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What could possibly be unsavory about dog training?! It’s fun to spend time with our dogs, teach them new commands and reward them for doing well but what happens when they misbehave, bite someone, pull on the leash, or eat food off the table? With all the dog training methods out there, the one that gets the most mention is positive reinforcement… BUT (yes, but) methods based solely on rewarding good behavior, don’t address how to stop bad behavior and really, positive–only methods just make the owner feel good at the dog’s expense because we don’t have to say “no”. Ouch! Sorry to be so brutal, it’s a hard pill to swallow I know, but your dog cannot get by on praise alone, on food alone, or on saying “yes” alone. The unsavory side of training is correcting the behaviors you don’t want, which no one wants to do, but the sweet side is getting the dog of your dreams because you created a balanced relationship based on clear expectations and communication through structure, clear communication, and obedience. It’s all about setting realistic expectations and enforcing them. I’m in no way preaching training methods solely based on corrective measures either; rather, I’m saying it’s important to have both reward and punishment to get the sweet satisfaction of a well-trained dog you can take anywhere and do anything with. Bad behavior? Correct it in a way that clearly communicates to your dog that that behavior was unacceptable and then show them what to do instead and praise that behavior. Teach and encourage your dog to engage in acceptable behaviors that set a new standard, but if they misbehave, do something about it! We all learn by making mistakes and getting corrected for them and we continue doing good work when we get rewarded. If you show your dog the same balance and stay consistent with your expectations you can enjoy the fruits of your labor with a well-mannered and respectful dog! Contact me for info on how to better communicate to your dog the behaviors you want to see more of and the behaviors you want to avoid.