What will you use to train my dog?
Food is a great motivator and one that works well for most dogs, but we may also use play, toys, and attention at times.
I've heard it's bad to use food to train, won’t it be bribing or cause a dependence on food?
This is a very common concern and there's still a lot of myths out there about dogs and training, but the truth is dogs and all living beings are dependent on food. That’s why it is such a great motivator, we use that need to our advantage. We’ll do so in a way that gets your dog working for food, not using it as a bribe.
When can I stop using food?
Short answer, dogs do what works. This means if a behavior stops working the dog will stop doing it. It’s not a moral failing on their part, when you think about it, we all expect to be paid for going to work. We can, however, add in other types of rewards like toys, access to outdoors, and attention as well as get more behavior for less pay (food), but we can’t stop reinforcement all together without losing the behavior.
What happens when my dog gets something right or something wrong?
When your dog performs the behavior we’re looking for, we’ll provide her with a reward (usually food). If she doesn't we simply withhold or remove the reward. Then, we’ll give her another chance to get it right and make adjustments if what we’re asking is too hard.
Don’t all dogs learn differently?
All dogs learn via consequences and associations. I'll teach you how to reward the behaviors you want so you get more of them and how to make good associations so your dog can be confident and well rounded. We don’t need to rely on punishment based methods for learning to occur. In fact, it's better when we don't!
How will my dog know he’s being bad or doing something he shouldn’t do with reward-based methods?
Dogs do not learn right and wrong the way we do. They learn safe/dangerous and what works. If your dog is misbehaving we can teach him a different behavior, one we like better, to do instead. If he’s scared or acting aggressively, we can help him make positive associations around those things that cause him to react. By doing this, we can change those unwanted behaviors and the underlying emotion of fear.
Do you offer a guarantee?
Just as surgeons can’t ethically offer guarantees, I can not offer one when it comes to behavior and training. There is just no way to guarantee the behavior of another living being, but I will be honest with you on prognosis and show you how to keep the behavior as reliable as possible.
What credentials do you need to be a dog training?
Sadly, none. In the US and many other parts of the world dog training is an unregulated industry. Anyone can call themselves a trainer without an understanding of animal learning or behavior. I believe people and dogs deserve better so I chose to get an education from the world-renowned Academy for Dog Trainers. I’m now well versed in why behavior problems occur and how to fix them by way of best practice.