What are the First Habits to Teach your Dog?

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Translated by Nick R

Just like people create habits and routines, dogs also have to go through this learning process. Habits allow your pet to follow an organized lifestyle. Therefore, here I’ll explain in detail everything related to the first habits to learn.

The importance of educating your pet 

Through this education stage, your furry friend will have a happy and healthy life. Three vital aspects will influence your relationship with your canine.


As the canine is taught each habit, it will adapt to a routine. A constant process will help it a good behavior.

It implies issues such as the dog telling you when it wants to relieve itself or behaving judiciously instead of destroying everything.

State of health 

Keeping your dog’s state of health in optimal conditions is paramount. This is reflected in their eating habits. You must, for example, control the daily amount of food consumed, so as to avoid excesses or, on the contrary, the lack of food.

It is also reflected in the dog’s physical condition. This includes relieving itself on time. If it has to hold it repeatedly, it may develop health problems in the future.

Interaction and socialization 

Playing with people and other dogs is essential for your canine to live in a calm environment. Interaction allows a pleasant and stress-relieving place.

By locking up the animal or not teaching it to socialize can bring disadvantages related to the interaction with others. Your dog may become violent or skittish and that will cause stress for both you and your pet.

Negative effects of no-habit teaching 

If you, as the owner and responsible, do not teach your dog these habits, you should not blame it for the behavior it develops. Your duty is to help it adapt so that both of you can live perfectly together.

I’ll show you the adverse effects resulting from not educating your dog.


A dog with no consistent routines will be unpredictable. This is problematic because you won’t be prepared for whatever action your pet does. For example, your dog may feel the urge to urinate in the early morning and do it on your bed or any other place.

Bad behavior 

This aspect includes different issues regarding the canine’s behavior. If you don’t teach him properly or you stop doing it, the relationship with its environment will be clearly affected.

The first factor is a dirty and messy environment. Without previous learning, the dog will do what it wants when it wants, in this case its bathroom in any part of the house. On the other hand, poor or no socialization will cause interaction problems.

This will be dangerous for you, for it, and for other people and dogs as one of them may get hurt. While frightened dogs won’t allow anyone to approach them to help.

Likewise, it can happen that it doesn’t pay attention to any command. This makes it harder to handle in the street and at home. This won’t only cause stress, but will also make its environment tense and aggressive, as it can’t do what it wants to.

For example, with you absent to control it, the dog may go to unauthorized places or destroy something.

Health problems 

These problems are related to its diet or some function of its body system.

Without an eating schedule, you will feed your dog at any time and give it too much or too little, creating nourishing problems. On the other hand, if you don’t give him just the right amount of food, it may develop obesity or anorexia, and both problems will gradually become very dangerous if nothing is done about it.

As for the function of their systems, these can be affected by the behavior the canine adopts. An example of this may be when the owner reprimands the pet for relieving himself at home, as he was never previously taught to relieve himself outside.

Learning differences between puppies and adults 

Teaching a puppy is not the same as teaching an adult canine. The learning process changes according to the stage they are in. Now let’s look at the differences.


When puppies, dogs have no notions at all, so they will begin to interact with the environment and identify what it is and what things they can do with it. As they are in a learning and exploring process, the canines will be very prone to distractions.

As the puppy will want to do many things you must not reprimand it, but above all, you must be patient, for it will gradually learn. This process should be fun for your puppy so that it doesn’t develop strange behavior in the future.


Here they have already had experience with the environment. It will be easier for them to learn and adapt because they have a notion of interacting with people or dogs. Remember to be consistent with these dogs.

However, certain canines may have experienced an event that marked them. Therefore, they may have developed inappropriate behaviors. Remember to be patient and consistent in these cases. By teaching gently, your dog’s behavior will change.

What do you need to train your dog? 

Both you and your pet require certain skills to make this learning process possible. Some are emotional and others are material.

The owner 

As the person in charge, you must possess certain skills to make the process work.  They are patience, consistency and time.


Bear in mind your dog won’t learn overnight. Everything is a process and patience will be paramount.

So, if your dog doesn’t listen to you, don’t scold it too hard, let it know once that what it did was not right while pointing out the place.. Together with a good attitude, your furry friend will get the best education possible.


Habits are created by repeating an action several times and this applies to dogs in the same way.

As the saying goes, if practice makes perfect, don’t expect your pet to obey you and behave well if you stopped teaching it or were not consistent with its learning.


You must have enough time to teach your dog calmly and not to be anxious.

Calmness and a good environment will make your furry feel comfortable and willing to cooperate. Eagerness and forcing it to do things faster won’t do any good and, on the contrary, both of you will end up stressed.

The pet 

For this process, your pet requires some things to make the learning process understandable and complete. Some of the items it needs are the respective food and drink containers, a bed, a collar, and a toy. These are the basic items for these habits.

The bowls

Bowls are essential for your dog to identify and know when it is being fed.

The Bed

This item will allow a single place for your canine to determine where he can rest.

The Collar

This item will be important when taking your furry friend for a walk. Your dog will be able to recognize it as a signal for going outside.

A Toy

Having a toy or several toys is ideal for the canine to play and distract itself. This will help it release stress and energy.

7 Habits you should teach your dog 

Now I’ll show you the habits you should teach your dog so that both of you can have an excellent relationship.


This is a daily habit, so your pet will internalize it faster. The number of times you feed them will depend on the veterinarian’s recommendations.

First, you must determine the place for your pet to eat, so that this area is always the same and not confusing. Once there, put the bowl for the dog to eat and lift it up when finished.

WARNING! Some dogs eat all day long. If yours is like that, leave the food there and only lift the bowl once it has eaten all of it. This way, your pet will always know where to eat.

For the water, it works the same, but away from the food; maybe in another corner of the room, so that there is no mess. You should not remove it as your dog will constantly drink water. On the contrary, you must refill it every time it runs out of water.

In addition, it is advisable to keep it in a place where there is no problem with it being frequently wet. Some dogs splash or drip water around while drinking, leaving the floor wet. Every time you notice this it is best to dry so that the water does not pool.


  • If you have more than one dog, it is best to keep their bowls separated, if possible where they cannot see each other. Canines are very territorial with their food.
  • Another tip is to give each one a bowl with a different color to make it easier for them to identify it. Theses colors, and grey, are what they can distinguish.

Time to relieve themselves 

Hours to go out 

Here comes into play the necklace. With this item, your pet will recognize faster the action of going out. You should initially do this 2 to 3 times a day for a month, in the morning, afternoon, and evening.

The outing times can be in the morning when you get up, most pets get up with their owner. If this is not the case, it can be at a time from 7 am to 8 am.

In the afternoon it can be after you have lunch and if you have lunch too early or too late, the time slot to take him out can be from 2 pm to 3 pm. Finally, in the evening you can do it when you go to sleep, but if you still do it too early or too late, the appropriate time would be between 8 pm to 9 pm.

However, if your available time only allows you to take it out twice a day, the ideal time frame in the morning would be from 10 am to 12 pm and in the evening from 8 pm to 10 pm.

Process  of training

The process for your little friend to identify the going-out signal will begin with you picking up the collar and calling your pet. Next, you’ll say the word GO while shaking the collar a little, then you put it on and go out with your pet.

As mentioned before, the dog will learn the collar and the voice command as signals for going out to pee.

On the other hand, this habit should be done daily 2 to 3 times, 10 to 15 minutes minimum. There’s no limit of time, but the ideal is 25 to 30 minutes; it will depend on your dog’s eating habits or physiognomy.

This is because some dogs consume more food or water so they require more outings.  This is related to their size: a Pinscher will consume much less than a giant Japanese Akita, for example.

Not indoors 

Clearly, it’s wise to take your pet outdoors and avoid getting your house dirty and odorous. However, there are times when your dog will simply want to urinate and will do so without warning. In these cases, pay attention when your dog drinks water to take it outside near a post to urinate, if possible.

In case you can’t and you have a place in your house such as a garden, a yard or a terrace, you should teach him that this is the only place where he can urinate when he is at home.

Remember to clean well after it urinates and use an air freshener so that the odor does not intensify. This is only if your dog drinks a lot of water and you cannot take him outside at the moment.

Normally, dogs give more warning in situations when they feel like pooping, but you will still interpret this as something general that they want to relieve themselves.

Why is it important for your dog to learn this? 

This is done so that the canine has a sense of time or knows the right time to relieve himself. However, since it already knows these signals, there will be times outside the usual schedule when it feels the urge to go to the bathroom.

The dog will make signals such as looking at its collar, barking, or getting restless to let you know it wants to go out. At that time you will simply say GO, so it knows you will indeed take it out.


  • If you are going to take your canine out right after eating, it is best to wait 15 to 20 minutes so that it can rest its food well and also drink water.
  • It is recommended that you do not give your dog water after his last outing of the day or very late at night. This may cause the canine to feel the urge to urinate in the early morning and urinate in the house.
  • When outdoors, it is up to you to decide whether to release your dog to explore the terrain or keep it on a leash. This, because there are canines that heed their master’s call and others that simply won’t stop walking away, so you will have to go after it to prevent it from getting lost. If you choose the leash option, do not keep it tucked in, let it loose, but hold it firmly so your dog doesn’t feel that you are holding it and it will tense up.
  • With or without the leash, you should make sure it doesn’t sniff where there is food. This is because it could possibly ingest it or it could have some poison in it and could be serious for your dog. If it does ingest the food or bones, you must take them out of its mouth before the food passes. If your dog starts acting strangely after smelling the food, take it to the veterinarian immediately, so they can determine that he is not in danger.

Prohibited places 

You’ll need to forbid your pet to stay in certain places for safety reasons and to prevent it from making a mess or breaking something unintentionally. I’ll show you what to do so your dog gets used to staying in certain spaces.

Process of training 

Whenever you see your dog in one of the forbidden areas, go to it and call its name along with the command “COME” or “QUIET”. Once you have your dog’s attention, immediately tell it HERE NO by making the no sign with your finger. Repeat this 2-3 times so that it understands the message and then you take it out by saying GO THERE, LET’S GO, or TO THE BED. You will also repeat this 2-3 times.

Some dogs are restless so while they learn, they will wander to these areas. They will understand sooner or later depending on how often you use it.

Finally, it’s important that it follows and heeds after receiving the command. Eventually, your furry friend will know that it shouldn’t be there at all.

Areas to forbid 

Below I’ll show you some areas to keep your pet out of and the reason why he/she shouldn’t be there.

The Kitchen

This is the most dangerous area for pets since there are utensils that can cut, fragile objects, and the stove. Your canine shouldn’t stay in this area because it can get hurt and result in a burn or cut, especially if your dog is restless.

The Dining Room (at mealtimes)

When mealtime arrives, it is preferable not to let your dog be a spectator while you eat. This is so the dog doesn’t expect to get something. Let the dog know that you won’t feed it while eating, and at the end of the meal, you can choose to give it a snack.

The Rooms

It is best not to let your pet stay here if you want to keep these parts clean and tidy. Some canines can cause a mess and even break something.

Besides, some breeds shed a lot of fur due to their physiognomy, such as Golden Retrievers. So, don’t expect to keep it clean if they stay here. Dog hairs attach easily to the fabric and are hard to remove.

Work or Study Area

Here you keep your documents organized, so if your furry one is energetic and playful, it’s best to get it out of there. Whether they are playing or distracted, they can make a mess or break something.

Areas with delicate plants or objects

Your dog should stay away from these areas as items there should be handled carefully. The dog’s curiosity will make it put its snout where it shouldn’t and may break a plant or take the soil out of its pot.

Moreover, some plants like lily of the valley, wild crocus, and mistletoe, among others, are toxic to dogs so they should not be left somewhere accessible to your dog. You don’t want your furry friend to suffer any intoxication.

Therefore, It’s better to reprend your little friend from the beginning and avoid further headaches.

The laundry area

As the laundry area is almost always full of clothes, you don’t want it to get dirtier than it already is, nor full of hairs. Aside from the hair problem, your dog may want to play with the clothes within reach and take it to chew on it and drag it across the floor.

Exceptions for dogs

The above may be applied by the owner if he/she wishes to do so. However, there will be owners who won’t mind their pets walking in these places.

Also, this will also change according to what the owner wants or the type of dog you have. Some dogs have a serene and very calm personality, which makes their main purpose to be companionship. So if this is the case and you as his owner want him to accompany you at all times, you can allow him to do so.


  • If you will let your dog accompany you to any area and you want it to be comfortable, take its bed or a blanket so it can stay there sitting or lying down.
  • Do not place it in a place where it can break something unintentionally, look for an area clear of objects.
  • The kitchen is a more complex issue, so if your furry friend wants to accompany you, you can put it outside. Or, if the kitchen is spacious, you can put it far away from the stove and dangerous utensils. But remember, it is better not to let it be there.
  • You can leave the doors closed in places where you don’t want him to go, while the canine is in the process of learning.
  • You can choose the option of using a dog pen and putting the dog in it when it is very restless. If, on the other hand, it is not so energetic, the pen can be used only to delimit the area where you allow it to be.

Sleep in its own bed or house 

From the beginning, you should teach your dog to sleep in its own bed or house, if it has one. For this, call it to its bed, saying COME and patting it on the bed. Once it is on the bed, you can lay it down. Pet it a little so that it relaxes and say BED and pat the bed again.

You can repeat this 3-4 times a day if the dog is following you a lot. After it understands that this is where it can lie down, simply tell it TO THE BED and point to where it is.

If it is the case that it wants to lie down either on your bed, the dining room chairs, or the sofa, it is good for you to put it down and tell it HERE NO followed by TO BED. You can repeat this twice.


  • The bed you choose should be the right size for your pet and not too small so that the animal is comfortable. Also, try to make sure it is padded so that he feels comfortable and feels good to rest there.
  • If it sleeps in a house, adapt the place so that it doesn’t feel uncomfortable there.

Answer to its name 

Believe it or not, this is one of the most important habits to teach your pet since it will respond to its name every time you call it. Always call it by its name, at least until it understands that this is its name.

This process is very simple, you just have to call it always by its name every time you want it to do something. You can also call it frequently so that it comes to you and you can pet it for a while or give it a snack.

As it is too constant a process, the canine will soon get used to its name.


Unless you got your dog from puppyhood and it doesn’t have a name or you picked it up from the street and you don’t know its name, you can give it one. If you acquired it already with a name, you better call it that way, so the animal doesn’t get confused and later doesn’t know what name it should answer to.

After a long time of responding to its name, if you want you can use nicknames or affectionate names with it. Not before because it can cause confusion and it won’t know whether to respond or not.


For this habit, you need a toy for your canine. It’s vital to designate play times either at home or when taking it for a walk so that the animal knows when it can play.

For this you don’t need a process, you just need to give voice commands and show the object. Then when it’s time, you tell it GO LET’S PLAY and show the toy right away. Once you see that your dog has calmed down and is no longer using the toy, take it away to let it know that playtime is over.

If you don’t have a toy, you can run with your canine and play catch. When done, stop it and pet it to calm it down. Then, you will say NO MORE or IT’S OVER, followed by walking back home slowly with it if you are outside.

If you are at home you can use the same voice commands, leave it there quietly or send it to bed to rest.


The minimum time to play with your dog should be 10 to 15 minutes a day. There are no limits though, so you can play with your pet all day or 30 minutes, as you prefer.

Things your pet cannot play with or bite. 

In this case, it is important that it has a toy so he can chew on it as he wants. It will be distracted chewing on the toy and not chewing on other things.

If you cannot get it a toy for now, you must teach it not to chew on things. To do this, call your dog to the objects not to chew or play with. Then, tell it NO GAME by pointing to the object and repeating it 2-3 times before you start the game and after you’re done with it.

If you have a toy, point to it and say the word PLAY so that it understands that only that object can play. If you want to know more tips for your dog to behave and not destroy, I invite you to read the 13 tips for your dog not to bite everything at home.


  • If you play inside the house, remember to clear the playing area to avoid possible accidents or breaking any object.
  • If outside, it is up to you whether to let your dog off the leash or not. This will depend on whether the dog is judicious and pays attention at the moment or, on the contrary, is too active and won’t stop running.
  • Get it a sturdy toy that will last longer so you don’t have to keep buying new ones.
  • Play with your pet during the day or evening so you don’t bother your neighbors.

Stay inside when the door is open. 

When the front door opens, some dogs are curious about going outside or peeking out to look at the view. When this happens, you should tell your dog QUIET, walk a little and turn around and repeat the voice command QUIET again. After this, so it doesn’t stay there waiting, you can send him to bed, telling him TO BED or LET’S GO.

This is done when the canine has been at home for a short time and is still adapting. After one or two months, depending on the dog’s behavior, it will stop approaching the door when it is open.

Usually, after a dog gets used to its new home it will ignore the fact that the door is open or simply approach it to look for a moment and go back to its bed.


If your dog is restless, avoid leaving the door open so as not to give it a chance to run away. You can use the pen to block the exit and then give the command to leave the door.