Tips for a Well-Behaved Dog

Early training and socialization are a must so that your dog does not develop maladapted behaviors. Preventing unwanted behaviors early on in your dog's life the more bad habits will likely have to be unlearned. Early training will also help you to develop the proper relationship between you and your dog for life-long companionship.

  • Always give your dog the opportunity to reach his or her full potential by incorporating training as part of your everyday life.

  • Be sure to exercise your dog every day. An hour walk is not enough exercise for most dogs and this is the cause of many unwanted behavior problems. A tired dog is a happy dog. Give your dog different forms of exercise so that they can build confidence while having fun.

  • Do not allow your dog to jump on your couch, bed, or any furniture whenever he or she pleases. A dog is always at its best when he or she is acting as a low-ranking member of a balanced team. Make sure that you have set clear rules, boundaries, and limitations around your house for your dog to follow. 

  • Train your dog using motivational methods. When you are training your dog it should be upbeat and fun so that it is enjoyable for both parties.

  • If your dog does not respond reliably to you at your home, he or she probably does not respect you and you can’t expect your dog to respond to your commands reliably outdoors with stimulated distractions.

  • Avoid repetitive commands. Dogs are conditioned animals and if you are giving commands that you cannot enforce, your dog learns that these commands are optional. Repeating commands such as “Sit!, sit!, sit!, sit!” only tunes your dog out, and its not an effective way to command your dog. Command your dog only once and place your dog into that position.

  • Avoid giving your dog combined commands such as “Sit Down Now!” This command does not exist and is incompatible and it will only confuse your dog. 

  • Always use your dog's name positively. Never use it in conjunction with a correction or a warning. When your dog hears his or her name, he or she should respond with enthusiasm.

  • Correct, control and prevent unwanted behaviors. Never punish your dog. This will cause fear and stress.

  • Always remain calm; anger and stress to a dog represent instability. You will also be communicating to your dog that you are not mentally stable enough to be their pack leader. You will never earn your dog's respect by getting angry.

  • Never give your dog attention when he or she is feeling uncomfortable, shy, or fearful. You will only nurture this behavior.