HEEL OFF LEAD: Allows you to have outdoor fun with your dog not in heel, and get him instantly into position should something come up. For instance, perhaps a walker comes upon you that clearly does not look comfortable with dogs. Heel off leash also gives you better reliability on leash, as the dog is not generalizing where and when to heel.
STAND: The actually training of a "stand for exam" gets dogs and puppies used to handling by strangers. Great for Vet exams where the veterinarian needs to evaluate the structure of your dog or check for stomach problems. Makes grooming much easier whether done at home or at the groomers. I use it instead of an auto sit for my dog that has knee problems.
FIGURE EIGHT HEEL: This is just another portion of the heeling exercise. In the city you can't always walk straight lines, and this helps a dog know how to walk in curved areas on either side of you. Again, great use for city walking especially or even in the woods with trees when needed.
RECALL OR COME COMMAND: This command is arguably one of the most important. This command can save your dog from great harm or death. This command saved Jazzabelle's life. As a youngster as she streaked towards a friend that she saw across the street. "Come" brought her to the yard, instead of the oncoming truck. This can also be used to retrieve your dog before they ingest something dangerous on the ground during a walk.
SIT: This is useful if you want your dog stationary (staying separate from stay here for a moment) so you can put on their leash, because the dog's head is up higher than a down. Great for when walking in a heel position, and you come to a curb where your dog stops with you.
DOWN: I use this a lot if a strange dog is approaching, then not only is my dog in a stationary position, but also in a very non challenging position. I can then head off the strange dog, if I wish. This is useful when introducing large dogs to smaller dogs. Excellent command for use in the grooming salon or veterinarians office.
STAY: This is usually used after a stationary command (sit or down, for instance). I use this when I don't want my dogs to counter surf, while eating dinner, while talking to a friend and I can't watch the dog at the moment, when bringing the poop bag up to the street (potential customers love this move when there are many dogs and people on the beach as well). The level of skill in which commands are trained and taught to your dog also makes it possible to sit outside at restaurants with your dog. An owner might be privileged to bring dogs into their hotel rooms, rather than have to use a kennel. Well trained dogs can be welcomed at various events such as craft fairs or family picnics. Now if someone starts to go into the higher obedience level skills which require jumping and retrieve, more joys await you. The skill of retrieval can be taught for any household object. This is a way to give your dog a fun job to do, and exercise his brain muscles.
If an owner has a reactive dog or one with behavioral issues, these skills, done to a standard, will increase and improve a dog's attention and focus on their handler. Training is a good way to begin distracting a dog from items that make them fearful as well.
Please be sure to train dogs to reliably understand their owner. It will make not only their lives better, but will also enrich the dog owner and others as well.
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