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Is your dog perfect in every way? Of course he is. What dog could possibly be better than your angel? None. But does everyone who meets him think so? Is his behavior so obnoxious that he’s not invited to events? Do your neighbors cringe when they see him coming? Then maybe it’s time to work on his social skills a bit.
Being a dog owner is more than just feeding him every day and letting him outside to go to the bathroom. Being a dog owner means you’re responsible for his behavior and how he acts around other people and dogs. When your dog barks all day at every leaf that blows past your window, it’s your job to manage him.
Luckily, there is a ton of information out there that can help you learn how to train your dog properly. Training does require you to spend a little extra time with your pooch and be incredibly patient. But it’s worth it in the long run. You and your dog will be better able to communicate with each other.
Teaching your dog manners at the door is an important way to get your dog to behave properly when guests arrive, but it can also save his life. Many dogs want to bolt out the door as soon as it’s open, causing him to take off in the neighborhood, or worse -- to run in front of a car. Having your dog know how to greet guests at the door can keep him safe (and make your life a lot less stressful).
Taking your dog for a walk is important for his overall health, as well as yours. If your dog has poor leash manners, though, walking can be an exercise in frustration for you both. If you teach your dog to properly heel, you can have a safe and fun way to spend time together. Dogs love walks because it gives them a chance to explore the world and sniff all the smells the other animals have left behind.
While you’re out walking, you’ll need to train your dog how to greet other dogs, too. If your dog tends to jump all over new dogs, this is not a good way to meet. If your dog jumps on another dog, even if his intent is to play, it can scare the other dog and cause him to become aggressive. Always ask the other dog owner if it’s OK to allow them to greet. If she says yes, then allow them to sniff each other on the leash. This is how they decide if the other dog is a threat.
The same theory goes for greeting other people. Your dog shouldn’t just jump up on strangers. While it’s very cute when they’re puppies, once their grown it can be frightening and dangerous to allow your big dog to jump on people. Teach your dog to meet people calmly. If you’ve already trained him to be polite at the door, greeting people in public shouldn’t be difficult.
If you take your dog to outdoor restaurants and coffee shops, make sure he knows how to behave in public. You can even teach him public etiquette at home. If your dog likes to climb up on tables and steal food, other guests aren’t going to be very happy with him. Teach your dog to sit and lie down, so that he can relax nicely in a patio area.
Remember that a tired dog is a well-behaved dog. Take him for a walk before you take him to a public place, so he’ll be tired and will relax. Then your dog can behave like a perfect little gentleman. Plus, you’ll get to spend more time with him and create better communication skills. Once your dog is a well-behaved sweetie, you’ll be able to take him just about anywhere.