This is a popular time of year to add a pet to the family. But once all the squeaky toys have been destroyed, it's time to call an animal trainer. Animal behaviorist Faye Owen of Atlanta offers several common misconceptions about dogs, along with how to solve the bad behavior.
1. Dogs respond best when you're the leader of the pack
Plenty of dog trainers have gained popularity by teaching a "pack leader" approach, which calls for humans to assert dominance over their canine companions. Owen, who is certified by the Council of Professional Dog Trainers, says this method can do more harm than good, particularly if your dog is already fearful or sensitive. She adds that punishment-based training methods such as prong collars can increase a dog's stress level, leading to a more anxious dog over time.
Instead, try this: Introduce structure and routine to help dogs learn house rules. For example, Owen doesn't mind allowing a dog on the couch, as long as the animal heeds everyone'sRead More »from 4 Popular Dog Behavior Myths Debunked