Training Chase


Meet Chase. He’s our newest foster dog that we brought home on Tuesday, and you’ll never believe this, but…he’s already been adopted! Apparently Mom gives better sales pitches than she realized and found a coworker who has a friend that has been looking for a dog like Chase.

His new owner will be away from home for a few weeks, so we’re keeping him with us until they return. This is great news because Chase is less than a year old and has no manners!

I am faced with the daunting task of teaching a small dog (and you all know they’re much harder to train than other dogs) to have basic commands down in 10 days. I don’t want him turning into one of those snarly senior dogs one day. I guess I’d better get started.

So here’s how I’m going to go about doing this.
1. Sit
2. Come
3. Stay
4. Heel
5. Lie Down
These are the most basic commands that dogs will use every day and that are useful for keeping a dog from running out into the road. I want to work on these the most so that they are the most solid for when his owner comes back. In my house, we reinforce our dogs’ obedience by making them sit and wait (stay) before they are given their food. Chase still hasn’t quite grasped this idea, so this will be challenge # 1. We also make our dogs wait for us to go out the door first when beginning a walk. Given that Chase’s new owner is a bit older, this will also be a priority.

I think I will avoid the more complex commands of leave it, go to the crate, playing dead, rolling over, etc. there simply is not enough time.

On Saturday we discovered that Chase has an infatuation with kong toys. We also discovered that he does not much enjoy it when you take his favorite plaything away. Growling or snapping (which he thankfully hasn’t done yet) will absolutely not be tolerated so I plan on working on taking the toy away from him so that he doesn’t have a problem when his new owner decides he’s had enough chewing on the rubber toy.

Socialization to cats is important when his new owner has 3, so I’m going to work on keeping him calmer around the cats.

If you take anything away from this, remember to start training your dogs as young as possible so that they have basic manners. Even if they are small dogs, don’t let them jump all over you or be possessive of their toys. Dogs are much happier when you are the strong pack leader who will set down rules and make sure that they are followed.