Our trainer, Jean Gauchat-Hargis is here to offer assistance with any behavior problems you may have with your dog. All classes and private lessons are taught using positive reinforcement techniques, making it an enjoyable experience for both you and your pet. This method of training strengthens the relationship of dog and handler based on trust, not fear.
Dogs are a highly social "group-living" species that in the wild is often referred to as a pack. Packs have a leader that the other members follow and look to for direction. In fact, each individual in the pack generally develops a relationship with each other pack member so that they are either dominant or subordinate to that individual. When puppies enter our homes the family becomes the new social group. Allowing behaviors that are pushy, disobedient or inappropriate may lead to problems that become increasingly difficult to correct. Therefore it is essential that all owners take control over the puppy and gain a position of leadership in the family pack. This control must be achieved by the proper use and timing of rewards and by directing the puppy to display appropriate responses rather than through physical techniques that can lead to fear and anxiety.
When is the best time to begin training my puppy?
Formal dog training has traditionally been delayed until 6 months of age. Actually, this juvenile stage is a poor time to begin training. The dog is beginning to solidify adult behavioral patterns, dominance behavior is emerging, and behaviors that they have learned in puppyhood may need to be changed. Therefore, it is best to begin teaching puppies from the time they are obtained. One important task to begin early is to establish yourself as the leader. This can be done by rewarding desirable responses, training the dog to obey commands, avoiding the reinforcement of behaviors that are initiated by your dog and training the dog to accept some simple body handling techniques.