Our Training Philosophy
The way your dog behaves is a product of how you interact with him. Don’t blame the dog. Your dog’s behavior is directly related to your ability to understand and implement the three training principles: Timing, Consistency, and Motivation. These principles are the core ingredients to behavior modification, whether training the family pet or teaching a service dog tasks. Understanding how these principles work is the secret to clear communication between you and your pet.
Timing has to do with the way a dog’s brain processes cause and effect. Timing says that any behavior a dog acts out must have a consequence or reward within 1.3 seconds in order for the dog to associate that behavior with that consequence or reward. Too often people reprimand a dog too far after the event took place and they associate the consequence that took place later with a whole different circumstance and behavior. Here is a simple and common illustration. Owner lets their dog out in the yard to potty. The dog goes potty and when he returns to the door he is given a treat and praised for going potty. The behavior reinforced is the dog at the door, not going potty outside.
Consistency is clear communication between a pet and owner. It means promptly reacting the same way to any significant behavior your dog acts out. Again, correction or praise must ALWAYS occur within the 1.3 seconds of the specific behavior. Each time you miss a chance to reward or correct your dog, you send a strong message to the dog that you have no ability to influence his decision making.
Motivation is what you do to influence your dog’s decision making. Motivation requires action from the owner. If your dog acts out a positive behavior, you must quickly act in a positive, rewarding manner. Talking to your dog is not enough; rewards must be physical — a small treat or a good petting can go a long way. If your dog acts out a negative behavior you must quickly act in a negative manner using a training aid or a tug to their leash. Again, talking or scolding your dog verbally is not sufficient.