Training can teach your dog what she is supposed to do. It provides her with guidelines for behavior that is acceptable to you. For example, a big dog that jumps on people is potentially dangerous, never mind annoying. If you simply yell at her for jumping up, or you correct her constantly for jumping, she is still going to need to jump because greeting you face to face is natural for her. When she gets worried about all the corrections, she's going to be even more anxious and will jump any time she can. However, if you have her Sit every time you greet her, bending over to pet her while she's sitting and giving her that opportunity to greet you face to face, you will remove her need to jump.

Training helps teach your dog good skills but also enforces your leadership role. Practice your training skills often. Ludwig, a German Shepherd Dog, pictured with owner Sally Kayser.

Although some dog owners think of training as simply teaching the dog some "tricks"—Sit, Down, Stay, Come, and Heel—it is really much more than that. You are also providing alternative behaviors that she will be praised and rewarded for doing.

Keep your training as positive as possible, focusing on helping your dog do what you wish her to do. However, remember discipline is not a dirty word and when used correctly, can be a valuable aid to training. Withholding a potential reward is discipline. If you want Lady to sit nicely by your side when you're talking to your neighbor, have some training treats in hand (or pocket). If Lady sits nicely, doesn't bark, and waits patiently for you, she should get a treat every so often, depending upon her age and level of training. However, if she's pushing the envelope, is wiggling, whining, moaning, and otherwise being disruptive, the treats stay in the pocket and you should have her lie down and Stay. Review chapter 6 for more training help.

Pit Bulls as Pets

Pit Bulls as Pets

Are You Under The Negative Influence Of Hyped Media Stereotypes When It Comes To Your Knowledge Of Pit Bulls? What is the image that immediately comes into your mind when you think of the words Pit Bull? I can almost guarantee that they would be somewhere close to fierce, ferouscious, vicious, killer, unstoppable, uncontrollable, or locking jawed man-eaters.

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