Our method is positive reinforcement. We treat dogs as individuals and assess their personalities along with their way of learning before applying a technique suitable for them. We reinforce positive behaviors and help owners manage undesirable ones to create a healthy, happy, and responsive dog.
While food is the most common way to reinforce positive behavior, not all dogs are sufficiently motivated by food to use it in training. Likewise, other dogs are so stimulated by food that it becomes a training distraction. Every dog has a unique list of motivational drives. Our job is to find those drives and use them as reinforcement to train our clients’ dogs. If your dog is food motivated but has food allergies, we can find treats that are suitable, and use these exclusively with your dog.
Dogs learn through operant conditioning–they learn based on the consequences of their actions. These consequences can be good, neutral, or bad. Good consequences or positive reinforcement of a specific behavior will increase the likelihood that your dog will repeat that behavior. It is equally important that we keep the consequences of undesirable behaviors neutral, and avoid accidently reinforcing them. Positive training works with every dog if the technique is applied correctly and is balanced between training and management. We work closely with our clients to make sure every dog is getting the best learning experience and understands the concepts being taught. This is the surest path to long-term training success.
Yes, any dog, regardless of age, can learn new behaviors and habits.
There is no single answer to this question. A well trained dog takes time and dedication. Every dog is different, and every client has different goals and expectations when it comes to their canine companion, as well as varying amounts of time and energy to devote to training. We believe training is for a lifetime, and positive behaviors—no matter how quickly they were learned—should be continuously reinforced.
We ask that all dogs in group classes be friendly on leash with other dogs and people. We offer a Reactive Dogs class for those canines who are not as friendly on leash. If you’re unsure how your dog will react in a group setting, we recommend starting with a private lesson.
We design our programs to give our clients various options based on their time commitment and budget. We are happy to help you pick the most suitable program for you and your dog. We recommend that every client fill out a training consultation form prior to training. The information on this form allows us to pick a program with you during the first phone consultation.