Training Your Dog Not to Bite

 

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In the wake of proposed legislation that would allow OklOklahoma municipalities to ban ownership of certain kinds of dogs, Oklahoman dog owners may be more interested than ever in learning how to properly train their dogs. In a recent interview published in Forbes, the world’s most respected authority on dog training and behavior, Dr. Ian Dunbar, offers suggestions on how dog owners can best train their pets.

According to Ian, dogs have three problems: manners, behavior, and temperament. These problems, he believes, are best dealt with at an early age. When owners have small puppies, Dunbar uses a “visualization process” to help owners understand that puppies cannot be allowed to do things that would be unacceptable if adult dog did them.

The visualization process begins with “showing them [dog owners] the cutest puppy . . . Underneath is a bladder and bowels and teeth. He’s deceptively cute . . . And I show them a picture of an adult dog’s mouth . . . Everything your puppy does, I want you to visualize him doing that as an adult animal.” Preventing unwanted behavior when dogs are young is easier and more successful than curing unwanted behavior in adult dogs.

Importantly, dog owners need to remember that dog training is not a once-a-week event. Owners should be constantly training their dogs, and if they choose to go to training classes, that is a place for a trainer to review the owner’s progress.

If you are currently looking for a reputable dog trainer, Dr. Dunbar suggests consulting the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. At their web site, you can search dog trainers by zip code.