Ask the Trainer: Dog Skills

Spring 2004

 

Leslie McDevitt
Certified Dog Trainer, Behavior Counselor
Y2K9s Dog Sports Club
Wyndmoor, PA

Leslie specializes in clicker training and using positive reinforcement to modify problem behaviors in both pet and performance dogs.

KEY POINTS FOR BUILDING A RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR DOG


1.) All Good Things Come From YOU, not the
environment. Dogs that get everything for "free" don't feel the need to comply. Why should they? Teach a few simple behaviors --- and let your dog know he has to earn things by giving you one of these behaviors, rather than taking things for himself.

2.) Catch Them Doing Something Right!
The word your dog hears most often should be "yes!", rather than "no!" People tend to notice when their dogs are doing something undesirable. But they don't pay attention when the dog is being good. So often the wrong behaviors get reinforced! Manage your dog's environment so you can keep them out of
trouble, and set them up to be successful, instead.

In brief: Make yourself the most rewarding thing in your dog's life. When this isn't possible, manage things so you can prevent your dog from making the wrong choice!
 

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