K-9 Healers was founded on the belief that dog training should be fun, rewarding and mutually respectful for both you and your dog. Owner and professional dog trainer Gail Furst helps develop trust and obedience without dominance through one-on-one training and education. Her methods focus only on rewards-based positive reinforcement training.
While all lessons will be catered toward the skill level of each dog and each owner, as well as their individual goals, every owner will learn how to read their dog’s body language, learn what makes their dog happy, what makes them stressed and how to motivate the behavior you want to see through rewards-based training. Harsh or forceful training methods are never used.
How does positive reinforcement training work?
K-9 Healers uses +R (positive reinforcement) with –P (negative punishment) to teach your dog new behaviors or to reward the positive behavior they already know.
+R (Positive Reinforcement) involves rewarding a behavior that you want from your dog in order to increase the likelihood that they will offer you that behavior again. For example, if you ask your dog to sit and they sit, you reward with a treat or something else your dog really enjoys, such as a tummy rub or a ball throw. Your dog will remember that by sitting, he or she received a reward and therefore will be more likely to offer you another sit in order to get another reward. Remember to always reward/acknowledge a behavior you like!
-P (Negative Punishment) reverses what your dog learns with +R by removing a reward in response to unwanted behavior. For example, if your dog jumps on you or barks at you, then turning away and ignoring them removes what they want: you and your attention. If your dog is pulling you on the leash and you walk faster trying to keep up their pace, then you are rewarding the leash pulling. However, if you stop in your tracks and refuse to move until your dog stops pulling, then you are taking away the reward of walking.
By relying on +R / -P training, you can increase the positive relationship between you and your dog, developing trust and mutual respect, without dominance. While working with Gail, you will learn the proper timing in delivering the reward or taking away the reward since timing and consistency are key.
K-9 Healers does not use opposing +P / -R training as these punishment-based methods can cause fear and pain to the dog. This type of training is also only temporarily effective and does not create mutually respectful, loving relationships with our dogs.