You 

  • How to read your dog’s body language.
  • How your dog perceives & processes their environment.
  • How to use commands effectively so that your dog can hear hear and understand what you want.  (No, this does not mean louder).
  • The difference between commands, signals and hints.
  • Why grading your dog’s performance effects reliability and predictability of behavior.
  • Why gently communicating to you dog what you don’t like is more effective then using aversive devices such as prong, chock & shock collars.
  • When to reward your dog, how to provide variation in rewards, and when to withhold rewards to change your dog’s behavior.  Food is an easy reward because dogs (like all living beings) need food to survive so it carries intrinsic survival value.  But, other rewards can be used and some working dogs prefer tug or fetch and some sensitive dogs prefer contact and attention.
  • How to problem solve and save the training moment if a command fails.  This is important.  While learning is still happening, you must honor your management plan.

Your Dog

  • My name means look at the person who spoke it.
  • Certain behaviors are unacceptable and I lose access to the people and things I like when I do them.
  • I get access to stuff I like by doing what is asked of me (no matter how simple).
  • If I hear my warning phrase and I keep doing __________, I will loose access to something or someone I love.  This is called a Reward Removal and can effectively punish bad behavior without causing pain or fear like aversive methods.
  • My actions have consequences -some consequences are really good, but sometimes I get the “game over” sound and have to start over.
  • If I am afraid or behaving to protect myself, my human will help me, not hurt me.  I can trust my humans will not push me to do something that I am uncomfortable doing!