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Avoid Sending Conflicting Messages

"It's OK, it's OK". We wouldn't normally use these words with a child who is misbehaving, but people often mistakenly use them (and others like them) when attempting to correct a dog who is barking at another dog while walking past them on leash. This sends a conflicting message to your dog. Making matters even more confusing for the dog, people often pet their dog while they speak the words. What the person is trying (ineffectually) to say to their dog is, "There is no reason to worry. You don't need to act that way, everything is OK", but what they are really communicating to their dog is, "I like the way you are acting. That's OK by me. Keep it up!" Avoid conflicting messages. A simple and timely correction of an unwanted behavior followed by a positive message once the behavior ends (or when the dog does n

ot exhibit the unwanted behavior to begin with) is a much more effectual approach.

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