A sociable, well behaved dog is a delight. An unsociable, badly behaved dog is a nightmare! There are many things that you can do to make your dog a good citizen.
Get your puppy from a reputable breeder
Your puppy’s first few weeks are crucial to their later temperament and sociability. Making sure that your puppy’s breeder has reared the puppies in the home and exposed them to a wide variety of experiences and people is really important. The Puppy Socialisation Plan is a great tool for this.
Take your dog to training classes
Training classes can help you and your dog to work well together as well as teaching both you and your dog key skills for training and socialisation. Look for a dog trainer who uses positive reinforcement and is accredited with a body such as the UK Association of Pet Dog Trainers or the Animal Behaviour and Training Council. The Dogs Trust Dog School provides great classes to help you build your relationship with your dog.
Be aware of other people and dogs
Recognising that not all dogs and people like other dogs approaching them is really important. You may think that your dog is ‘just being friendly’ but they need to respect other people and dogs’ personal space. If you are not confident of their ability to do this, they should be kept under close control using a lead or long line until you have trained them adequately. If you see a dog wearing a yellow bandana or lead, this is especially important as this indicates that the dog is nervous and needs space.