ONE: Your dog is a dog; not a person in a fuzzy dog suit. Even though he is a member of your family he will act like a dog.
TWO: Bad behavior isn’t personally directed at you so don’t take it personally. Treat bad behavior as a mistake and try to prevent it from happening again.
THREE: Limit your dog’s freedom in the house. He should not have free run of the house until he’s two to three years of age – no younger! Until then he’s not mentally mature enough to handle the responsibility.
FOUR: Limit your dog’s freedom off leash outside of a fenced yard for the same reason.
FIVE: Prevent problems from happening instead of trying to correct bad behavior. Bad behaviors can be self rewarding. Plus, corrections after the fact don’t work.
SIX: Teach your dog that ‘good’ is a magic word. Use it whenever your dog does something right, smile as you say it, and follow it with praise, petting or a treat.
SEVEN: Timing is very important. Praise your dog the instant he does something right and interrupt him the moment he makes a mistake.
EIGHT: Decide on rules for the house, the yard and out in public and enforce them consistently. Make sure everyone else in the house does so, too.
NINE: Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise every day. A walk is not enough exercise for a young, healthy dog. A run, a jog, a vigorous game of Frisbee is better. A tired dog is a happy dog!
TEN: Remember, you are taking the place of your dog’s parents so act like it. You are his leader, not his best buddy!