As my long-time readers already know, as far as I’m concerned, training never stops. By continually working with our animals to build trust and responsiveness, we have a better chance of ensuring their safety and our ability to fully get to enjoy them.

I recently had a conversation with another dog-loving friend about dog training, and what we would consider the essential must-have-down-cold training commands. While both of us have what others would consider to be highly trained dogs, the only remedial training I absolutely always stay on top of comes down to three commands.

That’s because, in a nutshell, these commands embody what I feel are necessary for my dogs (and the people around my dogs) to remain safe.

My 3 non-negotiable training commands:

  1. Come — as in run to me right this very minute.
  2. Stay— as in stop dead in your tracks no matter what you’re doing and don’t move another muscle until I release you.
  3. Leave it!–as in don’t bite down, don’t swallow, and open your mouth and drop whatever is in it RIGHT NOW.

Other training commands can be filled with joint fun and purpose, such as teaching your dog agility, obedience, herding, search and rescue, etc. But these three commands will save your dog’s life. So please make sure you don’t skimp on the time you put in here. There will absolutely come a time when you will be very glad you did.