At Courteous Canine, our motto is “Results the Fun Way!”
We believe that all training should strengthen the bond between the dog and the owner. That means that, rather than using fear or intimidation to train the dog, we use positive reinforcement, games and fun! This approach is just as effective, if not more so, than the punishing alternatives, and it builds the trust that is so important in the life of a family pet.
Empowerment training is our preferred method of training. Empowerment Training uses positive reinforcement to change dog behavior by addressing your dog’s emotions. Fearful dogs become confident. Angry dogs become calm. Shy dogs become relaxed. Empowerment Training works in three steps.
First, we identify the power motivators that appeal to your dog the most. It could be food, positive attention, or a great session of play. Then, we watch the dog’s body language to identify stressors – the stimulus that makes your dog act out with problem behaviors. These stressors could be people, other dogs or even certain objects in his environment.
Then come the results! By understanding what stresses and motivates your dog, we gradually increase control by identifying ideal behaviors; we increase bonding with games, clear communication, and use of the motivators; and finally, we replace problem behaviors with positive ones.
One of our favorite dog training approaches within Empowerment Training is Clicker Training. Clicker Training offers a fun and effective method of teaching dog behaviors that both the dog and his person will enjoy! And Clicker Training is scientifically proven to speed up your dog’s learning.
How does Clicker Training work? If the dog does what you want, (sitting, lying down, being quiet or other behaviors) you use a clicker to click at the moment the behavior occurs. Then, you immediately reinforce the dog with a reward like a treat, a toy or a game of tug. If the dog doesn’t do what you want, you don’t click and you don’t reward.
Your dog will see Clicker Training as a fun game where the dog volunteers to perform the behaviors you want in order to earn the positive reinforcement. Best of all, the ongoing positive reinforcement builds an emotional bond between you and your dog, improves the dog’s motivation to perform desired behaviors, and reduces the likelihood of problem behaviors, like biting or lunging.
Clicker Training can be very effective for the basic obedience behaviors desired for a family pet, but Clicker Training can also be used effectively to teach high level skills like Dog Dock Jumping, Agility, Rally O, Disc Dog, Competition Obedience, and Behavior Modification.