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Finally, I wrote another article for the

I am just reading Brenda Aloffs brand new book:

Puppy Problems? No Problem!

published by Dogwise

and was reminded how important (and also how easy it can be !)  to reinforce good  behavior. That includes behavior that might be occurring automatically, for example quietly chewing on a toy.

I think it is a great idea to reward great behavior, but all too often we tend to ignore puppies and dogs when they are “good”.  We often start to interact with our puppies and dogs when they are doing something inappropriate, such as chewing on the leg of the precious antique sofa. But attention, any attention, is very valuable to dogs and they take what they can get. “Oh yeah, the other day when I chewed on THAT delicious piece of wood,  she really got ALL excited. Maybe I will try that again!” is the message the dogs gets.


Dogs do not necessarily differentiate between positive and negative attention. As long as you are directing attention towards them, that is what they crave.

So let’s all make a huge effort to notice our dogs when they being perfect and reward them for being perfect!

Let’s throw them an additional treat when they are sitting quietly on their beds or walking nicely next to us on a loose leash. Let’s praise dogs when they are keeping themselves busy with a nice chew toy.

Soon we can compare notes to see if we were able to increase the good behavior!

sitting pretty and kneeling pretty
  1. How adorable! Such manners for Nono and Sia. Very creative on the adults end.

    Comment by karen on June 10, 2011 at 10:42 pm
  2. That is totally hilarious! Great job and really fun to watch!

    Comment by Fran on June 10, 2011 at 10:59 pm
  3. Actually my friend and website designer Kendra Dixson was the person who sent me the video. So 99% of the credit goes to her!

    Comment by Elisabeth on June 11, 2011 at 7:55 am
  4. Hee hee, well a good friend of mine forwarded it to me so the list goes on. I think it is so cute and I’m amazed at how well the dogs are behaved, although you do see a little help from the human hands so they don’t dive their noses into their dish. lol

    Comment by Kendra Dixson on June 11, 2011 at 2:56 pm
  5. yes the dogs are great! I also liked HOW they helped the dogs by pretending it was a human “putting your chin in your hands” gesture. It is most entertaining.

    Comment by Elisabeth Weiss on June 11, 2011 at 3:24 pm