1. The Answer is FALSE

Dogs do not chew up things to “get back at us.” Chewing is something that dogs do instinctually. They chew when they are teething, when they are bored, when they are nervous, and even just to chew. Dogs are attracted to our remote controls and other prized belongings because our scent is so strong and chewing releases agents, which help to calm our dogs. Environmental control and providing “dog chewables” such as Kongs or Nylabones will help prevent unwanted chewing. (BACK)

2. The Answer is FALSE

Dogs learn by trial and error and by repetition, which are components of operant learning. Animals also learn by association, which is classical conditioning. In operant learning dogs repeat a behavior that has a good consequence and they discontinue behavior that does not have a good consequence. Dogs are opportunists. Whatever precedes the behavior (antecedent) “Walk” and the result of their behavior (consequence) “Going out side” usually influence the behavior. It's all about them! Dogs learn to counter surf because they can see or smell food and they are successful in obtaining the food. Friendly obedience training is accomplished by controlling the antecedent and the consequence. If we praise all wanted behavior and discontinue reinforcing misbehavior (which may sometimes be done by environmental control), we can shape the wanted behavior we desire. PAW (praise all wanted) Behavior is the key to friendly dog training!

Classical conditioning is learning by association. Dogs learn to associate a stimulus as a predictor of another stimulus. Doorbells predict someone at the door. Leashes predict a walk is forthcoming. Going to the refrigerator predicts there may be a food treat. A telephone conversation with the pizza guy coupled with placing money on the table by the door is a reliable predictor of a pizza! A click from a clicker predicts a food reward. For a dog that is house trained to eliminate outside in a grassy area, a full bladder and feet on grass predict that relief is near!

It is valuable to understand how dogs are learning and what dogs are learning in order to train them or modify their behavior. (BACK)

3. The Answer is FALSE

The idea is to teach your pup that strangers are indicators of great fun and there is nothing to fear! Jazz it up, make it the next best thing since Milk Bones! Coddling your pup does nothing to make the meeting less frightening- in fact it may teach your pup that there is indeed something dangerous happening because you are behaving as a protector.

Forcing your pup to interact during frightening situations will only escalate his anxiety. Avoidance will do nothing to make your pup more comfortable in new situations and may teach your pup that strangers are dangerous and should be avoided. (BACK)

4. The Answer is FALSE

Your puppy is training you to play, give him a treat, or offer your attention on command! He discontinues the obnoxious behavior when you "give in" and play. If he does it enough, you will learn by repetition to play, give him a treat, or offer your attention as soon as he starts whining or barking. You will be well trained! Switch places and use positive reinforcement to teach him how to solicit your attention by following the rules for nothing in life is free. Ignore your puppy when he becomes obnoxious and demands your attention. When he gives up, wait a few minutes and then solicit his attention by asking him to sit or down. When he complies, play with him. By adding playtime to reinforce and increase the quiet behavior, you are using positive reinforcement. (BACK)

5. The Answer is FALSE

NO NO NO….this could cause your puppy to get an infection in his nose. It could also teach your puppy not to eliminate in your presence because bad things happen when he does.

Instead, put your puppy out, clean up the mess. Watch for signs that tell you he has to go out. Go out with your puppy and reward him for going in the location where you want him go!

There are several factors that contribute to inappropriate elimination and determining the cause is important to the treatment plan. Some causes are: anxiety, attention-seeking, marking incomplete house training, medical illness, excitement and fear. (BACK)

6. The Answer is FALSE

When dog owners treat every dog member of their household the same, there is a very good chance that sibling rivalry will occur. These problems almost always occur when well-meaning people feel sorry for the “omega” dog and unknowingly begin treating it as an "alpha." This type of treatment can create vicious jealousy and dog fights in the process.

Dogs will work out their dominance issues among themselves.

The domesticated “Alpha” dog in the household can be either male or female, depending on many things such as who was there first, who is bigger and stronger, who is smarter, and who is neutered or spayed and who is not.