Sit! Stay! Beg!
Dogs aren't born knowing what we want them to do. But they can learn. As many dog owners know, animals behave best if they get some training.
The first question to ask is what level of training do you want for your dog. If your dog is still a puppy, you will want to develop good habits early. Many chain pet stores have training sessions for puppies and for older dogs. If all you want is to get through the puppy phase with your carpet or couch unblemished then this might be the only training you need.
However, if you want your dog to be a truly good pet, then you need to take it to the next level. Am obedience course will help you develop your dog's' potential. Dogs should learn to respect the leash, the kennel and the shut door. They should be able to stay alone without ruining the furniture. And, with the proper encouragement, most dogs can learn to respond to their master's instructions. These days, this means more than sit and stay. For instance, a dog can learn not to be aggressive toward other dogs or the master's friends. A well-trained dog can make his owner happier, and in turn, his owner will have more positive, quality time with his pet.
The third level of training is for those dogs who have a role to play. Perhaps the owner wishes for his dog to visit in hospitals or nursing homes. This takes a special animal that can be trusted in public places and around strange people who want to interact with the pet. Programs exist to train and certify animals for therapy purposes. Of course, a good-natured animal is the first requirement, but dogs can learn to be sociable in an acceptable and satisfying way to its human companions.
Finally, the level of training for a showdog is necessarily longer and more complex than for a family pet. Show dogs need to learn presentation in a way that other pets do not. A showdog would be expected to know all the basics and then have developed to the point where its behavior in the ring is both attentive and attractive.
Whatever level of training you seek for your dog, the important thing is that you get your pet to behave in a manner that is both loving toward you and tolerant toward others.