Which methods do you use?
Positive reinforcement training uses a reward (treats, praise, toys, anything the dog finds rewarding) for desired behaviours. Because the reward makes them more likely to repeat the behaviour, positive reinforcement is one of your most powerful tools for shaping or changing your dog's behaviour. We find out what motivates your dog, use that to reinforce behaviours we desire to see more of and prevent the ones we don’t like. This is where behaviour change happens. The fallacy that dogs should respond to our requests for a few kind words is just that. Fear and aggression is treated optimally with classical conditioning no matter the breed or size of dog.
Is the dog training industry regulated?
Nope. Seek out trainers that are well versed in the latest science based methods. Look for trainers that are continuing their education through certifications, memberships, webinars & courses. At Q&A we have made a promise to keep growing our knowledge so we can better help our clients and their pups. Anyone can call themselves a trainer, do your research and make sure you are not hiring someone that uses methods that would do more harm.
What equipment do you use?
We recommend a properly fitting harness that clips on the chest and a solid 4ft-6ft leash. We can help you choose a harness if you’d like, as they are not all created equal. Any equipment we use should not cause our dog discomfort.
What are the risks of using other methods?
Using force and aversive methods is well documented that it will cause side effects in your dog. These methods can install fear, stress, aggression into an animal and sever the bond between guardian and dog. You may have been told that e-collars/shock collars “don’t hurt”, however we know this is not the case. Please read this accurate article regarding how they work to change behaviour.
Will I have to use treat rewards forever?
If we remove reinforcements then the behaviour we want to see will go away. Working with animals means reinforcing the behaviour we want to continue seeing. There are many things we can use as reinforcements like food, access to things, toys, praise, attention… what's reinforcing to your dog may be different to your friends dog. We must keep reinforcing the behaviours we want to keep seeing.
Are treats bribes?
Here’s an article by world renowned behaviour specialist Jean Donaldson that makes some great points to this question. https://www.academyfordogtrainers.com/blog/an-open-letter-to-owners-who-think-treats-are-bribery/
Do you take on separation anxiety cases?
At the moment we are not taking on separation anxiety cases. We can provide you with some resources & point you in the right direction to trainers that specialize in this area.
Do you work with aggressive dogs?
We value the safety and security of all pets, guardians & trainers. Our training plans for behavioural modification needs are decided on a case-by-case basis. We’ll always work with research-based, scientifically proven methods with empathy and patience for your benefit. We have completed the Aggression in Dogs - Master Course by world renowned dog behaviouralist's, Michael Shikashio. https://aggressivedog.thinkific.com/
We're continuing our education so we can help our clients to the best of our knowledge.
If I have used other methods in the past will you still work with me?
Yup! Judgment free zone. As long as you are open to changing then we are open to working with you.