Need dog training help? As a general rule, I advise you don’t go to the Internet, because you will learn nothing and leave very confused. Like just about everything there always needs to be balance. All positive trainers say corrections cause fear and reactivity. Balanced trainers will tell you all praise doesn’t work either. For example – how do you stop a dog from chasing prey? A cookie won’t do it. Cookies are great when you are training tricks and intricate behaviors like the dog driving the car. If you haven’t seen that video, I’ve included it here for some great entertainment.
How do you think they trained that dog to do that? Lots of patience, treats, marker training and shaping. Shaping is breaking a complex behavior into several steps and building on the previous step. I teach my dogs basic tricks that do not need shaping. Why? I am so busy running my business and training client’s dogs I really don’t have the time.
Now back to the confusion of the Internet. There is an old saying, “Do you know what two dog trainers can agree on? The third dog trainer doesn’t know what she’s doing.” There are a lot of ways to train dogs, and if you start reading about dog training methodology and what is best for your dog you are going to get very frustrated. Dog lovers and some trainers love going into dog forums and arguing. They put each other down and are downright mean. It is very similar to the presidential election of 2016. You were either for Trump, Clinton or Sanders. No matter which camp you were in, the other two were dead wrong and the world is going to come to an end. A little word of advice- stay out of dog training forums. I don’t go there and could care less what my competition is doing because I know we get results and we are staying busy!
We specialize in Remote Collar Training. How did I get into this type of training? It began when I was a police canine handler and went through a “Sit Means Sit” e-collar course. I saw how well it worked in sharpening up my dog’s obedience during distractions. I had much better control than before. I then went out to train with my mentor Robin MacFarlane, owner of That’s My Dog in Iowa. I learned more about the intricacies of remote collar training. As I’ve grown as a dog trainer, I’ve learned the Remote Collar is the best tool there is for pet training.
Tonight I am just finishing up training a Boxer, Creed, for a couple. They recently shared how they had a great weekend with their dog. Creed took off into the woods while they were working in the yard and they had now idea which way he went. They called him and he came back immediately. This would never have happened prior to his training. They were very grateful, and stories like that make me feel very good. We are helping people maintain control of their dogs.
Now if you read on the Internet about remote collars, you will hear how they suppress personality, cause aggression and are not humane. I suppose this could be all true if you are hurting the dogs and not training correctly. If remote collars are so bad, why are all the people who compete with dogs using them? Dog hunting trainers, obedience and dog sport trainers all use them. I am from the police canine background and the top dogs in the police dog competitions all use remote training collars. If used humanely with very low levels of stim, you can teach a dog a variety of behaviors and to ignore distractions.
Our methodology is a balance or praise, food and touch. Good dog trainers are artisans that make it look so easy when training dogs. When I have a client struggling and I take their dog and work with it, demonstrating the intricacy of my training technique, the dog just does the behavior. I look at the owner and say, “make it look easy don’t I?” Dog training comes naturally to me.
You don’t have to be an expert dog trainer to have a well-behaved dog. You do need to be consistent, have structure in your home, and follow the instructions of the trainer. We have group classes with all our training programs and I can tell who is consistent and has structure in their home and who does not. After 4 months the dog that is still lunging at other dogs and not listening to their owner is the ones whose owner is dropping the dog. They wasted a lot of money to train with us and really wasted our time by not putting on their big boy pants and making their dog behave. Unfortunately, I don’t have control of what goes on after the dog goes home, which is why I stress the importance of owners following trainer guidelines.
You cannot learn dog training simply by reading books, watching videos, or surfing the net. If you need help with your dog, you need to find a trainer you like and trust to help you. We just finished up training a Kerry Blue Terrier for a lady. She’s owned this breed for several years and this was her third or fourth dog. She’s never needed a professional trainer before but this gal, Hartlee, was a challenge. I could see why. The dog was very high energy; she was jumping, barking biting, leash pulling and not coming when called. The young dog was very independent. This poor lady with 21 Grandchildren was frustrated with her dog. She drove by our kennel several times and decided to stop in for an evaluation. Two weeks later she still had a hyper little dog, but now an under control hyper little dog. She hired me because she liked what she saw and wanted results.
Dog training isn’t easy- if it was everybody, would be doing it. Some people own dogs their whole lives and never need to hire a professional dog trainer. Some people just put up with their dogs frustrating behavior. One thing for certain is it can’t be fixed by reading articles on the Internet. Dog training is an art form and you just need to find the right artist. Once you do, you will learn quickly how great it is to live in harmony with a dog whose behavior you love as much as you love the dog.