The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to a Well-Behaved Dog

Reviewed By Tom •  Updated: 02/26/23 •  5 min read
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Step-by-Step Guide to a Well-Behaved Dog

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We all want a well-behaved dog, but sometimes it can feel like a never-ending battle. This guide is here to help you finally achieve the obedient pooch of your dreams. By following the simple steps outlined below, you’ll be on your way to doggy bliss in no time. It’s important to understand that some dogs may take longer than others to follow commands, so it’s important to be patient and consistent. So put on your best walking shoes and let’s get started!

1. Aggression Training

The first step in transforming your pup into a well-behaved canine is to work on aggression. Aggressive behaviors can be caused by fear and anxiety, so it’s important to address these issues as soon as possible. Achieving the right balance between assertiveness and calmness will help your pet learn how to respond appropriately when they feel threatened or uneasy. Additionally, it’s important to find a dog aggression training expert who can help guide you in the right direction. If you don’t know where to start, it’s always a good idea to consult with a vet or animal behaviorist.

2. Obedience Training

The second step to ensure your dog is well-behaved is to provide them with obedience training. This will help teach your pup basic commands and help you establish yourself as the pack leader in their eyes. Even if you have an older dog, it’s never too late to start obedience training; these skills are essential for any age! Start by teaching simple commands such as “sit,” “stay,” and “down.” Positive reinforcement through treats or praise is key when you’re teaching your pup new tricks — just be sure not to overdo it. It’s important to stay consistent with your training sessions so that they understand what behavior is acceptable and what isn’t.

3. Leash Training

Leash training is essential for dogs, especially if you plan on taking them out and about in public.  This will help to ensure that your dog listens to you and understands when it’s time to stop, go, or turn. Start by introducing the leash in the house and getting your dog used to wearing it. Once they are familiar with it, take them outside for practice walks. Keep a firm hold of the leash and give plenty of praise for good walking behavior. If your pup pulls on the leash too much, gently tug back until they come back into line; this helps establish that you are leading them rather than following them.

4. Socialization

Socialization is an important part of training your puppy or adult dog. It’s the process of exposing them to other people and animals, so they learn how to interact with others in a safe way. The most successful socialization takes place while they are young, usually between 4–14 weeks of age. During this period, puppies should be exposed to new sights, sounds, smells, surfaces, and environments on a daily basis. Take your puppy on walks and introduce them to other people (have those you know give treats). Have guests over at home often and let your pup explore the outdoors safely under supervision.

5. Exercise Your Dog

Exercising your dog is essential for their physical and mental health. Not only does it help to maintain a healthy weight, but also it balances out their energy levels and can even reduce stress or anxiety in some cases. Taking your pup on daily walks or playing fetch are great ways to get them moving while they’re still young and energetic. As they age, make sure that you give them enough rest time as well. Make sure that the exercise plan suits both of your needs—if you’re not getting any enjoyment out of the activity then it won’t be beneficial for either of you.

6. Crate Training Your Dog

Crate training your dog is one of the best ways to ensure they stay well-behaved when you’re not around. It can take some time for them to get used to it, but with patience and consistency, you’ll soon have a pup that’s comfortable in their crate. Start by introducing the crate as a positive experience: leave treats and toys inside, so that your pup associates it with something enjoyable. Once they’re comfortable entering on their own and spending short periods of time inside, you can extend the duration and add rewards each time they go in or stay put quietly.

7. Monitor Your Dog’s Progress and Reassess

Now that you have a few techniques to work with, it’s important to monitor your dog’s progress, reinforce positive behavior, and reassess if needed. Start small, take things slow, and don’t expect too much too soon — Rome wasn’t built in a day! Give yourself and your pup time to adjust. When teaching new behaviors or managing existing ones, consistency is key. Make sure everyone in the household agrees on how to handle each situation so no one sends conflicting messages. If something isn’t working or you feel like you’re at a standstill with training, consider enlisting the help of an experienced dog trainer or animal behaviorist for professional guidance.

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Tom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!