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Canine communication

"I'm just asking him to stay here," she said.

She tries to get him to focus on her body language, and she does not actually say much at all.

"When he has the ability to focus on me it takes out everything in the world," she said.

A large part of what Marciano does is to get the dog to focus on her head, and instead of yanking him with the leash, she allows him to follow her body and go where she wants him to without being forceful.

She said people often think that using the leash is the best way to control a dog, however that is a mistake.

"The mental leash is much stronger than any physical leash you will ever have," she said.

She also said people often accidentally reinforce bad behavior.

She said if a dog jumps on someone and that person uses his or her hands to get it down, the dog could misinterpret that as petting and think it is behavior that person is seeking.

Marciano said she started out boarding dogs when the Guilderland animal shelter was under renovation and she had taken in some animals in the interim.

She said many had issues, including one pit bull "with lots of energy." The 4-year-old would not listen to commands, and would constantly nip and jump on people. She said using her training techniques, she was able to train the animal to behave, and it was eventually able to be adopted.

"You have to see what you have. Most of it is a frustration level," she said of why some dogs seem like they cannot be trained.

She said a lot of her expertise comes from watching other trainers, reading books, experience and patience.

Marciano has watched top-level trainers and said it is important to find the techniques that work best for the individual dog.

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