My Training & Behavior Philosophy
The saying goes:
You can have a well TRAINED dog who is not well BEHAVED or a well BEHAVED dog who is not well TRAINED.
We aim to achieve a balance of both!
I will look at your dogs environment, lifestyle, personality, needs, learning and play style, individual motivations, health considerations, age, breed, training goals and your family dynamics and everything else that is unique to your dog. Each training plan is aimed at your entire dog's wellbeing! As a Licensed Veterinary Technician, I can also assess your dogs diet, overall health, dental hygiene and physical wellbeing and offer suggestions within the law.
PROACTIVE vs REACTIVE methods of training
When our dogs is performing behaviors we don't love, we could spend all day saying "no!, stop! bad dog! no bite! off! quiet!" etc. OR we can get AHEAD of the behaviors and set your dog up for success in the first place. A game of behavior chase is exhausting and won't teach your dog anything other than to not trust you and to be afraid of your lashing out when you've had enough by yelling or being aggressive toward them. Instead, let's get your dog into a routine they can expect and know what to do (VS what not to do) in those moments when your dog is being a a dog!
Training VS Behavior Modification VS everything else
What does it all mean?!?! Well, a knowledgeable and educated trainer will know how to seamlessly apply a wide variety of training and behavior modification techniques intertwined into every session and class.
If you ask your dog to do a back flip, right now, what would happen? Would they do it? Would they sit and wag their tail waiting for a treat with a confused look on their face? Would they ignore you completely?
The behavior cue "back flip!" must be taught to each dog, step by step, over many hours or day. It's an arduous advanced process.
But for common life skill behaviors like stay, come, leash walking and place- can all be taught using simple steps. Some more steps than others, some easier than others.
The steps need to be taught! A word means nothing without the instruction to build the dogs understanding and confidence with each step before we combine all the steps into one behavior chain.
Try asking your dog to do the behaviors they know like sit or stay- in another language they've never heard! THAT'S how they feel when you say "roll over" without having taught them thoroughly, step-by-step.
Leadership VS Alpha/Dominance
I'm sure we can all agree, the one who has the biggest responsibility and overall ability to provide all resources and safety, should be the one with the most influence on directing the activities and boundaries others whom are in their care. This means YOU have to be the dogs leader, not their dominator or a forceful drill sergeant. This means your dog should follow your leadership guidance for safety because only YOU know when a person speeds through a stop sign right before you cross and your dog should heel instead of be pulling you across the road at that moment, which neighbors don't love your dog peeing on the garden on your walks and that you already got an angry note on your door, how fragile new baby's skin is when jumping up and leaving scratches making those guests not want to visit, how toxic that bowl of grapes is on the counter and how much an ER visit for a dog can be, or that some people don't appreciate being run up to at full speed by a dog they don't know and could be carrying pepper spray for self-defense weather YOU think your dog is nice or not.
We use basic obedience as the foundation and then we also build behavior chains and life skills to assist your dog in cooperating in these moments so they learn to display good manners and follow your lead when you ask them to perform behaviors.
You'll provide fair and consistent leadership guidance which alleviates your dogs stress/anxiety and sets clear boundaries and expectations. This ensures a swift and successful training process!