Virginia Simpson and Chance


























Accentuating the Positive

by Virginia Simpson, Unleashed Canine Obedience




“You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between”

     “Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive” - Johnny Mercer


If you are interested in training your dog, you will quickly find that your pup will more than likely respond and learn more quickly through praise for good behavior versus punishment for inappropriate behavior.  Seems obvious, but it all starts with how we think about behavior.  When people come to me for training advice, they usually start out telling me what they don’t want their dog to do.  “I don’t want my dog to jump on people, bark at the mailman, run away, pull on the leash, poo or pee on the floor, etc.”  In other words, the definition of a good dog is - not a bad dog.

What I try to do is get people thinking about what they do want their dog to do instead of what they don’t want their dog to do.  What does a good dog look like in their mind. For example, “I want my dog to sit on a place mat when people first come over until they are in enough control of themselves to politely say hello.”  “A good dog goes to the bathroom outside in the back yard and tells me when they have to go.”

It is easier (and WAY more fun!) to train a dog when you are focusing your attention on what you want your dog to do instead of what you don’t want them to do.  This will help you come up with alternatives to “bad” behavior.  You can’t just say no all the time; no fun for you, no fun for your dog!  You have to redirect and teach appropriate behavior.  And it all starts with a positive outlook!

So, make a list of all the things you don’t want your pup to do and then write down the opposite of that.  What would you like your dog to do instead?  Feel free to contact me if you would like any help!

Virginia L. Simpson
Certified Dog Trainer
Unleashed Canine Obedience, LLC
www.UnleashedCanineObedience.com
IACP Member #3141
Phone:  513.317.7484