Christine is committed to using scientifically sound, rewards-based, and force-free training methods to modify unwanted behaviors and teach dogs what we want them to do. ‘Scientifically sound’ training methods are based on the science of animal learning theory and canine behavior – it’s how all animals best learn. These methods are lawful and scientific, and provide lasting results. ‘Force-Free’ training methods humanely motivate animals to behave the way we want them to, without the use of force, coercion, pain or fear. These methods are 100% humane and very effective, so we can feel good about using them with our family pets! Finally, Christine only uses ‘Rewards-based’ training methods (the giving and taking away of stuff the dog wants). Rewards can be food, toys, play, praise, or anything else the dog wants.
Rewards-based training is not permissive. Dogs do what works, and if a behavior does not work for a dog, he will stop doing it. My favorite human analogy is a parking ticket. If you park illegally and get a $200 parking fine, you will likely avoid that behavior in the future. You lose your money, and perhaps, you also lose your time going to court. This is a very powerful motivator for your future behavior, and it was accomplished without pain, force or fear. Rewards-based training is the same for dogs; when they produce undesirable behavior, we can remove something they would like to have, and this motivates them to change their behavior.
Aversives include anything the dog seeks to avoid because he finds it painful or scary, such as electric shock, choke or prong collars, owner yelling or hitting, owner staring, rolling or pinning the dog. Well, the truth is, aversives sometimes do work to change animal behavior. If they didn’t work, they would have been abandoned by trainers long ago. However, these tools and methods don’t address the root cause of the behavior problem and they don’t teach the animal what we want him to do. Just like in people, if we suppress outward behavior without addressing the underlying cause, the behavior will manifest in other ways, but if we provide an alternative, more acceptable behavior option, then we have a good recipe for behavior change. Additionally, aversives come with some pretty nasty side effects for the animal, including fear and aggression, as well as a host of other related behavior problems. Thankfully, the science of animal learning gives us very effective and humane tools to motivate animals to behave they way we would like them to, so we don’t have to rely on aversives when we want to change our dog’s behavior.
It’s all about Relationship. What kind of relationship would you like to have with your dog? If you consider your dog to be a beloved family member and you would like a relationship built on trust, mutual respect, communication and understanding, than scientifically sound, rewards-based and force-free training is for you!