Our training methods
Broadly speaking, our methods fall into the force-free category. We’ve found this to be the most effective way to build a strong bond with your dog and get them to want to listen to you, while minimizing the chances they’ll develop aggression-related behavior problems.
We teach you how to properly use positive reinforcement (like food, play, and real-life rewards), to teach your dog exactly what you want them to do, while avoiding common mistakes dog owners make that cause positive reinforcement to fail.
In many cases, especially when training important skills like recall (aka come when called), we also employ classical conditioning to create a strong, positive response in your dog. You know how there are certain words or phrases, like “want a treat?” “dinner time,” “let’s go for a walk,” that make dogs snap to attention and say “HELL YES I WANT A TREAT/DINNER/WALK?”
You’ll learn how to condition that same response when your dog hears their recall cue.
We also teach you how and when to use enrichment, exercise, redirection, and management to further improve your dog’s behavior and create good habits.
Where appropriate, we use desensitization, habituation, and counter-conditioning to deal with behavior issues that are based in fear, aggression, overexcitement, or poor early socialization. We go at the dog’s pace and do not force them into situations they aren’t ready for. (In technical terms, we don’t use “flooding”)
If any of that sounds daunting or makes your eyes glaze over, don’t worry: we have a bunch of frameworks, exercises, and games in our courses and coaching program to show you exactly how to do all this. Our methods aren’t just dog-friendly, they’re human-friendly, too.
We do not use: Aversives like spray bottles, scary noises, collar corrections or physical punishment. Because while those methods sometimes work to stop unwanted behavior in the short term, they often create worse behavior or even aggression in the long term, and make it harder to build a strong bond.
But if you’re already using aversive methods? No worries! When you join our program, we meet you where you’re at and we can help you gradually remove the need for those corrections.