Trainer's Corner

Lisa Desatnik, CPDT-KA, CPBC, is a certified dog trainer (and certified parrot behavior consultant) with So Much PETential who uses and teaches the most positive strategies for changing pet behaviors. She offers individualized dog and puppy training for manners and problem issues. Learn more about her at

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More training tips...

Trainer’s Corner: Know Your Pet’s Reinforcers

Training with positive reinforcement means you are increasing the likelihood of any given behavior occurring by following that behavior with something the learner values.  Knowing that, important to your success, you’ve got to know what it is that your pet values. And that can change all the time. Here are a few tips for learning your pet’s top choices.   First Step: Learn your dog’s top treats To do this, prepare five different kinds of treats that you think your dog may like. Then, with your dog out of sight, place a sample of each one in a row (about

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Trainer’s Corner: Does Counter Surfing Make Your Dog a Bad Dog?

My mom was probably among the only dog companions who actually found joy in watching our family dog, Sam, stand with his two front paws on their kitchen counter in search of dinner leftovers. For others, this behavior known as counter surfing is generally not welcome. I have heard a lot of complaints about ‘bad’ dogs who persistently are in search of higher surfaces.  A question we have to ask ourselves is, are our dogs REALLY being bad or are they simply doing something perfectly understandable from their perspective—they smell food, they get food. How do you solve such a

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Trainer’s Corner: Find the Sticky Note

After you have taught your dog nose targeting (to learn how to teach that, please see Lisa’s past post here) there are so many ways you can use that skill to play enrichment games. Here is one. Dog Enrichment Game: Find The Note from Lisa Desatnik on Vimeo. Find the Sticky Note For this game, you will need sticky notes, a clicker if you use one, and treats.  To begin, hold the note in the palm of your hand or affix it to your fist depending on how you have taught your dog to nose target your hand. Click or use

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