When you bring a puppy or older dog into your home you have a picture in mind of what you would like your life together to be like.
At DogRelations we help you plan that journey and make it as clear and easy for you as possible. We emphasize the importance of paying attention to the behavioral aspects of raising and educating your dogs.
Puppy classes are great for socializing with other dogs and humans and exploring some basic skills but they usually do not provide enough information about how to raise your puppy to avoid nuisance or problem behaviors as your puppy matures, or, if you are adopting an older dog, how to iron out those unwanted behaviors that your older dog came with.
Many unwanted behaviors happen because the human has inadvertently provided reinforcement for those behaviors. As part of our private training we teach you how to become aware of how you interact with your puppy or dog and give you guidelines that will help you avoid pitfalls while having a loving, caring and fun relationship with your dog.
At DogRelations we advocate positive reinforcement training only. Regardless if you want to work on behavior modification or if you want to teach basic skills (sit/stay/come/down/settle/leave it) or if teaching your dog a whole repertoire of tricks is your goal, there are plenty of fun ways your dog will learn efficiently without having to correct or use aversive methods.
One of the most effective and consistent ways to mark a desired behavior, a movement in the right direction, a cue performed successfully, is a tool called a clicker. We use clickers a lot and love them. When we teach a dog with a clicker we allow the dog to make choices and reward the right choices. The wonderful aspect here is that there is no coercion, the dog has control over his or her actions but gets rewarded only for the actions that please the human. Since dogs are genetically wired to please humans they will choose to repeat rewarded behaviors. That really is the beauty of clicker training. Of course you are shaping the dog’s behavior but the dog does not have to perform motivated by fear of punishment but will perform inspired by a history of rewards and successes that are equally rewarding to human and canine.
When a dog gets into “trouble” the reason usually lies in the fact that the right choice was not easy or not obvious for the dog. It is the responsibility of the dog trainer or the human companion to make the dog’s learning process as error free as possible. Think of each repetition of an unwanted behavior as practice to improve on that unwanted behavior. Correction is much less efficient than learning in a clear line of communication.
The fewer errors your dog or puppy can make, the higher the success rate and the faster the learning process. Inappropriate behaviors are not practiced, not rewarded and die out. Your dog will learn that polite behaviors pay off.
Let us help you figure out why maybe your dog does not come when called or why she is still having accidents in the house from time to time. We’ll show you how fun and easy it actually is to interact in a positive and educating way.
So rather than thinking that problems are going to go away with time: Call us and we’ll help solve the problems quickly and easily before they are too entrenched.
You’ll learn how to teach your dog to understand what pleases you. A dog’s inherent devotion makes training easy, if you are consistent.
Dogs learn by trial and error and will rarely try a behavior that does not work to their advantage more than a couple of times. Walk away from unwanted behaviors such as jumping or nipping and they will die out right away.
Of course ALL of the above can be done in a friendly and loving atmosphere. No need to be bossy, no need for punishment. Be consistent and be fair and reward wanted behaviors you like to see. With positive reinforcement both you and your dog will reap the rewards by having a magnificent, funny, loyal and reliable companion in one another.