Geller insists that teaching a dog anything is a matter of behavior modification. A dog needs a good reason from its owner to engage in a behavior that goes against its instincts.

"We all evaluate between doing things that bring us pleasure or bring us pain," she says. "You want to teach a dog that doing what you want would be a more pleasurable experience for him."

To illustrate, Geller explains how to fix a common problem: getting a dog to sleep in its own bed.

First, place a towel on your bed, and instruct the dog to lie on the towel with a friendly, "Go to bed!" As soon as it reaches the towel, give it a small treat, such as a biscuit or small bone. Next, move the towel to another location on the bed and repeat the process. As soon as he associates the towel with a treat, Geller suggests moving the towel to the floor or onto a dog bed. 

Instruct the dog to "go to bed," and if the initial training worked, it should associate the towel with the command, "go to bed," no matter where you place the towel. Continue to work with your dog until it makes the connection. Once it does, reward it with what Geller calls a "gold-level treat," such as a bite-size piece of chicken.

"Now the dog understands what you want him to do," Geller says. "He knows that when you tell him to go to bed, he's going to get a treat. You're just working with the concept of pain versus pleasure. You don't need to yell or get choke chains to teach your dog what you want him to do."

Dog training is an opportunity, not a chore


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