Updated date:

How to Raise a Dog

Cassandra has enjoyed training her dog, Daisy, with a variety of command words and seeing Daisy's confidence grow.

My beloved Daisy, a Golden Retriever.

My beloved Daisy, a Golden Retriever.

Dogs Are Simple If You Teach Them Well

Dogs are fun-loving creatures who want to prove their love to their family. They are willing to do whatever it takes to love you. But if you misunderstand them or condemn them, they will be confused and unable to please you. You must teach them skills, language and tools to please you.

Teach them ten or twenty command words and use them with authority. Never use your dog’s name as a command to come or to stop bad behaviour. This doesn’t work. Instead, use commands such as the following:

  • Stop
  • Drop it
  • Let go
  • Go get it
  • Come
  • Lay down
  • Quiet
  • Wait
  • Stay
  • Good boy/girl

Write down the ten or twenty most important things your dog can do for you to make you feel good. Then teach your dog. Repeat them, and be consistent. Your dogs look to you for authority. If you look to them for authority, good luck.

9 Things to Teach Your Dog

Here are nine good ways to raise your dog up right. Your dog should learn to do the following:

1. Come When You Call

Reward your dog for coming, sometimes with cookies, sometimes not, and always pat them on the head when they arrive. Even when they are late or dawdling, always praise them on their return.

2. Go to the Bathroom Outside

Never allow your dog to use the indoors as their facility. Every time it happens teach them by showing them to the door with their collar kindly, and put the waste outside. Over time they will get your message.

3. Bark Only Reasonably

Train your dog to have some distance from you with in the house by leaving the dog behind a closed door for gradually increasing varying periods of time. (This tip is borrowed from a Swede I met in Oslo, Norway, with a new Black Lab.) Separation anxiety is a cause for barking.

4. Stay at Home Without Destroying Furniture (or Peace and Quiet)

Leave them at home with plenty of food and water and toys out. Gradually increase the amount of time spent away from home. Reward them with a treat upon your return. Praise them for ‘Waiting’. Give your dog this vocabulary.

5. Protect Your Home and Your Children

This is your dog’s natural instinct. Never laugh or downplay your dog’s protective acts. Remember that they pick up on your delivery of words as well as the words themselves and they understand more than you know because they listen to you constantly.

Daisy Mae

Wonderful dog!

Wonderful dog!

6. Eat Nutritiously

Deliver your dogs meals in a timely manner first thing in the morning. This gives them a sense of safety and as they wake up with an empty stomach as you do. Combine kibble with wet food to delight them. Add some scraps from the table to make them feel included.

7. Be Gentle With Other Dogs

Sit them down when a dog approaches. Teach them to respect other dogs, no rough playing or pushing allowed. Use your voice strictly and loudly to divert any roughhousing between dogs. No or Stop commanded alerts them and you’ll be able to separate them.

8. Have Manners Around Children

Sit them down to introduce them to children. Teach children who approach to stand back first and observe the dog from at least two feet away. Give a few moments to see how the dog reacts. Most friendly dogs will want to see and smell a child’s hand. They can smell cookies a mile away. Teach the child to approach the dog with their hand out to allow the dog to smell it. Then they can pat the dog on the head. Say, Good dog.

9. Stay off the Sofa

Don’t talk about the sofa, don’t debate using the sofa, draw the line and use it only for yourself. Sweep off a dog who over steps household boundaries. Then let the matter go. Matter of Fact.

Daisy Feels Confident

Daisy is a confident dog. She even has high self-esteem, mentioned by a passerby when they watched Daisy in a park. Notice in the video below how she always looks back to check on me and listens to me. She's even smiling.

Daisy is a happy dog, and I strive to give her the most vocabulary so that she understands what is happening around her. I always prepare her for things in advance so she feels she has some control, and this reduces her anxiety. She's the best dog I've ever had! My first dog.

Daisy and a Birthday Wish!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.