Have your dog SIT at EVERY corner before you cross the street. This keeps both of you safe and out of oncoming traffic.
Have your dog SIT on cue when a strange dog or person approaches.
When your dog is approached by strangers (or friends) you have the right to ask them not to pet your dog. If you know your dog is nervous, stressed or uncomfortable in any way, politely tell them ‘he is not accepting pets today’ or ‘he is learning to be still’.
The WATCH ME cue asks your dog to give you immediate eye contact when you ask for it. It is a great way to redirect your dogs’ attention to you. You can interrupt an intense stare, an interest in a passing person, animal, bike or whatever, and keep him out of harm’s away. It also helps to refocus your dog. He can’t react to something if he is looking at you and getting rewarded/praised for doing so.
Let’s GO lets your dog know that you are about to change direction, go forward, or move into a walk after being still. This is also a great way to move your dog away from hazards or a potentially dangerous situation on a walk.
LEAVE IT means “whatever you are focused on this instant you need to ‘leave it alone’ and look at me instead”. The ‘Leave it’ cue can help your dog avoid eating food, garbage, animal droppings, or any other inappropriate objects they may have found on a walk or in your own home (medicine, cleaning products, sewing objects, children’s toys etc.). It can also signal to your dog to ignore other dogs, squirrels, passing cars, bicyclist, skateboarder etc. Your voice should be ‘serious’ buy not scary and acknowledge him for leaving it, with a ‘good boy’.
DROP IT OR GIVE:
In the event that your dog does pick up something that he shouldn’t before you can stop him, a good training cue is the ‘drop it’ or ‘give’. Remember, thank and praise your dog with a treat or a nice pet, for giving you what he might see as a ‘prized possession’.
HEEL AND LOOSE LEASH WALKING:
Heel is a very specific ‘strict’ walking style, which requires the dog to maintain his position on your left side, with his shoulder blade lining up with your pant leg. It is an appropriate walking style for crowded streets or crowds etc.
Loose Leash Walking allows your dog a little more freedom giving him the opportunity to sniff and explore to the end of his leash (without pulling) while still giving the handler control in needed.