Obedience school. It’s not only for dogs – their masters must also learn the proper ways to handle and restrain their dogs – not only to keep each other safe in public areas, but also to work on sealing the magical bond between dog and "hooman".
But have you ever considered obedience school from the point of view of dogs? Yes, dogs can’t speak, but they can still issue commands through their eyes and body language.
Here are 5 doggy commands you should know help:
The first-ever command my dog trained me to obey was the ‘Stop’ command. This is a useful trick for ensuring that I always follow the route chosen by my dog, especially when there is a fork in the walk and my dog wants to go one way, and me the other.
When to use it: Frequently I would be romping ahead on the trail, happily thinking of the reward that awaits me when I get home (Netflix, hot dinner, a nice bath etc). But soon enough, my highly tuned 6th sense alerts me that the pitter-patter of little paws is no longer with me.
I turn to look, and there she is, way back behind, waiting for me at the fork in the path, telling – no, insisting – on her way, or the highway.
That bath will have to wait another 15 minutes.
Often my dog wants me to not only stop, but also stay and wait, until her highness decides we can move on from whatever she is busy with.
When to use it: This occurs especially often when she discovers a new scent at the roadside and is obliged to sniff it thoroughly until she has assessed the age and gender of the pee-er, savoured its fine floral accents and deciphered its various earthly notes. Before unleashing a stream of her own to combine their powers.
And now we can carry on with the walk.
The command to “Come” is not issued often, and only the very few, rare and most intelligent of dogs know how to train their humans for it. All those scenes when Lassie would run to a nearby farmhouse or horse patrol and bark for the bewildered humans to follow her?
That’s “Come” in action. Of course, pampered domestic dogs, not being privileged enough to experience such emergency situations, seldom have the opportunity to use a “Come” command.
The exception is when you mention the words “Walk”, “Park”, or for some talented dogs, “gai-gai”, at which point they will be at the door before you, sometimes with leash and collar in mouth, insisting that you “come” right now.
The “Sit” command is useful for all dogs who wish to show their dominance over their hooman. It usually involves some form of me-time when I am blissfully relaxing on the couch or in front of the TV.
That’s when a doggie can approach its hooman and give him/her the old puppy-eyes. When the hooman starts asking questions (I always ask “what do you want”), then it's time for doggy to make her move. Doggy will climb up (or be lifted up, if doggy is small) where she can comfortably rest on top of her hooman like he’s a lumpy dog bed. Then proceed to fall asleep.
When to use it: If for some reason hooman wants to get up, like to pee or perhaps make a living, doggy must pretend to still be asleep. This activates the “Sit” command and the hooman goes right back to being a living mattress because he's can't bear to wake his doggy up.
5. “Drop it!”
Of course, it’s not only hoomans that often request a dog to drop whatever that is that they are holding. A dog can also request a hooman to drop whatever they are holding, unless that thing they are holding is the dog.
When to use it: This often takes place when you just get home after a long trip, perhaps overseas. Usually, you’ll have a bag of expensive liquor in your hands, having returned from the airport and duty-free shopping. Your hands are full, you are towing a massive suitcase or bag, and have a 200% urgent need to pee.
Needless to say, that is when your dog issues the “Drop It” command.
You have to obey at once, as she’s not seen you for several days so you must drop everything, including all your fears of staining your pants, in order to hug and/or kiss her at once.
Who's a good boy? It's you! Yes you! Yes, you!