Behavior Library - Dog Behavior Resources

Commands-Go to Your Bed

Teaching your dog to go to his bed (or crate) is relatively easy and very useful. Not only can you direct your dog to go lie down in situations when it’s nice to have him out from underfoot, for example during mealtimes or when visitors are at the door, but your dog will learn to settle at times when he might otherwise get over-excited.


Heel teaches your dog not to pull on leash and is great for times when you need to walk your dog in a controlled fashion, for example through crowded areas, when passing by another dog you don’t want your dog to meet, going by a group of children, or crossing the street, etc. It also teaches your dog to walk under control when off leash.

Commands-Leave It

When your dog can leave things on command, you can direct her not to pick up or even go near certain things—a very useful ability. For example, you can prevent your dog from accidentally ingesting toxic substances, or you can save your new pair of shoes from a set of teeth marks.


You can use an eye-contact command to get and keep your dog’s attention in situations that may be fear or anxiety provoking. It also inadvertently teaches your dog to look to you for leadership in situations where he feels confused.

Commands-Loose-Leash Walking

This exercise, also called “red light/green light,” teaches your dog that pulling on leash is not the way to get anywhere. The only way for him to make forward progress is to control his sled-dog impulses.

Commands-Name Recognition and Attention

Just like you would turn to look when someone says your name, dogs can learn to do the same. If your dog learns to pay attention to you when you say his name, he is more likely to hear when you give him verbal cues, see where you are going, and learn what you are trying to teach him.


Dogs bark for a number of reasons: people walking by, other dogs, boredom, frustration, and loneliness, for example. Some types of barking can be redirected and controlled with the quiet command.


Coming when called is one of the most important commands your dog can learn from both a usefulness and safety standpoint. Dogs don’t automatically come when called—regardless of how much they love and respect you. The only way to get a dog to come reliably when called is to train him to do it.


This one is a must and a behavior any dog can learn. A staple of all good dog manners, sitting when asked can help with polite greetings and as a first step to learning many other behaviors. For many dogs, sitting becomes their way of saying “please” when they would like you to throw a ball or open a door.


Stay is one of the most useful commands you can teach your dog. You can use it to keep your dog from overwhelming visitors to your house, prevent begging at the table, get your dog out from underfoot while you tend to household chores, or to make it easier to bring your dog to public places.


Teaching your dog the touch/target command means you can distract her from things you don’t want her to focus on and get her attention in situations that could be dangerous. You can also get your dog to touch an item or a person she might be a bit freighted of because this command instills more confidence in your dog.

Counter Surfing

Learn why dogs jump up on counters and how to address this behavior.

Crate Training Adult Dog

Teaching your dog to spend time alone in a crate can help with house-training, chew training, settling, and kenneling.

Crate Training Puppy

Teaching your puppy to spend time alone in a crate can help with house-training, chew training, settling, and kenneling.

Dental Cleaning

Learn why it is important to properly care for your pet’s teeth and the benefits of using anesthesia for a thorough cleaning and examination.

Dog-Dog Aggression Off Leash

Learn why dogs are aggressive to other dogs while off leash in a dog park and how to address this behavior.