• Michael D’Abruzzo

    March 24, 2011 at 5:41 am

    Sounds like you are off to a good start. You don’t have to use the word “climb”. Technically you can use any word you want for any command as long as you are consistent and none of the commands sound too similar.

    The real significance of the command that I call “climb” (and can be called anything) is that it teaches the dog all the rules that he/she will need to know for all the other commands and gets you in the habit of using those rules smoothly.

    It is the first command that the dog does because they have to. It teaches the dog the concept of a warning “no”, resistance training (to ignore the leash and concentrate on the command), direction (when you point to something), that they can fix themselves if they mess up, etc..

    We teach this on the climb because it is very easy to walk a dog back onto a climb platform compared to keeping them in a sit, down, or other more rigid command.

    Once you teach the dog all the concepts of the climb command and also teach the dog the meaning of the more rigid commands – you can combine the concepts of “climb” to these commands and the dog doesn’t have to relearn that they must stay in the sit or down command until you “free” or even the “come” or “heel” until you free them. Everything will follow the same sequences and be easier for you and the dog to learn. “Climb” is the command that I spend the most time making my clients master before moving on because it makes everything else so much easier.

    I hope this helps!