Our Philosophy: Positive Dog Training

We are committed to using only modern, science-based methods to build good dog behavior in
our daycare playroom and in our classes.  Luckily for both dogs and humans, modern dog training
is much more fun than all those old-fashioned dog training strategies like leash jerks, scruff shakes, squirt bottles and alpha rolls.  You’ll both enjoy the time you spend together training and that pleasant time together will be a strong foundation for a great relationship!

Though using physical punishment such as leash corrections CAN result in a trained dog, what suffers is the relationship between dog and owner.  We believe having a strong relationship based on mutual respect and trust is an important element to shaping a well-mannered dog that is a joy to live with.

Positive dog training doesn’t rely on physical punishment, force or coercion. Instead the focus is on rewarding the good behavior you want to see more of. The result is an effective dog training style that is fun for both you and your dog!

Positive dog training is based on the principles of classical and operant conditioning. All animals from whales to dogs to humans learn in the same way: from the consequences of our actions.  We are more likely to repeat an action that results in something pleasant.

We will use a sound, either a click or a word like ‘Yes!”, to mark the behavior that we like, and immediately reward the dog. The sound we use is paired repeatedly with the reward in order to create a classically conditioned response (think Pavlov’s dogs.) When your dog has been conditioned to the sound, when he hears it he will know he earned a reward.  He will pay attention to what actions earn rewards, and he’ll repeat those actions in the future. You won’t have to use the clicker or treats forever.  After the good behavior is established, you can start phasing out some of the rewards while honoring the fact that relationships only remain strong if it is reinforcing to be together.

Positive training is about more than just giving out rewards. You need a good strategy for dealing with misbehavior. Anything that your dog does, he is doing because it works for him on some level. Whether it is jumping up on visitors or barking, your dog persists at inappropriate behavior only if it is rewarding. A solid understanding of what drives your dog to practice those unwelcome behaviors will help you figure out how to remove the reward, if possible, and make doing something else instead pay off better.

One of the inspiring things about positive training is how much the dogs enjoy the training sessions. The time you spend training your dog to do new behaviors will be fun time you spend together. Positive dog training will give you the tools necessary to successfully meet any dog training challenge without using force or physical punishment.

Check out our dog obedience classes and sign up today!