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A labradoodle, snauzeadoodle, labrador mix, puggle and bully breed mix all sit together on a couch looking at the camera. All dogs were cued to look at the handler using force free methods.

Training Methods

I am a positive reinforcement based dog trainer. This means that when your dog does something you like and want to see more of in the future,  your dog receives a reinforcement. Now, your dog gets to decide what is reinforcing, so the reinforcer may vary, but for most dogs it will be food. Depending on the dog, the behavior, and the setting, it might also be a toy, play, praise, or access to something in the environment that your dog values.

What will happen when your dog gets something "wrong" during training? Well, as Dr. Susan Friedman says, "The learner is never wrong." This means that if your dog is currently behaving in a way that is not what you want long-term, it's up to you as the guardian (with my help!) to  determine how to change the environment and learning history to set the dog up for performing behaviors successfully. All behavior is data, and sometimes the data says that we need to lower the criteria for success, raise the value of the reinforcer, break the behavior down into smaller steps, or perhaps give your dog a break. 

The training tools I use include treats, toys, harnesses, leashes, long lines and enrichment. The training tools I will never use include prong collars, shock collars, slip collars, leash corrections, or anything else that is designed to work by causing a dog fear or pain.

I also focus on the dog's holistic needs. Many dogs with "behavior problems" have underlying medical issues that are causing pain or other discomfort, so I will talk to you about the role your veterinarian plays in helping your dog live their best life. I will also focus on meeting your dog's needs, including exercise, social interaction, nutrition, rest, and safety.

My goal is always to help you help your dog to live their best life.

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