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Training Methods

My teaching methods are gentle and based on positive reinforcement, which means learning is rewarding and fun for the dogs. Equally important, this technique is very effective and there are many different rewards we can use when training. Food is often a quick and easy way to lay a training foundation, and then a variety of non-food rewards can be used to cement the skills. Each dog is motivated by different things so I tailor training to the individual.

Please don't be fooled by deceptive phrases like: "the dog will only respond when you have a treat in your hand." If the training techniques are poor then, sure, the dog will only listen when food is dangling in front of his nose. But when you work with me, I'll coach you on the correct use and delivery of food. And once each skill is well-learned, I'll show you how to reduce the use of goodies and increase the use of non-food rewards.

When problem behaviors are already firmly in place, my approach includes:

  • Identifying the WHY behind the behavior

  • Removing the reinforcers for that undesired behavior (i.e., the things that maintain the behavior)

  • Teaching a more appropriate behavior to replace the unwanted one

  • Creating alternative outlets for behaviors that are important to your dog, when possible

  • Managing the dog's environment wisely, when needed, to prevent continued rehearsal of those problems

train obedience skills, sit stay walk on a loose leash
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