Methodology

The methodology that I use is called "Operant Conditioning". You will have dog training programs and solutions that are based on canine learning theory and development resulting from complete studies of the behavior of "dog packs" and not "wolf packs". Thousands of trainers of so-called “difficult” dogs, including dogs with serious fear and aggression problems, have experienced great success with these methods. Although discovered over 100 years ago, this is a relatively new development in the history of dog training.

A dog judges every event (or stimuli) in its life as either "relevant" or "irrelevant". Any event that the dog believes is without significance will be considered "irrelevant" and will not be worthy of further consideration. Any event that the dog believes will bear a significance resulting in either reward or consequence is considered "relevant". The choice of behavior the dog makes regarding this event will depend on whether the dog's association to this event is positive or negative. With reward based counter conditioning a dog can be taught to change its perception of "relevant" events in a manner in which these events become either "irrelevant" or rewarding. Such as a dog who may have been terrified of kids approaching on skateboards can be taught that the approach of skateboards no longer has any significance and is therefore "irrelevant".  Even though it previously had a negative association to kids approaching on skateboards (because it thought they were a threat) the same dog can also be taught to have a positive association to their approach because now it has learned that they are "not a threat" and their approach "results in a reward". This dog would now welcome the approach of kids on skateboards.


My training programs and treatment plans do not call for physical punishment, choke chains, prong collars, e-collars (shock collars) or leash corrections. Many times dogs develop a tolerance to the level of correction which requires increasing the intensity. When we discipline our children we are very careful to make sure the child understands why s/he is being punished, but with a dog, there is no way to be certain that it understands the reason for the correction so it can easily develop a negative association to whatever it was focused on the instant the correction was given. If your dog barks at an approaching dog or child then receives a shock or a leash snap (especially while wearing a prong collar or choke chain), it will probably conclude that the approaching child or dog triggered the correction. This is especially true if an owner anticipates the dogs response and "tightens up" on the leash prior to the approach. It's no wonder why some dogs after time end up with a negative association to almost everything they encounter while on a leash causing the owner to give up and quit walking the dog or taking it anywhere. These owners may conclude that "the older my dog gets the worse it behaves". This is tragic and avoidable. Also tragic is that the 2nd  leading cause of death in dogs is accidental strangulation from choke chains.


We will use positive reinforcement of an alternative behavior as the means to teach your dog. An example would be to teach your dog that a nice "sit" will get attention and praise instead of jumping. The new behavior will be incompatible with the old one since it is impossible to sit and jump at the same time. Positive reinforcement is giving your dog something it considers valuable, such as food, praise, attention, freedom, playtime, toys or an intriguing scent to sniff as a reward for a correct response…The human equivalent of a paycheck. Negative punishment is correcting your dog for an incorrect response by removing something it values, such as an anticipated reward. This is done in the form of a No Reward Marker. These will be the components we use to motivate your dog. You will learn how to tell your dog in its own language that it did something right and is about to be rewarded or that it did something wrong and needs to try again. The dog quickly learns the meaning of these "no reward markers" and will diligently work hard for you in order to avoid them because a dog, like us, will not work for free. This also helps establish your position as the leader because dogs know that leaders do not give rewards for free.

Physical corrections aren't needed because your dog will be trained to obey you because it wants to, not to avoid punishment. When you use aggression on a dog you could get aggression back. Dogs learn to avoid pain by fighting back or trying to escape  and I want your dog to "want" to come when you call it. A lot of dogs will simply "shutdown" when physical corrections are administered. If a dog's motivation to obey is to avoid physical correction, the likelihood of this dog coming when called is not very good since the correction cannot be enforced unless the dog voluntarily turns itself in. It would also be difficult to motivate a dog by physical punishment if the owner had certain disabilities. My wife would have difficulty popping a leash and if she fell from her wheelchair she would have no way to enforce a correction.


It doesn't matter if it's a behavior such as, jumping, barking, digging, picking its nose or whatever, dogs will not engage in behaviors that they do not find rewarding but will not pass up an opportunity to perform a behavior that they consider rewarding. My training methods will show you how to use "positive reinforcement" to teach your dog that it will only get the rewards that it likes by doing the things you like.

 

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Den Solutions Dog Training LLC
Happy Dogs + Happy Owners = Happy Trainer
Monday - Saturday: 8 AM to 8 PM Sunday: 1 PM to 5 PM
972-965-2119
james@k9densolutions.com 

Dog Training and Puppy Training by Certified Dog Trainer in Frisco, Little Elm, Denton, The Colony, Plano, Lakewood Village, Oak Point, Aubrey, Prosper, Carrollton, Celina, McKinney and surrounding areas
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