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Training Tip of the Month

Reinforce the behavior you want to see! A lot of undesirable behaviors that we see in our homes is because we reinforce the wrong things. Attention barking is a great example. When our dog shouts at us, we tend to engage that behavior. We either start chatting with our dogs (guilty!) or we yell at them to shut up, or even just look at them and say "shh". Unfortunately, all of these responses end up reinforcing the behavior. They yell for attention, and even though we aren't happy, we are giving attention. Instead, do your best to ignore the yelling and reinforce your dog while they are quiet. This can mean either paying attention during quiet, or even giving food while quiet! 

Consider using the SMARTx50 protocol laid out by Kathy Sdao. Count out 50 treats per day and hand them out to your dog for desirable behavior they perform without being asked. As they move through their day and make good choices, cookies keep raining from the sky! How great is that? 

Read more about the SMARTx50 protocol here.