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Put Your Best Paw Forward
Article by: Deb D’Andrea
Growing up, I learned from my folks the power of positive training and how this interaction provides a great foundation of communication and trust between you and your pup. I’ve worked with several Pet parents to help them take a behavior and modify it into a desired action.
For instance, when I first adopted Bear she would practically poke out your eye, jumping and leaping to give you a puppy kiss every time she greeted you. While this was not desired behavior, I worked with Bear to take this behavior, put a word to it and turn it into a positive action by asking for a ‘Bear Hug’ every time she looked like she was going to launch. We also practiced sitting and greeting each time she approached. The combination of these training activities resulted in Bear now greeting you with a sit; and then, if you want a Bear hug, you can ask for one.
There are several actions our pups give us which provide an opportunity to put a word to it. Another action pups do is to rollover for belly rubs, the perfect time to train ‘roll over.’ The more actions you observe your pup doing, the more words you can associate with the action, resulting in you and your pup building a strong vocabulary and communication. Most training can be done in such a way that it’s a game for both the pup and you, fun for all! And remember to stop before they get bored with the activity as you want them to come back for more and always have fun.
If you have stories you’d like to share, questions you’d like answered, email me and I’ll be happy to write about it in this column. Enjoy this beautiful weather!
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