Our main focus as dog trainers is to make sure that you and your pet have the best relationship possible. We call ourselves dog trainers but our work is as much about educating people as it is about training the dogs. We want to help you to understand your dog's unique personality and learn to read body language so that your communication tools are most effective.
Our methods are based on years of experience training dogs of all breeds and temperaments as well as working in animal rescue. It's important for us to assess both your dog's nature as well as your relationship dynamic so that we can help you find the best solution to your training needs. While one method may work for one owner/dog team, it may not work for another. Therefore, we are always willing to adjust our methods accordingly to give you and your dog the best chance for success.
It's important to know where to start so that you aren't trying to set up a "quick fix" for a larger problem. We have found that training from a foundation level is important in maintaining good behavior throughout your dog's life. We put heavy emphasis on impulse control so that your dog learns to look to you for direction and permission. This creates a more patient, well mannered dog who makes better decisions and can easily hesitate and/or re-direct to you when needed. We also call this "permission based training."
Think of it this way... if your front door was left open, do you have a dog asking if he/she can go out or you have a dog bolting out the door? If your dog learns to take things by permission (the dog sat nicely, without jumping, and therefore got a treat or a toy), then your dog also learns not to snatch, not to beg, not to jump, not steal, not run away, etc. Your dog learns when he gives something to you (good behavior, an expected command or task), you give something to him (praise, food, toy, etc.) What a great relationship you can have!
We believe in reward based training. And the more rewards you can offer, the better! Examples of rewards are food, toys, praise, petting, going on a walk, meeting a friend, etc. So if your dog sat nicely when a friend came through the door, the reward is greeting and getting pet by that friend. If your puppy laid down and held the position while you squeaked a toy, the puppy gets the toy! Rewards work much better than force, coercion or heavy pressure. It's equally important to be your dog's leader... not in a dominant, forceful way but in a rewarding, educational way.