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Patricia Comes, of Totowa

PET TIPS: Topic, Dog Training

Dawn O Watson/CNBNews Contributor

I am often asked how to make a dog stop exhibiting inappropriate behavior. In my years of teaching, training, and mentoring I have only used a physical correction one time, and only because I was attacked by a dog during a training session.

AtahThere are many methods of dog training. I use and recommend a combination of positive and negative reinforcement. That is, the dog is rewarded (reinforced) when he responds appropriately and given a frown or denied attention when he does not. The reward is not necessarily a treat—it can merely be a positive verbal response with appropriate facial expression. Conversely, the negative reinforcement (a frown or turning one’s back to the dog) denies the dog encouragement.

I feel that positive punishment training is not necessary in most cases. The use of electronic collars or physical punishment of any kind should only be used when an individual’s life is in danger or if the dog is in jeopardy of being euthanized for aggression. Spike and choke collars are cruel and may maim a dog permanently. I personally wish they’d be outlawed!

If you are researching dog trainers, please ask what type of training they use. If they promote electronics or other means of physical punishment, please seek an individual that does not promote pain-centered training.

If you have questions about this or any other dog-related issue please call or text 856.981.8957 or email There is never a fee for phone or email consultation.

Wado udohiyu, (thank you very much in the Cherokee language)

Dawn Watson

Owner, Brother of the Wolf, LLC

Pictured: Atah