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Our Methods

AnimalSense uses positive reinforcement training, a scientifically proven method of operant conditioning.

This means that we focus on teaching your dog by rewarding appropriate behavior, instead of constantly correcting your dog for mistakes. Food rewards paired with praise are used during the acquisition phase of learning and the food reward is slowly phased out as the behavior becomes more reliable; thereafter, we maintain the behavior with praise, life rewards and occasional food rewards. Training based upon physical punishment or fear is NEVER an option at AnimalSense. Our methods give you other options to successfully train your dog without the use of devices such as prong, choke or shock collars.

 

Why Use Food or Treats in Training?

Dogs are just like humans and every other living creature – they “work” (or do behaviors) in order to get something they need or like (i.e., food, praise, petting, play) or to avoid something they don’t like (i.e., pain). Most people do not work for free and neither do our dogs. We use treats as part of our reward-based training methods because treats are the easiest and most convenient type of reward to give in a training environment. Avoid feeding your dog before a training session so your dog will be highly motivated to earn that treat!

 

How Food Training Affects Your Relationship with Your Dog

We use food as part of the learning process, first to elicit new behaviors and second to reward for performing the behaviors on cue. Once a new behavior is learned, we will teach you how to pair the food reward with praise and then “fade” the food reward, so you are relying less on treats and more on praise. We will still use treats occasionally to reward well-established behaviors in order to maintain those behaviors. Unlike punishment-based methods, reward-based training with food will not damage your relationship with your dog; to the contrary, your dog will learn quickly to earn good things by complying with your requests.

 

Dogs and Food Motivation

Experience has taught us that most dogs will work for especially tasty food rewards, although dogs who are not hungry, are very stressed or have a medical problem may be less receptive to food. Keep in mind that any reward you choose must be interesting enough to your dog to compete with distractions in the environment. This means that your dog may need tastier treats to focus at class or during private training than the treats you use for training in the living room. If your dog truly is not food-motivated or has dietary restrictions, we will use other rewards including toys, praise, petting, and life rewards to motivate your pup.

Our Guarantee

We believe it is unethical to make guarantees about behavior results. In fact, as members of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), we pledged to refrain from giving guarantees regarding the outcome of training. Instead of guaranteeing specific behavior results, we promise to work with you and your dog to achieve a better relationship.

AnimalSense DOES guarantee you will receive:

  • Stellar customer service
  • Trained, expert staff who is committed to ongoing continuing education
  • Commitment to positive reinforcement training methods
  • Small group class sizes
  • Customized approach to your training goals
  • A commitment to help clients seek relief, change, and improvement

We are committed to excellence, and that you can count on.


I learned valuable tips and tricks that have helped my dog and I create a more pleasant home environment.

Nicole P. | View Client Testimonials

 

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