Ask Kathy How To Avoid Yelling At Your Dog

By Kathy Santo | Updated: April 25 2018


Student’s Question:

“My 8-month-old puppy steals food from the table, but when I yell “NO!” at her, she starts racing around the kitchen like a crazy dog. Yelling louder and running after her yields faster laps. What’s going on?

Kathy’s Answer:

What’s going on is a little miscommunication between the species. Dogs don’t understand human anger.  They fear it (think submissive urination), ignore it (think teenagers), or it amps them up and makes them wilder (your current situation). To stop the insanity, take control of the situation before it breaks down. Teach your dog a “place” or a “down/wait” command so she can be in the room during dinner, but not be an unwanted guest at the table.

Or, if there are times you’d prefer not to have her in the room at all, provide a confined area where she can enjoy a special toy or treat while you enjoy a quiet meal. Another idea is to keep a six-foot leash attached to her buckle collar when you’re in the room with her.  That way, if she does start racing around, you can easily step on the leash and regain control.

Training her to do the right thing rather yelling and chasing her for doing the wrong thing will ensure you both have a happier relationship – and more peaceful dinnertime!

Kathy Santo has spent her entire career as a dog trainer and handler, training dogs and winning over 500 obedience, agility and Canine Good Citizenship titles. Working with her own dogs, she has achieved every competitive obedience title the American Kennel Club (AKC) has offered and earned the prestigious AKC “Obedience Trial Champion” title (OTCh) multiple times.

In Waldwick, Kathy teaches classes, private lessons, and oversees the training of her student’s dogs using her extensive knowledge, experience and intuition to handle problems from the benign to the serious. Her engaging personality has won her the respect and friendship of her many students, who now consider themselves part of her extended family.


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