New Dog – General Rules of Paws click here to download printable version


1. Your dog may sleep in your bed/bedroom at night, and on your bed WHEN your dog is trained. Sleeping together in the bed makes you seem like a littermate, an equal. Subordinates do not sleep in the leader’s resting area. Sleeping in your bed is fine, as long as you invite them to sleep there!

2. You control what your dog does and when.

3. Food is a primary reinforcement. If your dog depends on you for food, it will be less independent and think less about doing “it’s own thing” vs. what YOU want him/her to do. Free feed AFTER training has happened, if you choose to free feed. More than one meal a day will reduce possible hunger stress.

4. Leaders eat first. If you have another dog, that dog must be fed first. Try and schedule one of the meals that you eat with theirs. Eat first, then feed them!

5. Use the “Down Stay” command as a means of control. When you are eating a meal, your dog should be on a down stay. This teaches the dog how to act when other people are around.

6. Do not praise or give treats unless they earn it.

7. Make your dog obey on the first command. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Too many words confuse dogs. Be prepared to follow through on correction of a command not followed.

8. Take toys, chews, food etc away form your dog periodically, just to remind them you are in charge. Do not have a child do this.

9. Do not walk around or step over animals. Your dog should always yield territory to the leader.

10. Follow the leader. You go first; do not let your dog charge in and out of territory before you. Open the door, if he rushes for the opening, close the door. Repeat until he/she moves back and gives you room to go through the door first. Outside, make him/her sit until you have the door shut and you are ready to go. Release by giving permission. OK is a good release word.

11. Train, don’t complain!! Don’t get angry, because anger elicits disrespect.

12. Great guardians are fun, fair, kind and consistent.

13. Love your dog to life….don’t spoil him to death!!!


These are general rules for dog and guardian.
First and foremost, love your dog.
Do not withhold your love from your dog…
but don’t give in when they have been naughty!
Let them know every day how much you love them; they will respond to that love.
Most of all…..have fun and enjoy every minute with your new family member!

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