Basic Manners Course: Start here

Basic Manners Course: Start here

Basic Manners

A four-week training program


This step-by-step curriculum is designed to improve dogs' overall behavior.

The four basic lessons

These four lessons, practiced regularly, will give you more control over your dog, and they are fun to train! No pulling, yanking, yelling, pinching or nagging is required.

  • Lesson One: Settle
  • Lesson Two: Stay
  • Lesson Three: Pay attention
  • Lesson Four: By me

What you’ll need

  • A four-to-six foot cable with heavy-duty snaps on either end (see How to make your own tether (PDF), or purchase one on Amazon).
  • A six-foot leash and harness or non-metal collar.
  • A variety of treats your dog loves, such as hot dogs, chicken, cheese or liver treats. Check with your veterinarian if you’re not sure what kinds of food your dog can have.
  • Your dog’s regular kibble.
  • A food-dispensing toy (like a Kong) and fillings such as peanut butter, canned food, cream cheese; or chew treats such as bully sticks.

Frequently asked questions

Q: How long should each training session last?

A: Training sessions of no more than 10 minutes and 2-5 minutes per exercise are best, with several sessions (or as many as you can manage) during the day.

More short sessions are better than a couple of long ones. Your dog should feel a little tired after each session — learning is stressful!

Your dog will learn best if you don't overwhelm him with all-new information each time; warm up before each session with older, easier tricks and cues before beginning to practice the newer, harder stuff.