He's a Dog's Best Friend

Brian Kilcommons teaches pup owners how to rein in their pooches without losing their cool

One of the first lessons that dog trainer Brian Kilcommons teaches pet owners is never to tell their canine companions no. Although such advice may seem indulgent, his reason is practical, not philosophical: often dogs have no idea what the command means. "Most of the dogs in America think their name is No," jokes Kilcommons, who says the word is too vague for dogs to grasp because it doesn't correlate with a specific action. Instead, he advocates using commands such as off or stay, which dictate precise behaviors, then rewarding pups with praise--and the occasional treat--when they get it right.

Rethinking the...

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