Just like our children, we expect our dogs to have good manners. A well-trained dog makes everyday life so much easier. But unlike our children, we can't exactly teach our dogs to use words like "please" and "thank you" to ask for what they want and language to let them know whether what they want is allowed.
Don't despair! Even though we can't speak with our canine comrades, it is possible to use things like eye contact and verbal and non-verbal cues to give our pup permission to do something. The trick is training him to know when he has to ask for those permissions.
It is best to train your dog to ask permission when he is still a puppy, and to apply the need to ask for permission to any choice or decision that he may come across. The concept of permission can be a difficult one to communicate, so creating the types of uncertain situations your dog might encounter in his everday life in a controlled training environment is the best way to introduce him to the idea of waiting for your "yes" or "no" command before doing something.
The below methods can be used to train your dog to get used to the idea of asking permission before deciding to do pretty well anything encountered while in the house or on a walk with you.
These methods should first be practiced in highly-controlled environments where you have either set up the situation your dog is seeking permission for, or are able to control him if at first he does not understand the concept of not having permission to do something. This is a fairly abstract concept for a dog who has never been expected to ask before, so take training slowly and be patient. Practice the below steps for short increments of time over a few weeks, and don't put your dog in an unknown situation until you are sure he knows when he is allowed to act a certain way.
You will need:
- A short leash (about six feet)
- Your dog's favorite toys
- A clicker (if your dog is used to clicker training)