Teaching Dog Manners
Using Everyday Commands
Itís so easy to teach your dog simple manners that will make
him a joy to live with, travel with, and take walks in the neighborhood with. He might even be welcomed at the homes of
your friends if heĎs a well mannered dog. It doesnít take any harsh corrections. All you have to do is decide what manners
you want your dog to display, and donít accept any other behavior. No corrections necessary, just the reward of getting what
he wants by doing things YOUR WAY. It really works.
Sitting Quietly For Collar And Leash
You should not have to put up with a crazy dog every time
you want to take him for a walk. If he begins to squirm and twist while you are trying to put his collar or leash on, just stop
and hang up the collar or leash and give him a few minutes to think about it. Tell him to sit and try again. If he goes nuts again,
repeat the process. Do this as often as necessary until he figures out that you won't put his collar or leash on him until he sits
quietly for you. This works great
Waiting Patiently At The Door.
Your dog should learn to wait until he is invited to go out a
door - any outside door. When you are ready to let your dog out the door into the yard, have him sit at the door, hold him by
his collar if necessary, open the door and insist that he remain sitting until you release him. If he tries to bolt out the door, close
it and wait a few minutes. Repeat as often as necessary. This will drive him nuts because he won't understand why you're
suddenly not going outside. He'll eventually figure it out.. If you are going out the front door with your dog on leash, have him
sit at the door while you open it. Step out the door and invite your dog to come out. Again, have him sit while you close the
door. If he tries to bolt out the door, close it for a few minutes. Never let him bolt out a door. Coming in the house is the same,
in reverse. Again, have him sit when you get inside so you can wipe his feet if necessary and take his leash off. This command is
good to teach with gates also. You want your dog to not bolt out a gate if its opened. Teach him to sit and wait to be invited
out the same way you taught him at the doors. This command should be used at every outside door.
Getting In And Out Of A Car
The same method that you use for sitting at the door can be
modified for getting into and out of a car. Have the dog sit while you open the car door and wait to be invited to get into
the BACK seat. Dogs should never ride in the front seat for safety sake - both yours and the dogs. When getting out of the car
the dog should sit and wait for you to put his leash on or gather it up and then be invited out of the car. He should then sit and
wait for you to shut the car door and give him the "lets go" command before moving. The only thing you will add to this exercise
is to not allow the dog to drag you to or from the car. He must always walk on a loose lead with you.
Staying For Food
Use the Sit/Stay command to teach the dog to wait before
diving into his food dish. Have the dog sit/stay while you place the food dish on the floor. Make him wait about 10 seconds
before releasing him to go and eat. If he charges for the food bowl as you put it down, just put it back up on the counter and
let the dog wait a couple of minutes before trying again. Repeat the process as often as necessary. Don't put his food bowl
down until he waits quietly for you to tell him it's OK to move.
Handling The Food Bowl
This method works best with a young puppy. The dog MUST
learn that you are allowed to handle his dish if you wish and he is not allowed to guard the dish or act aggressively if someone
comes close to him while he is eating. Here is a simple training method to use. After the puppy has begun eating, reach down
and pick up the dish and pretend to stir the food and then give the dish right back to him. Be sure to praise him for not objecting
to you're handling of his dish. If he growls or snaps, correct him forcefully with a firm "NO". Return his dish to the floor and
repeat the process. Your goal is to have a dog who knows that you are allowed to take his dish; he will get it back and he is
not allowed to be aggressive towards anyone touching the dish. Don't do this so often that you make his meals a nerve wracking
experience, but just enough to solve the problem if you have one. This is also important to do when the puppy has a bone or a
favorite toy. This training is especially important if you have small children who might approach the puppy while he's eating.
Nothing In Life Is Free
If you have an older dog that has been allowed to guard
his dish or generally run things his way, all is not lost. You have to become the source of everything the dog GETS and DOES.
You must teach the dog that everything comes from you - food, water, play, affection, walks, etc. Nothing is OWED to him, he
must EARN everything.
The food issue is really an easy one, if you are willing to put forth the effort to train him. First off, if your dog is on a
"free feeding" schedule, you are going to have to change to one or two feeding times a day. The dish will be
removed when dinner is finished (about 20 to 30 minutes maximum). When you get ready to feed your dog, sit down on the
floor with him and literally "hand feed" every morsel of his food to him. Make him take it gently from your hand.
After he is done, take the dish and put it up. Every feeding is the same until he willingly lets you handle his dish and food while
he is eating. If he ever reverts to food guarding, go back to basics and hand feed him until he gets the idea again. Be sure to
praise him when he doesn't object to your handling his food dish.
Down Stay During Dinner
Dogs do not belong at the table during dinner time. This is a
perfect time to teach your dog the Down/Stay in a location away from the table, but where he can still see you and not feel
isolated. Place your dog in the down position and command "Stay" with the hand signal. If your dog gets up and comes to the
table, take the time to calmly take him back to the SAME place you put him down and repeat the procedure. During the
training phase of this behavior you may have to put him down many times. Don't give up or the dog will never believe you are
serious about anything. If he is really persistent, you can try using a leash attached to a piece of furniture to keep him in place.
This is a situation where you have to actually catch the
dog in the act to make any progress in the training. Once he has gotten the food off the counter, he's had his reward. The
easiest way is to "Change the Environment" and keep the counters free of any food items or items that the
dog might find interesting. He will soon get tired of no rewards and give up checking the counter for goodies.
Its time for the "Four on the Floor Rule."
Every dog should learn to sit for greetings no matter what size he is. They should never be allowed to jump on guests or
anyone coming up to pet them. Turn away from the dog when he jumps and leave him, never push him down or yell at
him (attention). Be sure to pet and praise him whenever all four feet are on the floor and he is calm (rewarding good behavior).
If someone wants to pet him, have him SIT for the encounter. When guests come to the house, put a leash on your dog so
you can control him when they come in. Have him sit quietly to be petted and don't let him loose until he is calm..
Staying When The Doorbell Rings
Hang a short leash around the doorknob of the front door
and when the doorbell rings and the dog runs to the door barking, calmly put the leash on him and lead him away from the
door and put him on a down/stay while you answer the door. Do not scold him for barking - you want him to bark a warning
when someone comes to the door. You just don't want him to go crazy and be out of control. Repeat as often as necessary.
It might be a good idea to enlist the help of a friend while you train him for this. Have your friend come to the door and ring the
bell so you can enforce the new rule.
Personalize Your Commands
Dog training is a personal thing. You should teach your
dog the things that you want him to learn - the things that will make living with him more fun for both of you. Decide what
you want your dog to learn and take the time to train him for your needs. Teaching tricks is a fun way to expand your
dogs learning and turn your dog into a showman. There are many books on the market about dog training. The more you
teach your dog, the easier it is for him to learn. You are actually teaching your dog how to learn and the dogs LOVE it.