Tonawanda News


July 14, 2013

CRITTER COMPANIONS: Don't force dominance over pets


Tonawanda News — Our animals also do not need to know that they are being trained. They will simply learn, with the correct training techniques. If you want them to pay close attention to you, reward them with praise or treats, when they are in-step with you. If they do a behavior that you don’t like, asking for an incompatible behavior at the same time, reinforcing anything but that incorrect behavior or changing the motivation of the bad behavior are all positive alternatives. Dominance does not need to be a solution.

Imagine if that professor got up in front of the class and scolded the students for not raising their hand or for not knowing the correct information that was about to be taught. Learning — both for humans and animals — can build momentum quickly when there is a supportive foundation. Imagine what you can teach.

Kenny Coogan has a B.S. in animal behavior. Please email your questions to, or search for “Critter Companions by Kenny Coogan” on Facebook.

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