Frequently Asked Questions
Click on the question below to see the answer. If you have a question that is not covered here or you want to get more details, please contact us.
Obedience Training and Behavior Modification
What training method do you use? Are you an 'all positive' trainer?
We do not use any single method or approach. We use many different training tools and aids to help you manage your dog’s behavior, teach commands, and obtain life-changing positive behavior modification results. Each person’s situation is unique, and while the manner of obtaining behavior modification results is always the same: generate engagement, create communication, set expectations and create accountability; the tools, timeline, and technique for each client may be slightly different.
In some cases, it’s important to incorporate tools and techniques that get results faster. Other times, there is a physical limitation for the owner and/or dog that requires a different tool or technique. Or, because of a dog’s sensitive nature, we need to extend the timeline and use tools that will be perceived as less confrontational.
If a tool or technique is getting positive results for you and helping create a better relationship between you and your dog, then that is what I want to use. Remember, it’s not the tool or technique that is inherently aversive or reinforcing, it’s how the dog perceives it.
Some of the handling techniques incorporated into the training may include:
- Gentle manual manipulation
- Rewarding with affection, treats, or play
- Leash pressure
- Leash/collar corrections
- Stimulation from an e-collar
- Corrections from a squirt bottle, bean bag, or throw chain
- Use of a crate
NOTE: The only true “method” of dog training that is in practice today is the Koehler Method. The reason it is considered a method and not simply a “handling style” or “approach” is that there are very specific steps that must be done in a very specific order to get a proven outcome. While there are many different training approaches and styles these days, none would be considered true methods.
Do I have to use an e-collar to work with you?
So no, you don’t have to use an e-collar to train with me, but if you’re scared of them or against them because of things you’ve read or seen online, I am going to ask you to give me 10 minutes to change your mind about the tool.
I've done training in a group class before and am still having problems with my dog. How will your training be different and/or more effective?
In addition, a dog quickly learns that the rules apply at class, but not at home, if effective at-home follow-up by the owner isn’t taking place. Private lessons in your home provides one-on-one instruction for you and your dog at the very place most people need and want better behavior, home. With a range of training tools and techniques, we can establish a comfortable timeline for your progress and even start addressing many behavior problems right away in the first session.
My dog already knows basic obedience but he has a specific behavior problem. Can you address his behavior problem?
Yes. This is actually relatively common. In fact, most of our clients have already done some form of obedience training with their dog.
Sometimes, the training they did wasn’t a good fit to address the dog’s issues. Other times, they just didn’t take the training far enough, didn’t have enough problem-solving help, or allowed the training to drop off. In many cases, they learned very effectively how to reinforce behaviors they wanted, but not how to inhibit the behaviors they did not want.
The root of most perceived behavior problems lies in poor impulse control especially when it comes to some drive that we perceive to be inappropriate. For example, a dog with a cat chasing problem is engaging in prey drive and exercising very little impulse control. It could be that more training is needed, we may need to incorporate a correction if one wasn’t used in the past to inhibit the prey response and increase the dog’s threshold for engaging in this behavior, we may need to try to change the way the dog perceives the cat (not as prey, but as a companion).
Once we accurately understand the root cause of your dog’s behavior problems and identify the contributing factors, in addition to ensuring you’re working an effective obedience training plan, we recommend modifications to your lifestyle and routine. This can include a change of food, increased exercise, more consistent rules and boundaries, a more effective way to correct the dog’s unwanted behavior, etc.
Do you work with aggressive dogs?
Can you really fix my dog in a board and train?
Your dog’s board and train experience is not unlike this. He will learn a lot in a short period of time. You will be impressed with how he interacts with the trainer. But like the Biggest Loser contestants, he risks falling into old habits once back home if he doesn’t have a “support system” in place. That is why we focus as much effort on training you to maintain your dog’s training after the board and train as we focus on training your dog during the board and train. Board and trains are a “quick fix” because they accelerate your dog’s learning, but without your follow-up, it will not be a long-term fix.
Dog Training Services
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