Our training philosophies are built on a foundation of motivation, trust and respect. We utilize both classical and operant conditioning; taking a holistic approach when working with every dog. With extensive experience studying and working hands-on with hundreds of dogs, Rebecca understands that no two dogs are the same and therefore each training program is designed specifically around each individual dog.
We maximize positive reinforcement to teach new behaviors and increase desired behaviors. Through the use of food reward, toy/play motivation and praise, we bring out the best in each dog’s behavior by increasing their desire to learn.
Rebecca and her team also have the ability to stop dangerous or unwanted behaviors in dogs. We believe it’s important to make sure
dogs understand both a positive marker (“Yes”) for good behavior, and a negative marker (“Nope”) to interrupt unwanted behaviors. We want to reward the behaviors we like, which increases the likelihood of the dogs repeating those good behaviors, and we also use appropriate and humane corrections to address any dangerous or unwanted behaviors.
One of the most important aspects of being a successful dog trainer is having the ability to instruct, educate and support dog owners. Rebecca has over fifteen years teaching experience with a teaching style that is client-focused, helping dog owners feel confident in providing leadership and guidance in their dog’s life. Through effective, consistent communication, owners will feel calm and in control when working with their dog(s).
One of our specialties is providing advanced off-leash obedience training, and developing a dog's focus and obedience around high levels of distraction. In order to create safe, reliable off-leash obedience responses, we need a training tool that allows for us to communicate with our dogs.
We are a huge advocate for proper use of all dog training tools. One of the most misunderstood tools in the dog training industry is the Remote Collar/E-collar. Most people think of an E-collar as a “shock” collar, and is only used to correct or “shock” a dog. This couldn't be further from the truth...
What Brand We Use: E-Collar Technologies ET-300 Mini Educator ½ Mile Remote E-Collar
Learn more here:
Why use a remote/e-collar?
Remote collars are one of the best communication devices available for dogs. A remote collar acts as an invisible leash, so whenever your dog is off-leash, you have a safe and reliable way to communicate with them. No matter how great our relationship with our dog is, and no matter how great the treats are in our pocket, eventually our dogs will become distracted by something that they deem as more interesting or valuable. Verbal commands will fail at some point, and even if your dog listens 99% of the time, there will be a time when your dog doesn't listen, and then what? That's why we need to properly off-leash train our dogs with a safe and reliable training tool.
Is it electric, is it a shock collar?
No. We do not use traditional shock collars. Shock collars tend to have electric stimulation, have a very few levels of control, and are typically used for punishment/corrections only. We use E-Collar Technologies brand collars, which make one of the highest quality remote collars on the market. The simulation is the same as a TENS Unit, which is used in humans for muscle stimulation (doctors and physical therapists use them quite often). The collars are not electric, and the dogs can safely wear them underwater.
How we teach dogs on the remote collar:
We train dogs on very low-levels in the beginning of their programs, levels that most humans are unable to feel. Most dogs learn on single digit levels, most under a level 5 out of 100. We layer the low-level stimulation over known obedience commands that we have taught the dogs through positive reinforcement (reward training-toys, food, praise, etc).
We start by tapping and activating the stimulation, then rewarding the dog. This teaches the dog that the stimulation is coming from us. Once we see that the dog understands where the stimulation is coming from, we teach them how to control it. We do this by layering the low-level stimulation over commands, and using it when the dogs make a mistake, to help them learn how and why the stimulation turns on, and how to turn it off.
Apply low-level stimulation
Give dog a known obedience command (sit, down, place, come)
Dog does command, stimulation turns off
Dog is on “place” command
Dog breaks command due to a distraction (gets off the bed)
We calmly say “nope”, apply low-level stimulation
Dogs gets back on bed, stimulation stops
After the initial conditioning phase, we start using the remote collar stimulation intermittently, and then eventually only when the dog doesn't listen to the verbal command (non-compliant stimulation). Toward the end of training, we can apply momentary corrections for non-compliance if needed. Typically this occurs when a dog disobeys or breaks a command due to a distraction.
How do owners use the collar?:
When the dog has completed training, the remote collar is only used when the verbal command fails. If you ask your dog for a command, or ask them to hold a position, such as “place”, we need to hold them accountable if they make a mistake, such as disobeying a command or breaking a position. This accountability is what creates a respectful, balanced dog. Dogs without guidance and structure, oftentimes display unwanted and/or unsafe behavior. So once the dogs return home, owners only need to use the remote collar when their verbal command or correction doesn't work. Dogs make mistakes, and they will get distracted, so its important to have a reliable tool to use to provide effective communication.