My job as a dog trainer comes down to one thing... to make sure that you and your pet have the best relationship possible. I call myself a dog trainer but that's only part of what I do. I am really a trainer of dog owners, helping them understand dog behavior while learning to educate their canines and maintain proper behavior.
My methods are based on years of experience training dogs of all breeds and temperaments as well as working in animal rescue. It's important to me to assess both your dog's nature as well as your relationship dynamic so that I 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, I am always willing to adjust my method accordingly to give you and your dog the best chance for success.
I most likely woud not work a sensitive rescue dog the same way I would work a dominant Shepherd. Your Labrador puppy, for example, has a very different mentality than a Bulldog puppy. A sporting or working breed dog is going to be motivated in a different way than a non-sporting or toy breed. My knowledge and experience with many types of purebreeds and mixed breeds gives me an ability to recognize what training methods work best. It is my goal to pass this knowledge on to you. The more you know about your dog, the better your relationship will be!
It's important to know where to start so that you aren't trying to set up a "quick fix" for a larger problem. I have found that training from a foundation level is important in maintaining good behavior throughout your dog's life. Dogs are pack animals, and if you obtain a leadership role and have a relationship based on love, trust and respect, everything will fall into line. It's important that your dog looks to you for guidance so that he doesn't always react instantly to stimuli but can be re-directed in a positive manner. You don't need to "dominate" your dog, but your dog does need to look to you for permission and guidance so better decisions are made.
Treats are used in my training on and off. I do not believe in relying solely on treats to expect an appropriate response from your dog for the basic commands once the commands are taught. However, with young dogs and puppies, treats are an important part of making training a rewarding experience. I will also use treats with adult dogs, but not necessarily every time. I will always use a positive reward system to praise your dog for making the right decisions. I do not believe harsh corrections, severe punishment or fear is the right method for teaching a dog to listen. Consistency and routine, praising the correct behavior while controlling negative responses, will lead to a successful relationship.