OK”) as you open the door, but then calling his name so that his head turns toward you just as he steps out. At this point you can click or praise with a “yes” and give him a treat, then release him again. Eventually you won’t have to call his name to turn his head toward you. This can help keep your dog more focused on you rather than on running out the door.

Leaving Things You Drop

“Leave it” can be a very important command—especially since dogs have a tendency of experiencing the world not only by smell but by licking things. But not everything is safe for them to lick. Once your dog knows “leave it,” you can practice dropping treats on the ground and telling him to leave it, so he learns that things can fall without him running over to eat it. Remember to feed a treat out of your hand (not from the ground) and praise the behavior.

Deep Breathe During Stressful Situations

Stressful situations can cause your dog to panic and potentially lead to an unsafe situation. It’s a good idea to teach your dog some calming techniques like deep breathing to help manage anxiety if and when it arises.

Sit Around Other Dogs

As you can tell, sitting comes in handy to help keep dogs safe. If your dog gets overly excited around other dogs, when you see a new dog approaching, take your dog off to a distance and have him sit to try and keep him calm. Have him do some deep breathing at this point.

Stay Out of the Kitchen

The kitchen can be a danger zone for pets. The “go to your bed” command will come in handy when you are cooking and you need your dog out of the danger zone. Make sure he has a nice, comfortable bed that he enjoys.

A little training can go a long way in helping keep dogs safe.

Meet the Author: Jessica Peralta

Jessica Peralta has been a journalist for more than 15 years and an animal lover all her life. She has had dogs, cats, birds, turtles, fish, frogs, and rabbits. Her current children are a German shepherd named Guinness and a black kitten named Riot (and he lives up to that name). It’s because of her love for animals that she focused her journalistic career to the world of holistic animal care and pet nutrition. In between keeping Riot and Guinness out of mischief, she’s constantly learning about all the ways she can make them healthier and happier.

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