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Easy Steps to Better Behavior

These retraining tips from a Dog Fancy article by Rose Boccio will help volunteers and adopters in working with any dog:

* Discourage bad behavior and reward desirable behavior. When your dog jumps up on you, tell him to sit. Do not pet the dog until he obeys. Praise for sitting. If the dog becomes destructive and chews up a magazine, for example, remove the magazine and say 'no" (or "ah-ah-ah") in a firm voice without yelling.

* Catch your dog being good. Praise your dog if he sits, lies down or plays pleasantly with a toy.

* Do not yell, swat or push the dog. Even negative attention can reinforce the unacceptable behavior.

* Coordinate your efforts. Everyone in the household must follow the same rules.

* Be consistent. Don't let your dog jump on you one day and then forbid the behavior the next day. Inconsistency confuses dogs, and attention-seeking behavior will persist.

Additional tips from PAW's Education team:

* Set up opportunities for the dog to earn praise and success.

* Try to eliminate opportunities for failure. For example, don't leave the new dog loose in the house unattended for hours, as a housetraining accident is bound to occur when you're not there to take the dog outside.

* Substitute a good behavior for an undesirable one. If the dog attempts to chew your shoe, call him to you to receive a desirable toy. Or if the dog is trying to jump on you, teach the dog to sit whenever you enter the house.

* Remember, dogs are not trying to be bad. Dogs do what works.

For more Dog Tips and other information about pet care, adoption and the work PAW does, visit our website at:

Partnership for Animal Welfare, Inc.
P.O. Box 1074, Greenbelt, MD 20768

Last Updated: April 26, 2018 (LET) PawSupport