Give

The "Give" command is useful for taking something out of Buddy's mouth that you don't want him to have and that he doesn't want to give up. The object can be anything, from one of your favorite possessions to the piece of meat he has just stolen off the counter.

Our favorite way of getting Buddy to give up whatever he has in his mouth is to trade — we offer him a treat in exchange for what he has in his mouth. If he has food, you may have to offer him something of equal value, such as a frozen chicken wing. We keep these in our freezer at all times because we use them as special treats. Of course, sometimes you don't have a treat handy, in which case you just have to open his mouth and remove the object.

"Off" is a commonly used command for getting the dog off the furniture. The command is also frequently used to stop dogs from jumping on people, although "Sit" is a better choice because it's more specific.

Whether you allow your dog on the furniture is a matter of personal preference. You can certainly train him to stay on the floor, at least as long as you're in his presence. Chances are, however, that when you're gone, he'll settle on his favorite couch only to quietly slide off when he hears you coming home.

For those individuals who are adamant about keeping the dog off the furniture, there are several options:

^ Don't give him the run of the house.

^ Place a broomstick on Buddy's favorite chair or couch while you're gone. The broomstick works well with most dogs, although we know of instances where the dog simply removed the stick.

^ Invest in one or more Scat Mats. Scat Mats come in different sizes and are designed to keep dogs and cats off the furniture by giving the animal a slight electric shock when it steps on it. The intensity of the shock can be regulated.

Scat Mats are also used to restrict access to a room or part of the house. Again, the device isn't foolproof, because some dogs figure out that they can jump over the mat.

The latest entry into pet containment approaches is the Innotek Instant Pet Barrier (www.innoteck.net). This device uses the same principle as the outdoor electronic fence to confine the dog within a certain room or area within the house.

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