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How to teach a dog the command “Next!”

The “Near!” Team is a valuable skill that a dog of any breed should acquire. It is unlikely that any owner will like that the animal will constantly pull the leash, trying to escape, or, conversely, get in the way underfoot. But the dog trained by the “Near!” Team will immediately attach itself to the left foot of its owner and will move along with him until he releases her for a walk.

Despite its apparent simplicity, this team is difficult enough to learn as a pet. Training is based on coercion, so it’s worth starting an exercise with a puppy only from 6 months of age. A step-by-step guide and useful tips will help you teach your dog how to run the “Next!” Command on and without a leash, in the normative version for exhibitions and for everyday use for daily walks.

Why train a dog near the team!
The “Near!” Team is called upon to provide convenience of moving the dog along the street. Your pet should accompany you on the road when you are going on business or getting to the site where you want to play with him. An untrained dog will not understand that if you turn, you cannot move in the same direction. The skill to walk close will help to manage the pet in a dangerous situation, to avoid meeting suspicious relatives. Training will improve mutual understanding and will be useful for both the dog and its owner.

Knowledge of the “Near!” Command is useful in the following cases:

when changing the pace of walking, when you need to accelerate or slow down a step, as well as before starting to move or stop;
in order for the pet to orient in time and adjust to you during the turn to the other side;
for safe movement in a crowd of people or on a highway with active traffic;
if the dog will be used as a service dog, take a course of educational training or pass the IPO-1 standard;
when your plans include participation in exhibitions, contests and other public events.
This is not a complete list of situations when you will be glad to have trained a dog near the command! In addition, the ability to walk next to the owner will form the basis for further training. It will be easier for the dog to master a group of related teams, implying its movement and being in a place specified relative to the trainer, for example, “Stand!” Or “Aport!”.

Command Execution Requirements
The rules for executing the “Near!” Command depend on whether it will be applied in everyday life or whether a normative option for exhibition and service dogs will be required.

Having heard the command “Near!”, The dog should stand near the left foot of a person, at a distance equal to the width of the croup. The dog’s shoulder blades must be at the level of the owner’s knee. Thus, the pet will walk side by side, without getting in the way.

The normative version of the “Next!” Command has more stringent requirements and is as follows:

the dog goes around the person who gave the command clockwise from behind and sits at his left foot;
while walking, the pet is always at the trainer’s left foot. The shoulders of the animal should be parallel to the human knee. The distance between the dog and the foot is minimal. At first, the gap can reach up to 50 cm, but in the future it is reduced. The dog should practically “stick” to the trainer;
the animal’s head is straight. In the event that the pet lifts it slightly to have the trainer’s face in sight, this will not be a mistake. To work out the correct positioning of the head, a harness is used;
when a person stops, a four-legged friend should sit down without a special command or gesture;
It is forbidden to the dog performing the command “Near!” to change the pose without special instructions;
if the trainer will turn around its axis, the dog must also turn and sit again. During a U-turn, the pet bypasses the trainer from behind.
The main goal of the “Near!” Team is to ensure that you are in control of your pet walking alongside the leash or without it. If you do not plan to participate with the dog in exhibitions or pass the standards, it is not necessary to require 100% of the completion of the team according to the regulations.

Note: for domestic use, teach your dog the “Nearby!” Team in a way that is comfortable for both of you. For example, if you are left-handed, you can place the dog on your right.

How to teach a dog the command “Near!” On a leash
It is necessary to start working out the command “Near!” After the puppy has learned to walk on a leash and recognized the authority of the owner. The first lessons should be held in a quiet familiar place, without noisy companies of people rushing past cars and other distracting objects.

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