Dogs are emotional just like people. We’ve all seen it. One dog will be happy, confident and outgoing while another is reserved and almost fearful. As a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA-CTP) I have the skills to train the dog in a manner that they are comfortable with.
My goal is to create an environment that your dog is able to relax in and feel happy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard clients say “I just want my dog to be happy!” . Understanding dog language is key to understanding the dog you HAVE and their individual needs to feel safe as well as happy.
I ask the dog to be an active learner through shaping exercises. It’s a fun and challenging game where the dog tries to figure out, step by step, a new behavior! Once the dog has completed the game I then name the behavior so he knows what he should do when I ask for it next time.
We return to fun activities! Everyone loves to go to the park or playground. When the county fair comes around we want to go and get funnel cake, look at the lights and enjoy the rides. When learning is fun, kids and dogs will WANT to go to school. I can’t tell you how many of my students tell me their dog knows what day it is and gets excited about coming to class to learn! They remember how fun it was to be part of the learning activity! It feels more like play than work.
Avoid the negative ! How many of us remember a teacher or learning situation where we were chastised for NOT behaving or understanding the work. We resented the correction and never really understood what the teacher was trying to teach! If you harshly correct a dog while it’s learning, it is less likely to try something new. It will be more concerned about avoiding correction than learning a new skill!
If our dogs are happy, involved in the learning process and relaxed when they learn a behavior, the behavior is much more reliable!
By combining these concepts with positive reinforcement training, we can nurture a relationship based on understanding and fun! Your dog will then become the dog of your dreams.