All our dog training services use operant conditioning techniques to help shape the behaviors we want of our pets. Operant Conditioning teaches the dogs to work to achieve a reward by performing a behavior without any negative results. The basis of operant conditioning is primarily on positive reinforcement. There are no forms of physical punishment or correction.
The positive reinforcement helps build consistency in any behavior that produces it. Your dog will offer more desirable behaviors to earn a reward. The reward or primary reinforcer can be something the dog desires, like food, play, favorite toy (ball) or physical praise. A secondary reinforcer, also called conditioned reinforcers, is something the dog is taught to like. We’ll be using a clicker or verbal cue “yes”. The clicker marks that your dog has performed the desired behavior and a reward will follow.
We also use targeting techniques which helps the dog focus on performing a particular task. The uses are almost endless for targeting. We use targeting in our conformation, obedience and agility/fun classes. The main targets we use are a target stick and a plastic target. The target stick works great on behaviors requiring movement and transferring target to other objects such as the palm of your hand. The plastic target is useful in teaching contact points in agility or touching a particular object such as a door to close it.
These methods of dog training give you a dog that strives to achieve and works through mistakes because there are no negative consequences for him to fear. The only negative your dog experiences is not receiving a reward when he doesn’t perform a desired behavior. This builds better reliability and trust with the owner and their canine companions.
We offer a variety of services to encompass these training methods from group dog classes, to private lessons and board and train programs customized to meet the owner and dog’s needs. We use these same methods to help with various problem behaviors such as jumping, digging, nipping, various types of aggression, food protection and timid or shy dogs.