Posted by: Kristin | January 10, 2010

Dog-Friendly Dog Training

Kona trying to chew the dog-training book – go figure.

I’m about five chapters into Dog-Friendly Dog Training, a book written by well-known dog trainer Andrea Arden (you may have seen her on NBC’s “Today Show”). I was sold on her suggested techniques just a few pages into the book, where she encourages dog owners to focus on rewarding good behaviors. It’s easier to tell your dog what you want her to do than to tell her all the the things you don’t want her to do, she writes.

We’ve started “capturing” Kona doing good things and praising her like crazy. Every time we caught her sitting in the kitchen (where she tends to jump up a lot in search of food), we acted like she had just done the greatest trick in the world. Of course, Kona’s not always perfect, but since we started using these methods, she’s even taken to laying down on the kitchen floor while Alex cooks dinner.

Arden also talks about setting your dog up for success (by restricting her access to certain rooms where she might get into trouble, for instance). This only reinforced what we were already doing – keeping her out of certain rooms in the house unless she is 100% supervised. We have largely avoided any teeth marks on our furniture this way.

You can check out the table of contents, which breaks down other chapters on handling, manners and problem behaviors. This book speaks to owners of both puppies and adult dogs; plus it has fun, helpful illustrations. And the author provides a dog’s perspective on training while being very clear about how to handle the human side of the relationship. … I’ll post any more nuggets I find as I read.

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