How to Teach Your Dog Good Manners and Prepare for Social Interactions

To prepare your dog or pup to be socially confident and able to cope in the human world, you need to teach him basic cues. These cues help to ensure that your dog is well mannered, able to communicate with you, as well as modify dangerous unwanted behavior such as aggression.

How do I teach my dog good manners to help him with social interactions? Let’s find out.

Behaviors to teach your dog

For your dog to be well mannered, he needs to undergo several types of behavioral training. Here are some of the things that you can teach your dog to improve his manners and prepare him for social interactions.

  • Settling on a mat

Does your dog become too excited when someone comes at the door or when you are eating something? Well, then you need to train him to settle. Some of the items you need for this training are a mat, treats, and a clicker.

Settling skills are vital as they help a dog to remain still when people come to your home, and also to wait for their turn to eat.

If your dog fails to move during this training, toss him a treat, without clicking to get him up and moving. If your dog is unresponsive and just stares at you, stand still and look at the mat. Resist any urge to help your dog to step on the mat.

  • Loose leash walking

Does your arm ache every time you walk your dog because he cannot walk without pulling away? Well, that’s because dogs naturally get distracted by the fun and exciting smells, sounds, and sights from every direction, which causes them to pull away. Additionally, walking with a loose leash is not natural for dogs. 

Loose leash training will help a dog to focus on you most of the time as you walk with him, make walking fun for the dog, and strengthen the bond that you have with your dog. 

  • Hand targeting

Hand targeting is an essential skill that teaches your dog how to focus his attention on you. It also teaches dogs what to do when strangers approach with open arms, a practice that is sometimes considered a threat by dogs. 

Additionally, this skill is helpful for dogs who become distracted or nervous in certain situations, such as when other dogs approach — not forgetting that hand targeting skills teach a dog how to greet people politely instead of jumping on them. Most importantly, it will make visits to the vet much easier by keeping the dog focused on your hand.

  • Cheek targeting

Once your dog has mastered hand targeting, you can move on to other parts of the body, such as the cheek. Cheek targeting is equally important and very helpful when it comes to veterinary visits and husbandry care.

  • Waiting at a boundary

Boundary training teaches your dog to stay out of certain areas. This skill is not only useful in keeping your dog out of rooms, but it can also save his life. 

  • Socialization

If you want your dog to have good manners and be friendly with the people that he meets in and out of your home, teach them socialization. Unlike human beings, dogs are not born social animals. Therefore, you ought to teach them to bond with humans, other dogs, and animals through early positive experiences.

Socialization should be done when your pup is approximately 4-12 weeks old. This skill will help your dog t have better interactions with humans and other animals. 

Although every dog is unique in his own way, a dog’s behavior is mainly dependent on the way he is bred, trained, and socialized. If you have several dogs, slightly change your training approach dog to dog because every dog has a different personality. Most importantly, be patient, even if your dog takes time to master a skill.

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