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Feels like a pretty fair and true statement, right? Rarely though does a dog just magically become well behaved. Dogs need obedience training or puppy training if we're talking about a new pup. Some dogs need advanced dog training, but no matter what, every dog needs to start with basic obedience training. But where and how do you start?
Right here! Basic Manners on Dogly is an ever-growing resource guide for you and your dog to start working together in your own training sessions. We have 4 guides created for you and your dog through a collaboration of certified dog trainers all using positive reinforcement training. We'll take you through an overview of the 4 guides or you can go straight to the Basic Manners training here.
Basic manners are the building blocks of obedience training. They lay the foundation for more complicated behaviors and can help prevent problem behaviors from developing in the future. Teaching your dog basic manners is one of the best things you can do for your relationship with your dog. If you don't have the basics, I promise any advanced training issues will be nearly impossible to work through down the road. Not to mention, dog training, in general, is a great way to have a stronger bond with your dog and give your pup the physical and mental stimulation every dog needs!
This seems simple but it's probably the most important and also one of the hardest things to teach ourselves as pet parents in dog obedience training. What this essentially means is reward the good behavior instead of punishing the bad when training your dog. It's giving your dog a tasty treat for all the right things he/she does instead of saying "no" for any not-so-right things.
If you want to put this into practice, jump to the full guide here from positive reinforcement dog trainer, Tessa Fessenden-McKenzie.
Now that we have a base for our dog training, let's focus on learning one of the most useful manners skills in a range of situations, "touch."
Teaching "touch" is one of the first behaviors certified trainers teach most dogs. That's because it's a versatile foundational behavior you can use to set up your dog for success in so many situations.
That's also why positive reinforcement trainer and Dogly Advocate Melissa Dallier created this guide so both you and your dog can add "touch" to your repertoire - or refresh your skill if you already know it.
(You can also watch Melissa demonstrate step by step in the accompanying video.)
Here's a quick overview of the 5 steps to teach hand targeting aka "touch!"
The guide includes all the nuances and troubleshooting for each step, so you'll want to follow along in the full guide here where you can also learn the steps visually as Melissa takes you through it with her dog.
Another behavior that is so worth it to take the time teaching your dog is the cue "drop it," up next...
As pet owners, knowing how to teach our dogs to "drop it" is huge. That goes for chew toys, your dog's food bowl, your favorite shoe, or even food your dog shouldn't be eating. If you have a begging dog, you'll want to be especially good at this cue. "Drop it" is an important cue because it can help prevent your dog from getting into things they're not supposed to and can also help keep them safe (e.g., if they pick up something poisonous).
This is a fairly simple overview, so to properly train this behavior head over to the full guide here. You'll also see a word of warning on resource guarding in the full guide. If your dog is a resource guarder, get a certified positive reinforcement trainer involved before trying this yourself. We have lots of great trainers in the Advocate Community we would be happy to recommend.
Now that you have a reliable "drop it" cue with your dog, let's move on to how to teach your dog not to jump.
Jumping is a super common behavior issue for most dogs. It's a behavior that's important to work on to keep your dog safe as well as the person he/she is jumping on. Force-free dog trainer and separation anxiety specialist, Melissa Dallier shared a video to help you teach your dog not to jump as well as 6 tips to follow while training your dog, and she troubleshoots some common behavior problems all here.
And that's it! You and your dog have made it through all of the guides in Basic Manners on Dogly. Not only does your dog know some amazing new obedience cues but you've learned how to train those behaviors too. Well done!
If you want to keep training and learning with your dog, you can continue in the Manners Channel to Food Manners, Travel Manners, Public Manners or even Holiday Manners.
Enjoy the better bond you're building with your dog and if you need help, you can ask the Dogly Advocates in any channel or work with them one-on-one through Dogly.
DISCLAIMER: The content of this website and community is based on the research, expertise, and views of each respective author. Information here is not intended to replace your one-on-one relationship with your veterinarian, but as a sharing of information and knowledge to help arm dog parents to make more informed choices. We encourage you to make health care decisions based on your research and in partnership with your vet. In cases of distress, medical issues, or emergency, always consult your veterinarian.