“Learning Issues,” by Mary Stein

“A friend and I went to hear a woman named Jennifer Arnold give a talk the other night. Arnold trains dogs to be service animals–to assist paraplegics by opening drawers, to signal a deaf person when there’s a phone call, and so on. For twenty years she has been teaching dogs to obey and to perform such helpful functions. Her main point was that you start by understanding the way dogs learn best—through their innate and all-important wish to please their human ‘person.’ And the primary way to let a dog know that he has pleased you is to feed him as soon as he begins to obey, first with actual food treats, and later with words of praise. If you have a grip on these two principles, and plenty of patience, you can go far with a dog.”

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  1. …housebroke my cocker puppy once upon a time, by demonstrating the right place… (helped we were out in the country at the time.)

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