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GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
puppy sitting and looking up during training exercises
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How to Teach Your Pet Basic Manners

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From the moment you bring your new puppy home, you’ll begin teaching them manners, especially if you don’t want them destroying your furniture or eating your brand-new shoes. The younger the puppy is, the shorter their attention span is going to be. However, puppies are typically able to learn the simplest commands, like sit, around 7 to 8 weeks old. In order to properly train your puppy, you will need to be very consistent with your dog training exercises and predictable with your pet at all times.

This will make it easier for them to remember the behavior you are trying to obtain. You want to avoid doing things that will put your pet in a situation to make a bad decision. For example, if you don’t want your puppy to eat food off of the table, try not to leave food on the table when you walk away.

This sets them up for failure. In order to teach your dog basic manners, you will want to start by rewarding the behavior you like and ignore the behavior you don’t like. Puppies like positive reinforcement, so this will help them get on the right track. Next, you’ll want to start teaching your dog training exercises such as commands and behaviors.

Teaching: “Sit”

In order to teach your pet to sit, you will need to start by saying sit before whatever they are about to do. For example, if you are about to feed your puppy, and you want them to sit while waiting for food, tell your puppy to sit while you are preparing the food by simply stating: “sit”. The first few times you will have to show your dog how to sit, but they will catch on pretty quickly.

You want to teach them when they are about to get something they want (such as food or belly rubs) because it will make them more inclined to comply since they are being “rewarded”. Teaching your puppy to sit before meals will prevent begging in the future. Teaching them to sit before going outside will prevent them from scratching the door and jumping on you when you get the leash.

Teaching: “Lay Down”

In order to teach your dog to lay down, you will want to first start while they are in the “sit” position. From there, you will first show them the sign for “lay down” which is lowering your hand to the floor. Then, you will show them how to lay down by gently putting them in the position. Once they have mastered laying down by the hand movement, you can then start saying “lay down” to add the command to the behavior.

Visitors

Some visitors may not be bothered by your dog jumping on them to get attention, but you need to be consistent with your pet. If your pet jumps on a visitor and that visitor pets them to get your dog to calm down, they have then rewarded that behavior. Ask your visitors not to acknowledge your dog when they act like that so that you can correct the behavior.

Food Training

Most desirable dog training exercises can be taught by the use of food as a reward. Take a small piece of food or “treat” and show it to your dog. Move the food to show your pet what you want them to do. Eventually, incorporate the command with the food so that your pet knows the command as well as the action.

In order to teach your pet just about any behavior, all you have to do is build a relationship with them, be consistent, and provide them with the opportunity to succeed. If you identify the behaviors that you want to avoid and start training them as puppies, they will be your well-mannered best friend for a very long time.

*indoorpet.osu.edu/dogs/puppy/basic-manners.

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Stephany
GR8NESS Writer
Stephany is a GR8NESS Contributing Editor who writes about pet care, CBD, stress, self care, meditation, time management, brain training, and natural remedies with a focus on the science behind it all. She has three dogs, three cats, walks half marathons, and practices yoga and powerlifting. You can often find her training her dogs or experimenting with new flavors in the kitchen.
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