WHAT IS “REWARD-BASED” TRAINING?

Behavior problems often lead to the breakdown of the human-animal bond and to the ultimate surrender and/or euthanization of pets. Patience, consistency and REWARD-BASED TRAINING methods provide the foundation by which family members of all ages can participate in establishing and maintaining that bond.

Dogs are opportunists…they repeat behaviors that yield rewards. While the concept of rewarding “good” behavior is well understood, unwanted behaviors are often established and perfected by our dogs as a result of our inadvertent reinforcement (rewarding) of their actions. Whether we want to build a new behavior or eliminate an undesirable one, knowing what motivates your dog is key.

The art of training involves manipulating consequences (those things that motivate your dog) to achieve desired behaviors. The foundation of REWARD-BASED training or “POSITIVE” training, as opposed to punishment or aversive training, is the use of only pleasant consequences, such as food, play and attention. It’s no wonder why dogs love to learn and people see faster results with reward-based training!

WHAT IS INCLUDED WITH THE COST OF CLASS REGISTRATION?

Written course materials (most classes) and access to our online resource library.  See also Customer Perks for information about programs and resources that are reserved for IT’S YOUR DOG students only (additional fees may apply).

CAN MY ENTIRE FAMILY PARTICIPATE IN CLASS?

Full family participation is encouraged!  However, in the name of safety and success, only one person per family is permitted to handle the dog at a time.  Additional family members are welcome to observe from the audience and may share the role as primary handler.  Children ages 12 and up may be permitted to participate as a handler provided they demonstrate an ability to maintain consistent control of the dog in the classroom environment.  All children must remain quietly seated in the audience and cause no disruptions during class. Private lessons are advisable for handlers under the age of 12.

HOW MANY DOGS ARE IN A CLASS?

With the exception of Puppy Preschool and Small Dog Playgroup, our indoor classes are limited to a maximum of 6 dogs.  This ensures that all customers get personalized service and that you and your dog are set up for success.

WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING TO CLASS?

Course materials and a list of things to bring to class will be provided approximately 10 days prior to your start date. Vaccination requirements include proof of distemper (all dogs) and rabies (dogs 6 months or older) vaccines.  Titers are accepted.

HOW CAN I MAKE-UP A MISSED CLASS?

We encourage you to attend all classes, but understand that a session may be missed on occasion. Due to the small size of our group classes, make-ups are by observation only (no dogs). We find that our customers appreciate this style of make-up, as they learn a different perspective by watching others work thru the lesson.  However, the observation make-up option is not available for all classes.  Half-hour privates make-up sessions are also available at our facility upon request. 

WHAT IS A CLICKER?

A clicker is a “marker” that tells your dog that he or she did something you like and lets them know that a reward has been earned. The sound of the clicker, which is more precise than verbal praise, better enables the dog to associate a particular behavior with the appearance of a reward. The likelihood of that behavior being repeated is increased.

ARE STUDENTS REQUIRED TO USE A CLICKER?

No.  You will also learn a verbal alternative.  However, even professional trainers get faster results with fewer repetitions by using a clicker to teach new behaviors.  Why? Because it’s more precise, improves timing and always sounds the same to the dog.  

WILL I ALWAYS NEED TO USE A CLICKER?

No.  It’s simply a training tool to put new behaviors in place.

IS TRAINING GUARANTEED?

Because of the variables in dog breeding and temperament, and owner commitment and experience, rendering guarantees as to the outcome of dog training is deemed unethical.  Accordingly, our professional affiliations with the Certification Counsel for Professional Dog Trainers and the Association of Professional Dog Trainers require that we not provide guarantees regarding specific outcomes of training and behavior modification prorgrams.  However, we do guarantee that you will receive exceptional and professional customer service from our staff and access to knowledgeable, force-free trainers with current skills maintained thru continuing education.