The foolproof method of teaching a dog to come when you want him to is to harshly admonish him when he finally obeys, says Ian Dunbar, director of the Center for Applied Animal Behavior, based in Berkeley. Unlike the traditional leash-and-choke-collar method of training, modern techniques are based on the notion that common canine problems--biting, barking, chewing, digging, house soiling--are all normal expressions of a dog's nature. The trick is to redirect these "misbehaviors" to appropriate outlets, using reward-oriented strategies. Dunbar is instructing a class, Dog Behavior and Training, through UCLA Extension, on Jan. 31, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ($45). Telephone (213) 825-7093 for more information.
Dunbar is holding another seminar, Preventing Canine Aggression, for owners of dogs that fight with other dogs or that bite people, on Jan. 10 and 11, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Holiday Inn in Anaheim ($100). To register in advance, telephone (415) 658-8588.