Back to blog

Use your words!

Every once in a while we can all use a good reminder that a dog’s behavior is not like a movie we watch and then review.

Here is the picture:

I might get a call from a client who is complaining that he cannot tie his shoes in peace because his puppy wants to play with the laces while he is doing that.  Interestingly, even though this puppy has already acquired a myriad of skills which he gladly and happily performs, the client experiences a state of helplessness. In the moment, as he is annoyed, he can only think of  yelling “no”,  “stop it” or similar things.

I think one of the most important things to remember is that these “basic obedience“ skills are actually very handy and can be used in an interactive way throughout the day.

Especially if you have started to teach your pup basic cues and you want your puppy to be able to perform under more distracting and challenging circumstances, use the distractions you naturally create in your daily comings and goings.

For example: If you know your puppy will be tempted to play with your laces when you tie your shoes, ask him to “sit” and “stay”. Then reward him for being  successful. Or send him to go to ring the poochie bells that are hanging on your entrance door. There is no limit to alternatives, really.

It takes hardly more effort and you will encourage your dog to expect direction from you. And a dog who is intellectually engaged and truly participating in your life all them time.

 It would be so much more fun for both human and the puppy:

Easy for the dog to earn so much more positive attention!

What a playful way to reinforce polite behavior!

Try it and you won’t regret it. I promise.

puppies love shoe laces and stinky sneakers; they smell like YOU!


  1. How adorable! Such manners for Nono and Sia. Very creative on the adults end.

    Comment by karen on June 10, 2011 at 10:42 pm
  2. That is totally hilarious! Great job and really fun to watch!

    Comment by Fran on June 10, 2011 at 10:59 pm
  3. Actually my friend and website designer Kendra Dixson was the person who sent me the video. So 99% of the credit goes to her!

    Comment by Elisabeth on June 11, 2011 at 7:55 am
  4. Hee hee, well a good friend of mine forwarded it to me so the list goes on. I think it is so cute and I’m amazed at how well the dogs are behaved, although you do see a little help from the human hands so they don’t dive their noses into their dish. lol

    Comment by Kendra Dixson on June 11, 2011 at 2:56 pm
  5. yes the dogs are great! I also liked HOW they helped the dogs by pretending it was a human “putting your chin in your hands” gesture. It is most entertaining.

    Comment by Elisabeth Weiss on June 11, 2011 at 3:24 pm