Doggie Dozen: Life Skills

Behavior and Training  •   Jasey Day  •   Oct 12, 2018


Often pet owners think that just mastering housetraining and crate-training  are the only goals to achieve when a pup is young or new to the house. However, there are several ambitions that you can add to your training list of “desired good dog behaviors.” Check out the below list of a “doggie dozen” behaviors that your dog should accomplish in order to “earn his keep” and have an amazing life in your loving home:


  1. Your dog should be courteous with his mouthing, play with his toys (not yours!), and not nip you or guests..
  2. Your dog is a polite host and should not jump on houseguests.
  3. He is willing to share his toys with you and other dogs. He accepts you and other humans near his food bowl.
  4. Your pup allows you, groomers, veterinary technicians and veterinarians to perform his needed hygiene and handling skills. This means bath time is not a battle. You or a groomer can trim his nails (see parts one and two of nail trimming blogs) so he doesn’t scratch people or your belongings accidentally. You brush his teeth or take other dental action to ensure he is healthy and has good doggie breath. Your dog is overall ok with being examined by you, the groomer or the veterinary staff.
  5. Your dog is a good citizen in the kitchen and does not steal food from the counter or table.
  6. Your dog is not destructive when left home alone or when left un-crated when he is old enough.
  7. He has some basic manners training, such as the Canine Good Citizen skills, leave it, sit and down.
  8. Your dog knows how to settle on command onto his bed or mat. This allows you to entertain guests, enjoy a meal, relax during a movie, cook, and clean without your dog getting underfoot.
  9. You can take your dog for a lovely walk and he walks loosely on leash.
  10. Your dog doesn’t try to bolt dangerously out the door and doesn’t burst through the door rudely – he calmly goes through the door.
  11. Your dog follows your rules about which furniture is for humans and which furniture, if any, is for dogs and humans. You also decide when your dog is or isn’t allowed on the furniture and have a command word to tell your dog to get off of the furniture.
  12. You can take your dog places in the car and it’s a fun experience! You’ve mastered any motion sickness and have a polite dog passenger.


How does your dog’s skillset compare to the list of achievable goals above? If any work is needed, read the associated blogs and get started. It’s never too late to modify behavior – all behavior is modifiable - and to have a more enjoyable pup!

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Jasey Day

About the Author
Jasey Day

Jasey Day is a Certified Canine Fitness Trainer (CCFT), which is a certification credentialed by the University of Tennessee. Since 2004, Jasey has taught a variety of workshops and classes on the following: Puppy, Canine Good Citizen/Family Pet, Advanced Family Pet, Canine Fitness, Canine Swimming, Rally, and Agility. In addition, Jasey has earned over 50 titles in Agility, Rally, and Trick Dog. Jasey has worked full time for the American Kennel Club since 2007 and teaches at Care First Animal Hospital in Raleigh, NC. Jasey’s Labrador Retrievers spend their free time hiking, training, and snuggling with Jasey.