‘Come’ is the No. 1 lesson. / Debi Bishop / Getty Images
Q: We brought a lost puppy home for the night, hoping someone would be looking for her. No one was. Now, I am so protective of this dog, it’s weird. My kids are careful, but their friends leave doors open and I lose my mind! Any help?
A: You’re wonderful for coming to the puppy’s rescue. To help you both, I suggest:
Microchip. If a pet is lost, odds of recovery increase if it has a microchip implanted.
Tag. If you want double protection, PetHub.com offers digital ID tags with a QR code. If your pet is missing, anyone with a smartphone can scan the tag and contact you.
“Come.” Most important: Teach a reliable recall, an order to come when called. Start by practicing indoors, without distractions, by using a high-value treat. Once the dog will “come” indoors, even when distracted, practice outdoors. Take no chances: Use a long training leash. (By the way, dogs can be taught not to run through open doors!)
Steve Dale is a certified dog and cat behavior consultant who blogs at pets.usaweekend.com.