Before we cover my specific training style, let me address an even more important question: “why training?”
The statistics are staggering – in a survey conducted by the National Council on Pet Overpopulation, it was revealed that 96% of all dogs surrendered to shelters or rescue, had never received any training. These dogs ended up homeless or euthanized due to behavioral problems -they just were never taught how to live in a human world after humans brought them into it.
Surrendering the “problem” dog was just a quick fix to one of the symptoms of not training a dog you invite to join your family. To add to that sad statistic, many people will then go get another puppy or dog (kind of like saying you are going to get a new husband/wife without “those” problems) only to find the same challenges show up again. Einstein said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Was he thinking of these dogs who were never given a chance in life?
Training your dog can prevent him from being a part of this tragic statistic. When we bring another species into our lives and our homes, don’t we owe them a chance to learn the rules of the household? And as one of my early mentors used to tell me, “It’s not the dogs, it’s the people!”
If training your dog assured that he would have a forever home, that would be enough — but there is much, much more. The bond that will develop between two different species is amazing and unless you’ve experienced it, you can’t know the magic. We are only scratching the surface of what having a pet can do for your well-being, physical as well as mental and emotional. Children can learn leadership, discipline, and self-control. Knowing that there is one creature who depends on you, allows you to depend on it, and is non-judgmental and reliably available for unconditional love, is a priceless gift in this impersonal and often harsh world.
My training philosophy is built on the following:
- Reward-based training built on positive reinforcement.
- Owner education focused on how dogs learn.
- Professional tips to eliminate unwanted behaviors.
- Information on the latest professional training tools and equipment.
Why “in-home” training?
Dogs spend the vast majority of their time at home. Whether you are wanting to work on basic obedience or behavior modification for unwanted habits, training in the dog’s own environment eliminates the insatiable drive to check out all the wonderful and newsworthy scents in unfamiliar territory. Training classes are great for dogs, but having some of the behavioral basics on cue make it a lot less stressful for both you and your dog. Your dog can focus on primarily you and learning new behaviors, not spending the hour of classroom time obsessing over the butt of his classroom neighbors!
Also, it is safer for your pet and others. Veterinarians do not want puppies exposed to other puppies or dogs until they have finished their puppy vaccinations. If you get your puppy at 8 weeks, these puppy shots will not be completed until Week 12, at the earliest. *Behaviorists know that puppies between the ages of 8-16 weeks are in the window of time of brain development known as the first Critical Period for learning. It’s not a catastrophe if your pup missed this first Critical Period for training. They can still learn all they need to know to live successfully in the human world ~ learning will just never happen as easily or quickly as it will during this extremely valuable stage in his development. Which simply translates into a little more work/time on the human’s part ~ and more opportunity for bonding!
- Your dog is trained in his/her own environment.
- Fewer distractions, less stress.
- Sessions are tailored to meet your specific obedience goals.
- Individual behavioral problems are addressed. You don’t pay for what you don’t need.
- Flexible training schedules to fit your lifestyle.
- Personal one-on-one training means more time focused on solving your dog’s problems.