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Features December 2017 Issue

How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves

How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves

Why your dog won’t do what you say; methods for getting him to comply.

When most people see a behavior in their dogs that they dislike, “they automatically ask, ‘How can I stop that behavior?’” says late veterinarian and applied animal behaviorist Sophia Yin, DVM, MS. Instead, Dr. Yin deftly posits, it is more useful to ask, “How has the undesirable behavior been reinforced, and what behavior would I reinforce instead?” By which she means, every time we interact with our dogs, they’re learning something. Each interaction is, in effect, a training session. We’re just not always training the way we intend.

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