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Answers from vets about your dog:

The Secret to Perfect Dog Training

Posted December 15, 2014 in Dog Behavior

When I graduated from veterinary school nearly 20 years ago, I knew a lot about veterinary medicine, but very little about finances. The idea of mismanaging funds so worried me that I had visions of being homeless. In order to learn some financial survival skills, I took a personal finance and an investment class designed for economics majors. Within the first week, I knew the investment class would provide me with perhaps the most important information of my life, because the instructor, a highly successful investor, promised to tell us the one secret in investing that would make everyone rich. For days he hinted that the secret was coming, and students judiciously came to class knowing that if they didn’t hear it firsthand, they would miss out on the most vital piece of information that would cross their ears during their entire undergraduate career. Then, in the third week of classes, the time had come. 

The professor stated, “As promised, I’m going to tell you the secret of investing now.” He paused dramatically as silence overtook the room like darkness during a solar eclipse. And then he whispered the advice, “Buy low. Sell high.” The class uttered a collective groan. Hardly a secret, his advice was the obvious plan of action; but a plan that few investors actually follow.

The Solution to Most Pet Behavior Problems is Simple
It turns out that the solution to most behavior problems in pets is equally simple and IF you follow the plan, equally successful. All you need to know is one thing— that animals repeat behaviors that are reinforced. 


That means that if your puppy or adult pooch behaves badly, by say barking at you through the sliding glass door when he’s outside and you’re inside, jumping on you when you arrive home from work, or dragging you down the street on walks all you have to do is identify what’s rewarding the unwanted behavior, remove it, and instead reward a more appropriate behavior. For instance, you would avoid letting the Barking Bowser in when he’s barking and instead reward him only when he’s quiet. You’d stand quiet and stationary in order to remove your attention from the jumping greeter and then pet, praise

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Sophia had several years of experience as a veterinarian, applied animal behaviorist and author. She was also a founding member of IDEXX’s Pet Health Network team.