15 Ways that People Unnecessarily Shorten Their Dogs Lives
3. Not training the dog to come when called
Training is an enormous part of dog ownership. This part of having a dog takes a lot more work than many people realize, but it is only through consistency and discipline that a young dog will go from an energetic, ill-mannered puppy to a mature, well-behaved adult dog who is a pleasure to be around.
Many dogs are very energetic and high spirited. They may get so wrapped up in their play and the joy of just being alive that they may not listen to their owners. Dogs that are not properly trained can quickly get themselves into dangerous situations. They may run into traffic, approach other people, or disappear entirely.
Even if a dog is an indoor dog, he should be taught to come immediately when called. Obviously, dogs can escape to the outdoors when someone accidentally leaves the door open. Additionally, leashes and collars can break, and the only way to retrieve the dog may be to call him back.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) says that certain breeds may be more difficult to train to come when called than others. Hound dogs can become so enthralled with trailing a scent that they are oblivious to their owner’s frantic pleas to come back. Racing dogs like greyhounds and whippets need unusual treats to motivate them to come. However, they also say that it is possible to train these types of dogs, but it does take special patience and perseverance to teach them to come.
The ASPCA recommends several games to teach a dog to come. All of these games use positive affirmation and treats to encourage the dog to come. They tell owners to start when the dog is very small to take advantage of the security that a puppy naturally finds in its owners. If a dog does not come when called, dog owners should never punish the dog because the dog will learn to relate being called with being punished.
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