Frequently Asked Questions

What training methods do you use?


I use positive reinforcement training methods. By using food and other rewards to train your dog, we will create excitement for learning new things and working with you. Training your dog does not require force or power struggles. The methods and techniques I use are based in science and have proven to be effective for all breeds of dogs, not to mention marine mammals, zoo animals, and even humans!




What is the most important thing for new puppy owners to know?


The number one, most important thing for owners of puppies to focus on is socialization. Puppies up to 16 weeks are at the optimal age to experience new people, places and things with minimal fear and hesitation. After 16 weeks, your puppy will start to become increasingly more fearful of things that they have not yet experienced. The number one reason that dogs are relinquished to shelters between 6 months and 2 years of age is because of behavior problems that are preventable with proper socialization. You have 10+ years to teach your dog to sit and lay down, you have only two months to properly socialize him. Don't miss that chance!




What do you mean when you talk about "building relationships" between dogs and their people?


The majority of people choose to get a dog because they want it to be a part of their family. Unfortunately, there is an abundance of outdated and even harmful advice out there regarding raising and training dogs. I want you to know that it is not necessary to use intimidation, force, pain and fear in order to have a well behaved dog. In fact, your dog will be much more willing to work with you if you do not use those methods! Raising dogs is very similar to raising kids, and many of the same rules apply. Dogs need to be shown what is expected of them. They need rules and boundaries, but they also need to be set up to succeed often so that they get really good at practicing good behaviors. My ultimate goal in working with dogs and their people is to improve the quality of life for everyone involved, and to help you build a relationship with your dog based on mutual respect and trust.




Isn't positive reinforcement training just bribery?


Not at all! Do you go to work for free? No! And it's a good thing that your boss doesn't enforce productivity using a prong collar, too. Positive reinforcement training is based off of the best science known to humanity on helping animals (and people) learn and change behavior. Think of these treats as your dog's pay check for a job well done!




Will I have to feed my dog treats forever to get him to do what I ask?


Absolutely not! The goal with motivational training is to use what is reinforcing to your dog (treats, toys, etc.) to build a strong foundation in your relationship together. Once each behavior is learned and has a strong foundation, we quickly start asking for the behaviors without a reinforcement every time. Our training goal is always to teach your dog how to respond to your cues without a treat in your hand, by creating strongly-reinforced, learned behaviors at the beginning of the process. Each reinforcement (such as a treat) that we use at the beginning of the training process is like a coin deposited into a bank account that we can withdraw from later.





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Our Training Center is Located at 12785 Price Rd SE, Olalla, WA 98359

Serving Gig Harbor, Olalla, Port Orchard and Surrounding Areas

253-820-1631  /  affinitycanineeducation@gmail.com

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