Training Philosophy

I believe training is a communication between you and your dog.  Communication goes two ways – understanding dog behavior and body language is the first step to building a trusting relationship with your dog.  Listening to what your dog is saying is as important as teaching your dog to understand what you want him to do.

Positive reinforcement isn’t just passing out treats! Toys, freedom, walking, running, sniffing, going for a car ride, going outside, chasing, tugging and attention are all used to build a relationship of trust and respect with your dog. Training should be fun for both you and your dog.  Incorporate toys, games, tricks and be creative!  Dogs will do what’s reinforcing to them – find what your dog likes in any given moment, and use it as a reward and incentive for good behavior.  Minimize your dogs bad decisions by managing your dogs environment (crate, leash, fence, removing temptation).  Always acknowledge or reward your dog for making good decisions.

A well trained dog is a dog who is a welcome visitor in friends’ homes, is polite in public, and one who is easy to live with.  A well trained dog has more freedom and fun than an untrained dog.  A well trained dog gets more leash walks (because he doesn’t pull), more off leash walks (because he listens), gets taken along for the ride (because he is social), is brought out in public and is comfortable in someone else’s care.  A well trained dog is happy, social and loved – and isn’t that what we want for our furry best friends?

Pam Maxx Jinxx Labor Day 09

3 thoughts on “Training Philosophy

  1. Great job, Pam. I like how you stress listening to your dog is just as important as teaching them to listen to us. Forming a relationship with your dog requires honoring their individuality, and being sensitive to their unique personality. Some relationships are more complicated than others, and we can learn so much from them. Keep up the good work. 🙂

  2. So happy with the training Phil and I have received from you and Holly. Even if Noseworks doesn’t end up being our “main event” it is definitely something we will keep training and working in. I attribute all of Phil’s recent successes to what he has learned with you guys. It definitely has been a confidence builder and a lot of fun besides.

    • Thanks Cathy! It’s been really fun watching Phil come alive with confidence (that strut!) and to see how happy and uninhibited he looks. Such a huge difference – so glad to hear it’s carrying over to other areas. Your practice with him and dedication have really solidified what he’s been learning and experiencing in classes, so who knows what he’ll do and where he’ll go? It’s nice to have options!
      Think about the Odor Recognition Test(s) coming up. We’ll do some box work next week – I have no doubt that he can find birch in a box within 3 minutes!

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