Dog training should be fun and rewarding for both you and your dog. Communicating with your dog is important and when you tell it not to do something you should be able to tell it what to do instead.
Taking dog training classes teaches you to read your dog; what makes it happy and what makes it stressed, to be able to identify it’s signs of stress and you learn how to motivate its behavior. We teach you to do this through rewards based training methods. K-9 Healers focuses on positive reinforcement training methods:
Reinforcement (giving) and Punishment (taking away) “What you pay attention to is what you are going to get”
K9Healers uses the training methods below (+R –P) we teach our dog new exercises or reward what they already know by luring, capturing and shaping behaviors. This method increases the positive relationship between the dog and the person developing trust and respect without dominance. In class, you will learn the proper timing in delivering the reward or taking away the reward since timing and consistency are key.
- +R (Positive Reinforcement) When you reinforce a behavior, you increase the likelihood that the dog will offer you the behavior again. If you ask your dog to “sit” and the dog sits, you reward with a yummy treat or something else it really enjoys such as a tummy rub, throw a ball or play with a toy. The dog will remember that by sitting, it received a treat so it is likely to offer you another sit in order to get a reward. Remember to always reward/acknowledge a behavior you like!
- -P (Negative Punishment) When your dog does something you do not like, the reward is removed. If the dog jumps on you and you turn your back, ignoring the dog, you are taking away what it wants (your face). If your dog is barking at you and you look away, ignoring the dog you are taking away what it wants (your attention) If your dog is pulling you on the leash and you walk faster trying to keep up with its pace you are rewarding it’s pulling on the leash. If you stop in your tracks and refuse to move, you are taking away what it wants (walking faster and pulling on the leash)
K9Healers does not use any of the methods listed below (+P –R) as they cause fear and pain to the dog:
- +P (Positive Punishment) Although it sounds positive, positive punishment means you are applying a punishment. When your dog pulls on the leash, you “pop” the dog or you use a prong collar pinching the dog’s skin when it pulls.
- -R (Negative Reinforcement) When you stop “popping” the dog that is pulling on the leash or the prong collar stops pinching the dog’s neck the unpleasant feeling is taken away.
These punishment based methods are only temporarily effective and they do not create mutually respectful relationships with our dogs as they often create a fearful relationship with the person applying the fear and pain.
K9Healers positively reinforced classes are fun and force free!
Gail offers several types of dog training classes, depending on your needs. Level I or basic training covers the basic exercises and Level II is for those interested in achieving a Canine Good Citizen title, Therapy Dog International and/or further learning and animal assisted visits to healthcare facilities. She also offers in home training and a variety of other services.