Teach Early Manners

Believe it or not, you can teach your puppy the human equivalent of saying please. It's not a vocal equivalent, but a very civilized behavior nonetheless. He will learn to sit whenever he wants something, from asking to be let out to requesting food or attention. Before offering your puppy anything he considers positive, direct him to SIT. Position him immediately if he is too excited or distracted to mind you.

Leave a leash on your puppy if he's a wild jumper. Step on the leash so that he has only enough room to get a few inches off the ground before feeling tugged. If the jumping occurs at mealtimes, put his food and water dishes down only after he is calm and is sitting.

Do not let your puppy jump up and grab toys out of your hand. If you're holding a toy and your puppy jumps at you, lift the toy above your head. Reintroduce the toy and release or toss it only after your puppy is sitting.

Repeat the same sequence with treats. Offer your puppy a treat by holding it above his head. If he jumps, lift it up. Reintroduce it, offering the snack only after your dog is sitting calmly.

When your dog approaches you for a pat or a belly rub, ask him to SIT first. Pawing, staring, or whining is an uncivilized way to get attention. When your dog sits, it is the canine equivalent of saying please.

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