Two questions every owner should ask anyone caring for their dogs?

1. What happens in your care when a dog responds in the way you want him to?

Great things happen to a dog when he gets things right.
Fun, toys, food… Whatever the dog wants suddenly appears. Praise and reinforcers are always communicated when he does things right.

crate train dog

2. What happens in your care when a dog responds in the way you do
not want him to?

We believe that “bad” behavior should be ignored or redirected. If we teach a dog an alternative behavior then we can ask them to perform one of those instead of what we perceive to be inappropriate behavior. This helps a dog learn what to do and makes us feel better about our dogs. For example, when our dog jumps up on us we can either get angry with him or we can ask him to sit (which we will have previously taught him) and then reward him with our attention or a treat. It will not take long for a dog to realize that it is better to sit than to jump. This puts the onus back on us to teach our dogs the things we DO want them to do so that we can feel good about the dog and his behavior, rather than just get angry because he is not doing the right thing.

Leaving your dogs with a professional that understands animal behavior in our opinion is the best option. A professional that has experience and knowledge of behavior can set your dogs up for success no matter the environmental context. Many more questions can be asked for an interview educate yourself!

Vinny Olito CPDT-Ka, CCDT
LLA-Living and Learning with Animals-Certificate of Excellence

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