Transform Your Dogs Behavioral Issues With Professional Dog Training You love your dog as much as any other member of the family, and your dog loves you unconditionally. The best way to strengthen the bond between you and your furry friend and to ensure the safety of not only your dog but the people in your life is to properly train your pooch. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) says there are two keys to training your dog: Rewarding good or acceptable behavior and making sure not to reward behavior you do not like. If the dog does something good during the training process, reward it with positive comments, treats, toys or whatever else works for your dog. If it doesn’t take the treats away and make sure the dog knows the behavior is unacceptable. Dogs learn through immediate gratification. If the consequences of their behavior are good, they will repeat those actions in the future to get further rewards. If they are scolded for their behavior, they will quickly learn to avoid those behaviors if they don’t want to risk upsetting you and losing treats and play time. Research has shown that dogs respond best to trainers who focus solely on teaching them what they want them to do, rather than trying to teach the dog what not to do. Using more a more negative training method could hurt your relationship with your dog, as well as the way your dog views other people. For example, the ASPCA said negative reinforcement may lead to your dog not trusting, or even fearing, humans and encourage them to growl, bark or cower in fear, all behaviors the trainer is trying to avoid. In addition, using negative reinforcement might result in your dog fearing you if your methods are frightening or painful. On that note, keep in mind that punishing or discouraging unwanted behavior does not have to be accomplished in ways that hurt or scare your dog. Dogs want attention - that is why they do a majority of what they do. Instead of tugging leashes or smacking noses or paws to punish unwanted behavior, ignore a dog that jumps up and disrupts your activities. The dog will wonder what happened to play time, petting and positive reinforcement, and they will avoid any behavior that does not result in attention. One general, but very important, tip to keep in mind: The consequences for your dog’s behavior must immediate, whether good or bad. A dog will not remember what it did to be rewarded or punished if you wait for even a few minutes. Dogs do not have the short-term memory and behavior association abilities we possess.