I train dogs in a different way than other basic dog trainers due to my years of experience and my educational background with a Degree in Zoology and Animal Behavior from the University of Washington.
Dogs are similar to us in their need for love, acceptance, and attention and yet they still are genetically geared toward ancestral dog behaviors and actions. With my positive reinforcement training techniques I inform the owner of the cues, however small, they are giving their pet as response to their actions. These cues can make or break an owner's relationship with their dog; meaning the responses we give our dog shape and determine the relationship we have with our dog.
Your dog wants to know who is the leader or "head of the pack". If they are not clear on this venue they can and will test the limits of our control and tolerance. Often I am confronted with dog training situations where this limit of tolerance has finally been tested and the pet's behavior is out of control, but the owner is not sure how this has happened or how to fix the situation.
In-home training is crucial and beneficial for your dog at any age. They need to learn the proper behaviors you, the owner expect in the home, if any expectations of proper behavior outside the home are to be obtained. Classroom or group training will not give you the in-depth details you need as an owner of a dog to understand your pet's psyche and his individual needs based on breed and temperament of your individual dog. Taking your dog to a group class is akin to taking your child to a final exam when they have never studied. Your dog experiences stress and failure in a classroom setting, while you experience frustration and embarrassment.
I do not use: treat training, clicker training or negative reinforcement training. All of these techniques result in an unreliable and confused pet. If you do not have the tools, or force needed at the time, training with your dog is lost and inconsistent behavior patterns are the result.
Treat training requires you to be a vending machine to your dog at all times. If he sits you give a treat. What if he sits and you don't have a treat? The dog will become lackadaisical in his response to commands from you because there is not a sure reward as an end for him.
Clicker training is based on a click and treat reward system. As a reward for any given behavior you are trying to teach you are providing a treat. The dog sits, you click and then provide a treat to teach a behavior. What will you do when you do not have a clicker and treat in hand? Your dog will discover you don't have a treat. Again, behavior becomes undependable and illogical due to lack of extra tools.
Negative reinforcement training is based on the principle of punishment for bad behavior. This is a risky and fearsome position to put yourself in with any sized dog and is correlative to physically punishing a child. Dogs are very intelligent animals and can learn wanted behaviors. They do not need to be "broken" or forced into submission. Depending on your individual pet's personality, using negative reinforcement training will create very different results. A timid dog will become neurotic. A calm, easy spirited dog will become fearful and learn to avoid interactions with you. Headstrong, self-willed dogs will become aggressive and combative with the owner.
My training is based on Positive Reinforcement training techniques. Your reward for your dog is your positive praise and attention. No other extra tools need to be involved. Your praise is the reward for a good deed or behavior. Using this type of training allows the owner to establish their role as the leader with their dog. This role must be established in order to have a respectful relationship between you and your pet. Any age or breed can learn to follow your lead with positive reinforcement training.