My teaching methods are 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 teaching a dog new skills. 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 maximize 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
Managing the dog's environment wisely, when needed, to prevent continued rehearsal of those problems.