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Try positive reinforcement for pet behavioral issues

(METRO) What can pet owners do when their pets exhibit unwanted behaviors, such as damaging furniture or jumping up on people? The first instinct may be to yell or punish the pet by being cross with him or her. However, many animal behaviorists believe that positive reinforcement training is the most effective way to address pets’ behavioral issues.

Positive reinforcement training, according to the Humane Society of the United States, utilizes rewards for desired behaviors. The reward, whether it is a treat, praise, toys, or anything the pet finds rewarding, will eventually get the pet to repeat the behavior that earned him or her that reward. Rather than punishing a bad behavior, pet owners who utilize positive reinforcement reward good behaviors.

Positive reinforcement also is known as operant conditioning. It is a similar concept studied by famed Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov. When the dinner bell rang, Pavlov’s dogs salivated. The American Kennel Club says that was classi...

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