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?
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 Unfortunately, there is an abundance of outdated and even harmful advice out there regarding raising and training dogs.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?
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.