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A Better Dog 4U believes that dog training is not just a one time thing. We think of it as the base for a lifelong relationship of trust and respect between you and your dog. Basic obedience training incorporates all of the essential skills needed in order to prepare your dog for a life of good behavior and companionship.

Puppies, strays, shelter dogs, and even older dogs will benefit from obedience training. It’s true they say. You CAN teach your old dog a few new tricks. We work with dogs of all ages. After all, the happiness of every dog and every owner revolves around knowing these basic skills.

Once these basic skills are learned, they must be reinforced daily so that they are not forgotten. We will show and help you set up a few minutes everyday to reinforce the things you have both learned. We will show you how to work your dog so the behavior skills become second nature.

Methods and Techniques

We have seen a wide variety of methods of training used over the years. Many of these methods have been proven ineffective or been completely obsoleted.

We choose to use more up-to-date dog training methods. Methods that including; reward based reinforcement training, relationship-based training and marker training. It is our experience that the key to successful dog training is consistent communication, knowing the dog’s personality, knowing the dog’s likes and dislikes and the accurate timing of behavior reinforcement.

Using punishment in dog training is very controversial. Consequently the humaneness and effectiveness of punishment has been called into question. Behaviorists have told us for a few decades now that it is actually detrimental because it breaks down the dogs trust and confidence.

There is really only one instance that it should ever be concidered. This is only when teaching the “NO” command to avoid danger. But it should NOT a physical punishment. Instead, it only needs to be a harsh verbal correction to stop an action that can cause the dog harm or death.

Training Sessions

Our training sessions vary in length. Session length ultimately depends on the age of your dog and your dog’s attention span. Puppies and younger dogs usually have very short attention spans. This is usually five minutes or less. Older dog can concentrate for up to 30 mins. Some dogs can work even longer.

I try to keep training sessions under ten minutes in length with a short playtime directly after the session. This keeps training fun for your dog. Also, your dog will realize very quickly that if he/she does the behavior correctly, playtime comes much sooner.

I also set a goal for each session before we begin. Example: We want your dog to “stay” for two minutes. When they goal is achieved, we’re done and it’s playtime! The next session, We want her to “stay” for 2 minutes 30 seconds. When that is achieved, we’re done again! Our sessions seldom go over 10 minutes!

Typically I try to work on two behaviors at a time in order to keep it fun and interesting for your dog. I have found that if we only work on one behavior the dog will get board or frustrated and simply shut down. That is another reason I use the short playtime after each behavior is learned or reinforced.

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“Dog Training is As Much About Training the Human as It Is About Training The Dog.”