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Woman who started as volunteer is now a dog training consultant

Debbie McMullen, who wrote a book called "How Many Dogs?! Using Positive Reinforcement to Manage a Multiple Dog Household," now works as a trainer for those with multiple canines, according to the Seattle Times.

McMullen recommends using positive-reinforcement instead of punishment. If a dog misbehaves, owners should withhold a treat.

"It boils down to requiring manners and being the leader, not allowing a pushy dog to get away with stuff. It's also about teaching people how to set guidelines and what to do when a problem arises," McMullen, who runs the Pawsitive Reactions consulting business, told the news source.

McMullen herself started out as a volunteer at a local animal shelter and quickly found that she had a penchant for working with difficult dogs. Although she was bitten at times, she found the work "exciting and challenging," according to the news outlet.

The Humane Society estimates that there are about 77.5 million household dogs in the U.S., with 39 percent of homes having at least one dog. About 19 percent of canines come from an animal shelter.
 
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