5 Most Important Commands to Teach Your Dog
What does it do? It tells the dog to fly from wherever they are either to your side, or right in front of you.
Why is it important? Because this is what is going to save your dog's life, when she is chasing a bird and is just about ready to run in the path of a car. This is what's going to ensure that you don't have to chase her around the yard, when you are running late to work. This is what's going to get them out of a fight, that's about to break out amongst playing dogs. This is what will bring them back when they approach a child coming into your driveway. This is one command that should never be given if you cannot enforce it (unless it's that very moment you've been practicing it for). Even those who compete and win titles in Obedience trials, train "Come" with their canine champions always on the leash. Your pup should never see it as an option whether or not to follow through with "Come". And of course, your pup must think that "Come" is the best command in the world! It should always be complete with the most delicious treats, the most fun games and loves. If you are planning to do something unpleasant from your pup's point of view (be it crating, or taking a bath, or trimming nails), do not use "Come".
What does it do? It tells the dog to stop and lie down, instead of standing, jumping, walking, running, etc.
Why is it important? Because it stops your pup when you need them to stop whatever they are doing at the moment, it puts your pup in a submissive position, reminds them of the hierarchy established within your family, and it is a great way to introduce your dog to young children, if they are afraid of dogs. It also allows you to complete real life tasks you need to complete (be it a conversation with a neighbor, pulling the bills out of your mailbox, or cleaning after your pooch during your daily walk) without having to worry about what your pup is doing on the other end of your leash.
#3. "Leave It"
What does it do? It tells your dog to drop and ignore the object, to disregard a sound or a smell.
Why is it important? Because it will stop your dog from eating a dead squirrel on the side of the road. It will save your pup's life, when they decide to vacuum up a spilled bottle of pills off the floor, it will save your socks, when you are doing laundry, and your pup decides "to help". It makes day-to-day life with a dog manageable and enjoyable.
What does it do? It tells your dog to remain where you tell them to, and to wait for further instructions from you.
Why is it important? Because it is going to make your life easy. When you want your pup to wait for you by the door, because you are grabbing her leash from another room, or when you are cooking, wand want your dog to stay put, instead of meddle in your process, you will appreciate the mastery of "Stay".
What does it do? It tells the pup to stay put on his bed and relax, to chew on his toy, to nap, to observe the room from his own bed, without claiming your consistent attention.
Why is it important? Because it allows your dog to learn how to relax outside of his crate, and teaches him how to be with you, without interacting with you. It practices self control, and can be very useful if you are bringing your dog to someone else's house. It will keep them out of trouble, and, ultimately, will provide more opportunities for the two of you to be together.