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Pia Silvani, host of Teacher's Pet on Pet Life Radio

Pia Silvani
Teacher, Trainer & Author
St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center

Training Session #1 Getting Off to a Good Start

Training should be fun for both you and your dog.  Positive reinforcement training to shape your dog's behavior encourages upbeat, enthusiastic responses and ensures that your dog will enjoy learning.   

First of all, we will talk about rewards.  Getting the right reward will motivate your dog to perform that behavior again in hopes of getting another reward.  You will find your dog’s motivational triggers, learn how to rate your rewards and when and how to use them.  Now you need a signal to tell your dog what he just did was right.  Learn about marker words and how to use them correctly.

Teaching “take it” and “give” are critical in developing a respectful relationship with your dog.  Dogs that will not willingly give up objects when asked can end up sick, require surgery or bite.  The best way to teach this is by playing Tug!  Once your dog learns the rules and plays fairly and politely, this will probably end up on the top of your list to use as a reward.  Pia will carefully go over the rules to effectively play tug with your dog.

Have questions? E-mail Pia at


Transcript will be available shortly.


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