How to teach a dog to cross the street

Most dogs go crazy to go outside. Although we can always do something to keep his composure a bit, when it comes to cross the street, things get complicated. They want to run and jump on cars without thinking about what might happen.

It is obvious that they do not think. Hence they do not foresee danger embarking on the road may entail. It is our duty not only to keep an eye on them, but also to teach them to cross the street safely.  The question is Can we really teach a dog to do that? Yes, we can and we will show you how.

 Teach your dog to cross the street:

There are two main orders that the animal must learn: still or sit and go. These are the most essential orders and hence they should be short and clear. The words sit, still, and go tell exactly what to do.

Teach your dog the ‘stay’ order:

Choose a place such as a table on the floor, or even a plastic table. The animal must be on it and when you want himnot to move must say “No” (something probably your dog already understands what it is) while you hold him with your hands say “stay”.

The dog, when hears that order several times, will associate the word “stay” with the fact that he cannot move or go anywhere. Then pick him up and descend him to your level and let him loose. Make sure you hold him and then say this word otherwise the dog will already be gone, and the command will be useless.

Do not expect him to follow it right after the first exchange. Teaching a command to a dog requires time and patience. But after several times, when your dog will hear it, he will start associating it with the gesture. He will learn at his pace, so don’t be disappointed but be consistent.

Also take along treats to reward the successful behavior at first to provide positive reinforcement for success.

Teach your dog the order to ‘go’:

Once the animal has learned the order stay, it is good time to teach the order of going. How to do it? After you get him to stand still, then make a gesture with your hand while you say “go”.

The dog may look at you and think you’re crazy and do not understand what you expect from him. Call him by name and then walk and say “go”.  Remember accompanying the order with a gesture so the animal can relate and thus making it easier for him to understand and obey.

Also again you can use treats initially to reinforce positive and successful behavior.

Now the street:

Well, once your pet has learned the two most important commands, it’s time to teach across the street. The main thing is to keep the strap toyour side all the time, not behind, or far ahead.

While you are closer to the road, do not reach the end of the sidewalk, it is better to stop about 5 feet before, when the light is still red. Then say “stay”. When you see that the light turns green, and all the cars stop you say “go”, always keeping him by your side.

Gradually he will become familiar with the two orders and he will learn to wait while the cars are moving. Also, it’s a good time to teach him more set of orders that may be helpful during crossing the road.

When you think he is following your orders perfectly, it’s about time you may cross the road with him without the strap. But make sure during the first few strapless attempts should be practiced on a non – busy road.

Positive reinforcement:

The best way to teach is by using positive reinforcement. Pets earn faster when they see you are happy with the results. So every time you notice that he is learning the command or recognizing it and obeying the order, give one of his favorite treats and pet him to feel that you want it and you’re proud of him. While teaching him the commands keep his treats bag handy.

Refrain from negative reinforcement:

If you feel that the dog isn’t responding to your command in the beginning or even making a face that shows that he doesn’t understand it at all, don’t lose hope. Make sure whatever you say is accompanied by the action. It will take some time for him to associate the two. If he fails to obey it after first few times, don’t get upset at all. In fact keep your cool. Do not yell or get upset if at any time he fails to obey the command or fails to respond. If you associate obedience to the prize, it will be easier for him to obey. However, if you constantly get angry at him and he notices it, it can cause delays in the whole process since he will stop obeying you for the fear of your anger. Hence the bad temper and anger can cause more damage than any good.

Dogs are naturally curious and anything can catch their attention on the roads such as a squirrel, a cat, a shadow or any person wearing a strange dress. Teaching him to cross the road safely is very important but it’s also recommended to keep him on a leash when you are beginning to train him.

Leash Control:

Leash control plays a very vital role in crossing the road. Some dogs naturally follow their owners but of course if something catches their attention they will lose control and run off. In order to teach them that you are the one who will decide where to go, which way to turn etc., you need to learn leash control.

Keep a lose leash: Now the main thing is to give him enough space to move around or walk freely so he doesn’t feel bound. Let him enjoy the feeling of freedom but it doesn’t mean that you let him stop in the middle of the road or let him take turns of his choices.

Take turns: now once the dog finds something interesting and he starts running towards it, take a sharp turn immediately. This way he will learn that only you can lead. Show him that you are the boss! Keep the leash lose but once he starts to turn somewhere else or starts running ahead of you or stays behind etc., take a turn at once. He will follow you.

Remember that you get things with love, perseverance and perseverance. Teaching the commands are tough only if you have a short temper or lack patience. Everything takes time. And every dog has his own pace so once you start teaching him, make sure you are mentally prepared to face failure, delays or disappointments in the beginning ONLY. Once the commands become a part of his routine and he gets to hear them, and see them almost every hour or so, he will learn quicker.

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