While most people would say they want an obedient dog, not everyone is willing to put in the work required to get one. Just like raising children, raising a dog requires work up front if you hope to be happy with the results later.
Many of the bad habits dogs develop, such as barking, whining and being timid, are the result of lack of socialization when they are young. Think about it, you would have trouble knowing how to act if you never left your house or back yard, so why expect more from your dog?
As soon as you get the OK from your vet, take your dog out on walks, to visit the park or simply to hang out on the front porch. It is important to switch things up, too, as walking the same route every day will not provide adequate socialization. Your pup needs to learn that seeing new things and hearing strange sounds are all normal, and nothing to worry about.
Participating in dog obedience classes with your pooch is a great way to teach him to behave, to socialize him with other dogs and improve bonding. While you can certainly teach your dog to sit, lie down and come when called on your own, participating in an obedience class gives you the added benefit of working with your dog while surrounded by distractions. You will be surprised at how quickly you and your dog progress with help from experienced trainers.
One of the challenges in raising a puppy into an obedient dog is in knowing what to allow. Behavior that are cute in puppies, like chewing on your fingers and jumping on you in greeting, may not be much fun when your pup gets a little older.
Rather than punishing him, gently correct him. When he runs up to greet you, squat down and gently press his hindquarters into the sitting position while you pet his neck and tell him he is a good boy. This way he will learn that this is how to greet people, not by jumping on them. When he tries chewing on your fingers while you're petting him, stop petting him and hand him a chew toy.
The most important step you can take in having an obedient dog is to be consistent. If you let him get by with bad behavior sometimes, or ignore you occasionally, it will be much more difficult to train him. If he isn't allowed to jump on people in greeting, that means the kids, too, even if they don't mind. If he is slow to come when called, go get him, don't stand there and continue to yell.
- Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images