Manners. We all expect them from others, especially those we interact with daily. But what about our four-legged friends? Like humans, teaching your dog good manners makes for a much more pleasant experience for everyone involved. This podcast and blog post will discuss the difference between training and behaviour and why your dog needs both!
- What are manners, and why do dogs need them?
- The difference between training and behaviour
- Where to start when training manners
- Ways to correct bad manners in dogs
- Tips for establishing good manners in your dog
What are manners, and why do dogs need them?
Manners are a set of social behaviours that allow us to interact politely with others. They help us to avoid potentially awkward or offensive situations and can make us feel more comfortable in social settings.
Dogs need manners for many of the same reasons that we do. They help them to interact safely and politely with other dogs and people and can make them feel more comfortable in new environments. Just as importantly, good manners help to create positive first impressions, which can be essential for dogs who are meeting new people or visiting new places.
Teaching your dog good manners is a great way to invest in their future happiness and success. It’s also a lot of fun! Training dogs to do super cool-looking tricks, fancy heelwork, snappy moves, and creative skills, in whatever that sport or skill set may be, is also fun but does not necessarily mean that the dog is well behaved, obedient, or relaxed in the home.
One of the most common things we see missing in most of the dogs we see with behavioural problems is self-control. Many of these dogs are overstimulated and unable to switch off; they are constantly over-arousal. The owners are often unaware of the value of teaching the dog to switch off.
High-energy activities like agility, running, and other sports or hobbies may (temporarily) wear the dog out, but will they result in a calm, relaxed, well-behaved dog in the home in the long run? Probably not. You are more likely to be creating an athlete, and your dog will likely get fitter and fitter.
The difference between training and behaviour
Dogs are wonderful creatures that bring joy into our lives. They provide us with companionship, unconditional love, and hours of fun. But as any dog owner knows, they also require a lot of work. Training a dog is essential for ensuring that they grow up to be well-behaved members of the family. But what exactly is the difference between training and good behaviour?
Training is about teaching your dog specific commands and behaviours. This can include everything from teaching them to sit and stay to more complex tricks or obedience exercises. Good behaviour, on the other hand, is about your dog behaving in a manner acceptable to you and those around them.
This includes things like:
- Not jumping up on people
- Not begging for food
- Not chewing furniture
- Not Settling
- And so on.
While training is certainly important, good behaviour is what ultimately makes a happy and well-adjusted dog. And that’s something that every dog owner can strive for.
Many dogs do very well with well-structured high-energy hobbies and do benefit from them, but there are also dogs, especially those with behavioural problems related to a lack of self-control, who do not. These dogs would benefit more from slowing down, learning self-control, and learning how to relax and switch off.
Self-control is incredibly important; it gives the dog the ability to self-manage. A dog with self-control is often far more relaxed and able to make better choices. They are in a calmer mindset and, as a result, less likely to make inappropriate choices or display inappropriate behaviours.
Where to start when training your dog manners
Training your dog’s manners is a great way to build a bond of trust and respect between you and your furry friend. And it’s never too late to start! The most important thing is to be consistent in your commands and rewards so that your dog knows what behaviour you’re looking for. Here are a few basic tips to get you started:
1. Always use the same word or phrase when asking your dog to do something, like ‘sit’ or ‘stay’. This will help them understand what you want them to do.
2. Be patient and praise your dog when you’ve asked them to do something, like sitting still or coming when called. This will encourage them to keep up the good work!
3. Be consistent with your rules – if you don’t want your dog on the couch, then make sure everyone in the family knows not to let them up there. Consistency will help your dog understand what’s expected of them.
With a little patience and consistency, you’ll be well on your way to training your dog manners in no time! Teaching dogs to relax, be calm, and chill out is very often overlooked, yet it is incredibly important for their wellbeing.
This does not mean you can’t have fun with your dog. We have lots of fun with our dogs every day, and we absolutely believe in and understand the importance of appropriate levels of exercise, play, and mental stimulation.
If your dog is displaying undesirable behaviours and your trainer is only recommending more exercise, distraction techniques or more mental stimulation, they are very likely missing some vital pieces of advice.
If you’re looking to train your dog’s manners, be sure to check out our courses for more tips! From basic to more complex commands, we’ll help you get started on the right foot. And remember, be patient and consistent – with a little practice, your dog will be well on their way to being a well-behaved family member!
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