dog, Dog Health Guide

Teach Your Dog Some Manners

I was getting almost annoyed at people asking me, a couple of times a month, upon meeting my dogs, who trains them for me. Who trains my dogs?!? I train my dogs!

I was getting almost annoyed at people asking me, a couple of times a month, upon meeting my dogs, who trains them for me. Who trains my dogs?!? I train my dogs!

Then I realized, that is a huge compliment! My three dogs are so well behaved that people think they have been professionally trained somewhere?

I will show you here a few things you can teach your dog that will make him seem professionally trained as well. Dogs are wonderful additions to our lives–but only if they are well behaved and not a problem. Just like children and all people, your dog needs manners.

First off, you simply must reject any idea that disciplining a dog (or child) is ‘mean’. I have no idea why the world seems to think this, but it is certainly not true. My dogs know what is expected of them and what they had better not do, and that makes for happy, comfortable dogs, who know how to live here without causing problems to anyone. They know the rules, so they are comfortable in their lives.

And disciplining is simply a scolding, disapproving voice. If you need to beat on something, you are doing it wrong! In fact, beating on a dog (or child) will do nothing more than make them fear you and take away their confidence. Anyone can look at my well behaved dogs and see that not only do they act civilized, they are very happy dogs. Who wants dogs that do not misbehave–but are scared to death of you? Not me! That is simply advertising that you are an abusive jerk!

Social Situations

You must teach your dog to be social to everyone, or at least not bother or threaten people. My dogs are not overly social–running up, begging to be petted, knocking people over, etc. Neither are they attacking and biting people. They do not approach people until I say “Go say hi to (whomever is standing there)”. And then, they certainly do not jump on anyone! They approach with a happy look on their faces, tails wagging, and the person can see by the happy look in their eyes that they are friendly. The dogs then usually receive a pat on the head and some kind words.

When approaching another dog off leash, I tell them to ‘be nice’ in a warning tone. I do not tolerate fighting and they know that. However, you must judge the other dog’s body language to be sure that he will not attack your dog.

In The Car

I also have little ‘rules’ for behavior when in the car. Teach your dog to only enter the car when you say to do so. This may sound like something from a control freak, but that is not what it is–teaching your dog little things like this not only makes him well behaved, it teaches him to listen to you and take direction, not run wild and uncontrolled. It will also keep him safe.

Tell him to ‘stay’, open the door, and after a few seconds then tell him to enter, using a hand motion to direct him. If you have not taught your dog to stay, start doing so, as it is a very convenient thing for him to understand. Most dogs pick up on it very easily, if you use the stop motion of your hand and a lowered, serious voice telling him to “stay”.

Getting out of the car is even more important! My dogs are taught not to exit the vehicle until I say “okay” (or whatever word you want to use). Think of it this way: you have a flat tire on the interstate, you go to exit your car, and your dog jumps out–right there on the highway!!!! That would be a very dangerous situation, one that never needed to happen. He should be made to wait until YOU get out of the car, and stand there for a few seconds and then tell him to come out. I use this every time, no matter where we are–even if in our own driveway. It makes for a very well controlled dog.


I give my dogs as much freedom as possible, but, just like us, there are times when they must act in a decent manner. Barking is not something I allow, unless they are running and playing with one another in their yard, or telling me someone is here. Never allow your dog to bark at people (scaring them) or other dogs, etc. A jerk on the leash and a stern “No bark!” is all that is needed to teach him that a behavior is not wanted. Neither should he be allowed to bark all day in his own yard out of boredom, bothering your neighbors. It is up to you to find ways to keep him from being bored and bothering people.

A well behaved dog is one that will be welcome almost anywhere, and will be a testament to your ability to train him–just as a rowdy, uncontrolled dog will not make people happy and will tell the world that you have no idea what you are doing.

The world has plenty rude people, bratty children and bad situations. Do not add to it with a misbehaving dog–especially since it really is easy to have a well behaved pup!

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