What are dog manners?

Does your dog always get what he wants even if he is behaving badly? Bossy dogs have learned that manners don’t matter because they usually get what they want if they push hard enough. But, teaching your dog manners, specifically how to say “please,” can transform your dog’s behavior as well as your relationship with your dog.

Why we need dog manners

It’s an option you’ve probably never considered before. Teaching your dog to ask nicely for things can transform your dog’s behavior and the relationship you have with your dog. It always takes time for your dog and you to adjust to a new technique for communicating doggy needs.

We get it. When you have a bossy dog, as soon as you give into the dog’s demands, they no longer have a reason to be obnoxious. Dog owners might think it’s easier to simply give into the dog’s request to end the barking and such. But dealing with the inappropriate behavior at the root is a better way to deal with this issue.

How to train your dog to say please

In order to convey the idea of “please” to dogs, you should teach your dog any calm behavior as a way to communicate “please.” Sit is the easiest to use, but find what works best for you and your dog.

In this training, the main objective is for your dog to automatically assume the sit or “calm” position when the dog wants something. This is better than your dog waiting for you to ask him to sit. The message you are conveying to your dog is that when he sits, the dog is rewarded with good things. In order to practice this, you wait for your dog to sit before you start “working” for him. If your dog has had a bossy habit for a long time, you can try to subtlety lure your dog to sit.

Issues you may encounter

In order to teach your dog to ask for things nicely, avoid trying to ask your dog to sit, because your dog needs to associate sitting with getting what he wants. If your dog is being particularly stubborn about changing his old ways, you have to double down and not give into barking, whining, and other demanding behavior. Simply stop what you are doing until your dog sees that this behavior is no longer effective. If meal prep causes your dog to bark even louder, put his bowl down and walk away until he is calm. This training will teach your dog that asking nicely requires your dog to sit calmly and silently before he gets what he wants.

Where you can use dog manners

Once you have established the please behavior with your dog, the applications are endless. Think of it this way: if a family member or friend asks you for assistance and you expect a please for your assistance, then your dog should be able to ask for your help as well, nicely!

Here’s a quick list of situations your dog can implement his new doggy manners:

  • meals
  • walks
  • outdoor access
  • car manners
  • before you throw a ball
  • morning time

If you would like to learn more, check out the full article here.