“My Last Dog Was the Perfect Dog…. What’s Wrong With This Dog?”

“I don’t know what’s wrong with my dog. She’s nothing like my old dog!”

Does this sound familiar? I work closely with a network of professional dog trainers, and the other day, while talking with a client of a dog trainer in Atlanta I work with, she made this exact statement. In fact, many of my clients and my trainers’ clients have said, or would agree with, some variation of this statement. Personally, I’ve been a professional dog trainer for over 26 years, which means I’ve been around long enough to be able to tell you that this was not always the case.  In fact, this is a statement that I’ve only been hearing for the past 10 years or so.

solid dog training can help your dog stay in your home

I stil miss my old dog, Mojo, but my current dog, Marco is pretty awesome too!

If you would agree that your current dog’s behavior is far worse than your old dog’s behavior, let’s take a look at this timeline. We’ll assume your previous dog lived an average canine lifespan of about 12-14 years. Let’s also assume you waited a few years to get your next dog, or that your current dog is a few years old. Based on this timeline, you would have been training your former dog in the mid 90s.

The dog training industry was very different at that time. If it’s been 10+ years since you last trained a dog, you’ll likely be searching the Internet for a little help. I ran into a similar situation in my personal life just a few years ago when my daughter was born. It’s been a long time since I’ve cared for a baby – probably a good 20 years. Being so far removed from baby life prompted many a Google search during the first several months of my daughter’s life. Thank goodness for the Internet! Continue reading

What Exactly is Reward-Based Training?

What Exactly is Reward-Based Training?

I work with a national network of professional dog trainers, all of whom are the most successful in their communities.  They have an incredibly high success rate, and all of them commit to working with their clients until they accomplish all of their training goals.

The trainers I work with have all taken my Professional Dog Trainer’s Course at some point in their careers, and all of them offer reward-based training.   Often, however, we are asked exactly what this means, so I thought I’d take the opportunity this blog gives me to explain what that means to our trainers and their clients.

These days in dog training, people think that there’s just two ways that dogs are trained.   There’s the old, punishment-based style of training where your dog encounters some form of punishment whenever he does something wrong.  Usually people think that this is an extremely harsh method of training that is associated with old school, military style trainers.  (In reality, even trainers who claim to be just the opposite employ, and recommend to their clients, this type of training.)

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