Don’t Push Your Dog Too Hard

TV judge Allan Reznik spells out the signs of a stressed dog.

The canine contestants on CBS’ “Greatest American Dog” face new challenges every week as the dog-and-owner teams vie for the grand prize of $250,000. Allan Reznik, the editor-at-large of DOG FANCY and Dog World magazines and a judge on the reality show, says it is a wise owner-trainer who knows his dog’s limits when it comes to learning new commands and can read his dog’s body language.

Three classic signs that your dog is reaching his limit are lip-licking, panting, and yawning, Reznik says. But don’t wait until you see these signs before knowing when to quit.

Keep lessons short, he says. Ten minutes is a good average, but again, know your own dog and don’t wait until he tunes out to end the training session.

Most important: end on an up note. If he’s been working particularly hard on a new command, have him do something he knows how to do well, that will result in an enthusiastic “Good boy!” and a treat to keep him enthusiastic for the next 10-minute training session.

Reznik will be on DogChannel’s message boards at 10 a.m. PDT on Thursday to talk about the latest episode and field questions from visitors about the show.

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