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The conservative approach to dog training

Sheldon, the perfectly trained puppy.
Michelle Hurni

Conservative principles used in life can be applied to training a dog (or child, husband, wife...the possibilities are limitless). Think of how you live, or want to live, your life and use that same process in training.

Reward Good Behavior. Rewards should come when a result is achieved. It you tell your puppy to sit, wait patiently and allow the puppy to make up its mind to sit. No need to repeat a command over and over. When the dog follows the command, reward that good behavior. The same goes for life…do you expect a trophy for last place, or would you rather do your best and see results?

Be Firm. No need to raise your voice to make a point. Losing your temper, or raising your voice, inspires fear, not loyalty. When you are making a point in politics, know your facts. The same goes for your puppy. Know what you want as an end result and get there on a planned path.

Show Some Excitement. Puppies want to make you happy. If you are excited about going for a walk, your puppy will be too. If you are happy to see your puppy, it will be excited to see you too. In politics, if you are excited about your candidate or issue, your enthusiasm will be infectious.

Hold Strong. Tell your puppy exactly what you want and don’t waiver. Don’t ask for a ‘sit’ and reward a ‘down.’ The same goes for morals. When you sacrifice your values, other things will slide as well.

No Whining/No Barking. Good behavior gets results. Whining should be ignored, barking discouraged. Loud voices and barking should only be used in emergencies. A soft tone will get better results.

Adults Rule. Your puppy may be the cutest thing you’ve ever seen, but you aren’t doing it any favors by allowing it to walk all over you. A polished and pretty candidate can walk all over you just as easily as your puppy.