Just how important is listening to a puppy? It is one of the beginnings to all of wisdom.
A teacher says to every new child, “Please sit, look at me and pay attention.” The word of God says to every man, “Be still and know that I am God,” and, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God.” Notice it never says to seek your own kingdom but rather God’s. Great dog trainers only say one word, “Sit.” However, that one word is said with great authority and the promise of consequences. Sit should mean to a puppy more than just don’t move. It should mean freeze, look at me, and wait until you are told to move. It should mean be still in your heart, pride, wants, greed, and in your self serving desires. It means unconditionally stop, deny yourself and listen to my voice, for I have not come here to condemn you, but I have come to give you a more abundant life. I have great plans for you, plans that are far beyond your ability to understand for now, just be still and know that I am God.
Wow! What a gift to every puppy and every child, and to every man that hears that great command. Why? It is the key that opens the door to personal freedom.
Those puppies that never learn to listen, never learn, and those puppies that don’t learn, fail to become anything more than self serving pets and unfortunately, they are usually confined and restrained by the fences and leashes of life.
So, once again, how important is listening? It is the corner stone on which freedom is built. Please do not underestimate it’s value, power, or need. Good luck and keep your eyes on the Master.
Training Tips for Listening
Please remember that sitting is the listening position for all dogs. Everything depends on his ability to sit and focus on you. For his sake please do not compromise that command. You should start your new puppy sitting and looking at you really early, at about six weeks. Never place its food bowl dow until he stops jumping, sits, and looks at you. Every meal is a test with a reward for obedience.
To possibly help a very young distracted puppy focus on you, show him a treat. Place that same cookie (as he watches), into your own hand, and the hold it in front of your mouth as you talk. He will be fixed and focused on you, which is a great habit to start.
In closing, let me remind you of what Monk dog always says to every new puppy. “Sit well and listen because the more I learned to stay, the more I got to go.”