Basic Puppy Etiquette: Continuing Mother’s Training

The term “etiquette” refers to an acceptable mode of social behavior. Unlike commands, which are executed only on order, manners color behavior at all times. Unless you and your dog still live in a cave, he will need some manners. Naturally, your pup’s mother began this phase of his education, teaching him to play gently, to wait his turn, to hold still for his bath, to greet her with deference, to stay close to home, etc.

Now you will continue her good work, housebreaking your pup, helping him to accept your absences, teaching him to  walk on a leash, respect your privacy, behave like a gentleman – not a wild animal. Two aspects of your dog’s nature make it possible for you to teach him manners and train him to obey commands.

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First, he is a pack animal. His pack instincts allow him to respect and revere a strong, clear leader. In fact, his mother gave him a wonderful model for how an alpha dog should conduct herself – with supreme confidence, with courage, with fairness, with intelligence, with final authority, with affection.

The second aspect of your dog’s nature that makes him a near perfect pet is that he is a den animal with an instinct to keep his sleeping quarters clean. It is this instinct that will allow you to rapidly housebreak your pup. And housebreaking is the natural place to begin his lessons in etiquette.