Methods & FAQ
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 and 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 who 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 for causing side effects in your dog. These methods can instil fear, stress, and aggression into an animal and even sever the bond between guardian and dog. You may have been told that e-collars or 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, and attention… what reinforces or works for your dog may be different to what is reinforcing your friend's dog. We must keep reinforcing the behaviours we want to keep seeing more of.
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 and direct you to other trainers that specialize in this area.
Do you work with aggressive dogs?
We value the safety and security of all pets, guardians, and 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, 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! It's a judgment-free zone. As long as you are open to changing then we are open to working with you.
"Masina is amazing and I absolutely recommend her for your training needs! I wanted to work on my dog’s leash habits (over the past year she developed a habit of pulling me to pet stores, familiar areas) and her reactive barking/anxiety about door sounds or people entering. These were habits that had slowly but somewhat recently developed. Papaya is a great dog, but when it came to these behaviours she seemed pretty set in her ways, and I did not have the tools to work on them effectively. Masina had lots of great tips and advice. After our first session, I already felt much more confident with my training and best of all had a happier dog as I could tell she was growing more confident in previously stressful situations. My dog has grown to trust humans over the years, but can sometimes be a bit weary of new people. Masina was able to gain her trust quickly and my dog is totally obsessed with her! All in all, a great experience and love this better understanding of my pup."
"Masina was very informative, a very effective communicator both with us and our dog Jax. Her knowledge and teaching abilities were exemplary and we highly recommend her as a dog trainer."
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