We are committed to teaching people how to train their dogs using positive training methods. These methods are based on scientifically supported learning theory, paired with animal behavior knowledge. Our goal is to teach people, in a fun and inspiring way, how to motivate their dogs to perform desired behaviors. Our teaching practices involve no force or coercion. All lead trainers are Certified Professional Dog Trainers (CPDT). This is to ensure students are guided by committed and skilled professionals that have been independently tested on their knowledge and skills through the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers. Learn more on how to choose a trainer or behavior consultant.
There are many different approaches available to train dogs. In the past, traditional training methods were predominantly used to train animals. These methods focused heavily on using force and punishment. Positive training is a more modern, reinforcement-based technique that has been steadily growing in popularity since the mid 1980’s. It has become the standard for humane animal training. We believe positive training is the most effective and it is part of our mission to educate new dog owners on this approach.
Positive dog training is much more than give your dog a treat. The methods are based on scientific studies of animal behavior and learning theory.
You can also read more on the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers position statement regarding the Application of the Humane Hierarchy and the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior Dominance Position Statement and Punishment Position Statement.
While there are many people who have contributed to the increased understanding about how animals learn, including Ivan Pavlov, B.F. Skinner, Edward Thorndyke, Robert Bailey, Marian Breland-Bailey and Keller Breland, it was Karen Pryor who introduced positive training to the public. She was a marine mammal trainer that through her book, “Don’t Shoot the Dog (1984) really managed to translate the behavioral concepts to a very practical level and the positive dog training movement picked up from there.
We must remember that dogs are living beings who have good and bad days just like us. Some exercises they will find harder to learn than others and sometimes competing motivations can conflict with what we are asking the dog to do at any given moment. Our job is to learn how to recognize what the various motivations are and use them to our advantage. With time and through a developing habit the dog will respond to you automatically most of the time. Dogs do not disobey out of spite or stubbornness. Also, dogs live in the moment. Our lives become more complicated because we live in the past, present and the future all at the same time. The fact that the dogs live in the moment is why they are such wonderful companions!