Our Dog Training Methods

Our dog training methods are force-free. This means that your dog will never intimidated in any way, or physically coerced to perform a behavior.

In our training, we do not use painful devices such as shock, prong or choke collars, which can temporarily reduce behaviors. Instead of repeatedly punishing your pet for demonstrating inappropriate behaviors, we teach you how to teach your pet new behaviors using positive reinforcement methods so that he can offer new, appropriate behaviors instead of the undesirable (“bad”) ones.

Positive Reinforcement

The term positive reinforcement is an element of scientific learning theory which is applicable to all beings with a brain stem. Basically, using positive reinforcement, the dog is rewarded each time it performs a correct response.

Why is it so important to reward behaviors? Animals naturally repeat behaviors which have been previously rewarded, with the result that they perform the behavior more frequently. As the animal learns and practices, the undesired behavior is replaced by the new behavior. When your pet is first learning a new behavior, you will give a reward each time he offers the desired response. As he learns and performs the new behavior regularly, you will give the rewards randomly.

Positive reinforcement dog training utilizes a variety of rewards. Rewards are anything that your dog covets. What makes your dog’s eyes light up and his tail wagging in huge circles? It could be receiving your verbal praise,  an opportunity to play with you, going for a walk or a car ride, or receiving a novel toy or a food treat. Observe your pet and make a list of the things that he loves and finds highly rewarding. We can assist you in identifying things that you can use as rewards.

The list of possible rewards is endless, and includes three basic categories of rewards:

  • Food
  • Social interaction, including play
  • Life rewards

Animals are motivated to choose behaviors the same way that humans are.  Using positive methods is the kindest way to help our dogs make the right decisions.

Consequences are an important part of learning. If your pet is routinely performing an undesirable behavior, he will be taught a new, appropriate behavior. While he is learning, if he makes a mistake and chooses the wrong behavior, an immediate consequence will be issued to deter him from repeating the wrong behavior. The main consequence in such instances is withholding the reward. Once a dog has learned a behavior, consequences for inattention or ignoring a cue can include issuing a time out so that your pet can choose the correct behavior and be rewarded for it.

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