Recognize Default Behavior

Here are some telltale default behaviors:

• He stops automatically at the door and waits for your permission to go.

• He walks next to you without being told to HEEL.

• He lies down automatically at mealtimes.

• He knows to lie down under your chair or at your side when out in public.

• He circles back and checks in with you while you're hiking, no COME necessary.

Don't forget to praise his cooperation at these times!

In some instances, you can encourage default behavior. When you approach a door, pause; if your dog doesn't stop with you, tug the leash gently and say NO. If he knows the direction, you will notice that he steps back in an effort to contain himself. If he continues, he doesn't know the direction well enough to respond without a verbal cue. Keep practicing!

Has your dog internalized walking near you? Take him out on his leash and begin your normal routine without commanding HEEL. Does he pull ahead or sniff around?

If so, tug the leash and say NO. Does he step back to your side? If so, praise and reward him. If not, you'll need to continue with your verbal commands for a bit longer.

When you sit down with company or when you're in town, does your dog sit or lie down under you without being told? If so, praise him. If not, tug the leash, say NO, and remind him of your expectations.

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