Pressure reducing valves (PRVs) are typically used to regulate excessive pressure in water distribution networks. During transient events, the dynamic response of PRVs may adversely affect pressure fluctuations in distribution networks. In this study, the dynamic response of PRVs was analyzed by developing a numerical model that coupled an existing water-hammer model and a two-parameter dynamic PRV model. PRV parameters were calibrated, and the model was validated using previous experimental observations. The model was then used to study the effect of PRV dynamics during transient events in a distribution network. To optimize the rate of PRV opening and closure and control its dynamic response, the model was interfaced with an optimization algorithm based on shuffled complex evolution. The applied objective function gave PRV parameters that accelerated damping of the transient pressure waves and minimized the root-mean-square deviation from post-transient steady pressure at all nodes in the network. The results of this study indicate the importance of accounting for PRV response when simulating transients in water distribution networks. This study also highlights the need for PRV manufacturers to include in their product catalogs dynamic PRV parameters for use in transient analysis.