Ask Ashley | KC Parent

Ask Ashley

Animal expert, Ashley Flores, CPDT-KA, is the Senior Director of Animal Behavior and Training at Great Plains SPCA. Ashley has more than 16 years of experience in animal training and behavior. Email for a chance to have your pet question answered in KC Parent magazine.

I recently got a dog from a family member that could no longer take care of him. I am a first-time dog owner and I need some help. I have been reading information online and there is a lot of contradictory content out there. What do you recommend? – Ally Stephenson

There are a lot of misleading websites with inaccurate information. My first recommendation is to sign up for basic obedience training and get established with a trainer nearby. If you are near Great Plains SPCA, we would love to have you in class. You can sign up on our website. A good website with lots of resources that I recommend is HEARTLand Positive Dog Training Alliance at There you will find many website and book recommendations–all from phenomenal trainers.   – Ashley Flores, CPDT-KA

When I go on walks with my dog, she always wants to walk in front of me and will randomly stop and sometimes I trip over her. Is she trying to tell me something? I also heard that giving treats to dogs is considered bribery. Is that true? – George Marvin Simmons

She walks in front of you because she has not yet learned to walk to your side. She will continue this behavior until she learns differently. Train her by taking a step back and luring her around and to your side by using a treat. Continue to do this until she learns the new pattern. Lure rewarding with treats can be very effective in training and is not at all considered bribery. – Ashley Flores, CPDT-KA

I have a dog that will not stop jumping on people when they visit the house. I am worried that she might hurt my grandmother when she comes over. Please help. – Rachel Barnett

Dogs jump on us to get our attention, so the best thing to do when your dog is jumping on you is to not give her that attention. Dogs are less likely to jump when you greet them in a calm and quiet manner. If she jumps on you, turn around and ignore the behavior. Sometimes your dog will run around you and jump again. If this happens, turn around again and make sure you are not facing her. Keep doing this until she gets bored of what she believes is a game and goes into a sit. Once she sits, praise her for the behavior and repeat until she stops jumping on you and your visitors. You can also try giving your visitors a treat and having them ask her to sit when they first come into the home.  – Ashley Flores, CPDT-KA

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