What is "positive training"?
The simplest was to explain it is an approach to behavior change that focuses on the reinforcement of appropriate behavior, teaching the dog what exactly it is you want them to do. Once people get into the habit of rewarding behavior that is “good,” or wanted, the nuisance and problem behaviors get shaken off like extra water after their bath. Of course, if troubling behaviors persist, we can put together fear-free, pain-free ways to address modifying them.
Do we have to use food?
Food is typically one of the strongest rewards. For dogs, food is considered an unconditioned reinforcer. Simple, you do not have to teach the dog to want it or like it. Because you are paying good money for our time, we use food to make sure the process moves as efficiently as possible. Once we start working, we will guide you through the process of identifying other forms of reinforcements that we can utilize as well. Anything that dog is trying to acquire – a Beagle getting to a scent, a Lab wanting the ball, or a Doodle desperately trying to get attention – is your currency. These things can and will be also be used as rewards in exchange for a desired behavior.
Can't I just tell my dog no?
“No!” The world’s most inefficient cue. How many times do you say the word no to your dog in the course of a day? How many times does it work in putting an end to thing you want to stop? There seems to be 2 outstanding problems with the word “no.” Unless the word is conditioned to mean that there is a consequence on the horizon, it gives the dog no information. If you ask a dog to stop a behavior that he is performing that gets him what he wants, and you do not give him an alternate behavior that you find acceptable, that dog will be confused and frustrated. The other problematic result of saying "no" is that we say it too often and the dog learns to tune you out. Those of you with kids may recognize this phenomenom. : )
What am I paying for?
There is a lot of unseen time that goes into working with dogs and their families. We have moved away from hourly rates because it does not communicate what you are actually paying for. Included in the fee is the time spent with you and your dog, note writing, handouts, communication outside of the sessions, questions, email and other administrative costs. For every hour spent with a client is another support hour that happens in support of your dog's success.
What is the best way to communicate?
Text for immediate needs. Emeregencies, last minute cancellations, or behavior emergencies like bites, are all really good content for texts. I may not be able to answer immediately if I am in a session but will text you back as soon as I can.
Where do the session take place?
Exciting question! We are working on seeing clients at our new place. I have some special stuff planned for every visit. But until we are ready to launch, I am seeing clients in their home and will have access to office space in Warwick just in case it saves some travel time for me or you. : )