Break bad behavior in pets with treats

Looking for a home: Chewy, an adorable St. Bernard mix, is one year old. He is looking for a home with older children or dogs. Chewy is high energy and loves to play and romp. He is a perfect playmate.

Looking for a home: Chewy, an adorable St. Bernard mix, is one year old. He is looking for a home with older children or dogs. Chewy is high energy and loves to play and romp. He is a perfect playmate.

Gosh, when I saw the headline “Interrupt ‘Bad’ Behavior with a Reward,” I couldn’t believe my eyes. I always thought you reward good behavior, not bad. Well, that got my attention, so I had to investigate.

I found the article at, a website facilitated by Tracie Hotchner who is the host of Radio Pet Lady. On her program she features guest interviews and amazing articles about pets.

One way to get your dog to stop doing something is to employ distraction to “snap him or her out of it” and refocus his or her behavior. Some methods include shaking a can of pennies, or throwing a ring of door keys, and using a squirt bottle.

The common denominator in all of these is getting the dog’s attention long enough to change the behavior you don’t like. According to Tracie, none of these worked with her animals as well as a happy voice and a pocket full of treats to get the pup’s attention.

I have tried this, and to my dismay, I think I reinforced the bad behavior. My adorable Lab, Baby, was a trickster, and she delighted in stealing my underpants, then running through the house. To get my pants back, I would offer her a cookie in exchange. So, she figured out pants equals cookie. Naughty, but very smart. So far, Watson hasn’t figured out the cookie scam. So I’m keeping my fingers crossed he doesn’t.


Kennel help. We have two paid positions. If you are interested, drop off your resume at CAPS, or stop by to apply in person.

Aluminum cans, which we recycle to augment our shelter funds. We are now able to pick up cans because our trailer has been fixed. If you have cans to pick up, call 775-423-7500.

Donations for veterinarian bills. We have some animals who need daily medical items and we need help meeting the cost of treatment.

Volunteers to help build kennels. Call 775-423-7500 for details.


Arlene Detomasi for donating towels and blankets for our guests. A Four Paws Salute to you!

Joe Miller, Rema White, Janet Swanson and all the other folks who scoop poop at the dog park. Everyone is happier because of your kindness. A Tail Wag to you!

The folks who adopted Missy. She is the happiest dog in the world thanks to you.


CAPS will be at Walmart on Feb. 17 with the Kissin’ Booth and a puckered-up pooch. Come by to get your pooch smooch. We have colorful caps, shirts, and mugs, so be sure to check out the merchandise after you have loved on our pup.


February Pet Holidays:

Spay and Neuter Awareness Month by the Humane Society of the United States

SNAPS is a program offered to Churchill County residents through CAPS that provides low-cost spay/neutering for cats and dogs. To qualify for SNAPS, you need to have one of the following: Medicaid, a child enrolled in the Nevada Check Up program, food stamps, 2016 tax return stating income is less than $30,000, or veterans disability card including a photo ID. Also required are a Churchill County ID and a co-pay. For information, call CAPS at 423-7500.

Flower Tree Nursery will be raffling a 20-gallon tree on March 15, and the winner doesn’t have to be present. The raffle tickets are available at Flower Tree Nursery, and they are $1 for one ticket and $5 for six tickets.


CAPS’ mailing address is P.O. Box 5128, Fallon, 89407. CAPS’ phone number is 775-423-7500. CAPS’ email address is Please visit the CAPS website ( and Facebook page (Churchill Animal Protection Society). Be sure to “Like” CAPS on Facebook because we are really likable.

CAPS is open to the public on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Do you have questions, comments or a great story? Contact me

Kathleen Williams-Miller, a CAPS volunteer, contributed this week’s column.


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