1.- What does it mean to be a CPDT, Certified Pet Dog Trainer?
When you choose a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, you can be confident that you are working with a professional who has the knowledge and expertise to make your investment in dog training safe, effective, and even fun! Certified Pet Dog Trainers have dog training skills as well as instructor skills to enhance the experience and success for you and your pet dog.
2.- Why should I take my dog through some obedience training?
Obedience training is one way of improving the relationship with your dog. It gives your dog a job to do and as a result can give your dog more confidence. Your dog will also be more relaxed when expectations for him/her are consistent and realistic. It is a great way to socialize your dog and is just plain fun!
3.- Do you use punishment, choke chains and/or prong collars in your training methods?
No we do not use any choke chains or prong collars. If someone tells you that punishment methods are effective…they are correct. BUT anytime you use punishment you may have side effects. Those side effects may be undesirable associations to strangers, children, locations etc. Your dog can also become fearful and fearful dogs may turn into biters. We prefer to use treats, games, toys and lots of praise in our training methods. Be creative in finding out what it is that motivates your dog. Training should be fun for everyone involved so that you can keep it as part of your lifestyle and your dog can continue to learn great things. Dogs are always learning associations so let’s make all of their associations positive when it comes to training.
4.- Will I always have to use treats or can I get him to do things because he wants to please me?
You will not always have to use food to treat your dog. We do not use only food to reward desired behaviors. We also use petting, praise, play and attention and anything else that your dog LOVES! You will learn how and when to use different rewards so that it will be unpredictable to your dog as to when s/he will get a treat—similar to the pay out on a slot machine! Think about it, you don't win every time while gambling and the amounts differ too, but people often sit there for hours at a time in hopes of winning the "big win!"
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5.- Do you always train with food? If so is there a treat that you recommend?
We generally prefer to use food mainly because it is the easiest motivator to dispense. They have to eat so why not make them work for it. Get creative though. Use toys, daily activities, love and attention to motivate your dog as well! There are dozen of opportunities that you can use to reward your dog, so take of take advantage of them all. Real Life rewards are very powerful.
If your dog loves treats use a variety of them. Dogs can get bored with the same thing over and over. Remember just because they like something doesn't mean that they will want it constantly. Small moist treats are easiest to dispense and since there are few crumbs your dog will be less likely to be distracted by sniffing the floor seeking out those crumbs.
6.- How will a clicker help me train my dog?
This is a clicker.
A clicker is similar to a toy noisemaker. Animal trainers make use of the clicker as an event marker to mark a desired response. The sound of the clicker is an excellent marker because it is unique, quick, and consistent. You can find several different types of clickers online or at the pet store.
Since your dog (well most dogs) doesn’t come with a knowledge of the English language, clicker training is one of our easiest ways to communicate with them. Clicker training is a fun way of teaching new behaviors to your pet. It is a positive training method worth serious consideration. Clicker training is a powerful, yet gentle, way to train dogs (or any creature). This method promotes the development of a strong bond of love and respect between dog and trainer, producing almost magical results. Imagine a dog that can’t wait to train with you, tries his very hardest to do what you ask, thinks for himself, works out problems, gives you insight into the inner workings of his mind, and learns at an accelerated rate. This is a clicker dog!
Clicker training is a science-based method that uses positive reinforcement as the primary teaching tool. The trainer uses a handheld clicker to tell the dog, “Yes! That was right” at the precise moment he performs the correct action. The dog gets a food treat immediately after every click, which soon builds a positive association with the click. The click is so precise and clear that it helps the dog sort out his behaviors without the need for punishment or scolding.
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7.- Do I have to use a clicker ? Is clicker training the only or best way to train my dog?
Of course not. Clicker training is just one way of training your dog. Is it all positive and can help to speed along the learning process, but a clicker is only one more additional training tool. Clicker training does require lots of practice and good timing, but so do most things that are worthwhile. There are lots of tools out there and we can help you decide if using a clicker is something that can help you. Ultimately you have to feel comfortable with how you are training your dog.
8.- When will my dog be “fully trained”?
This is answer is up to you. Training requires consistency, hard work, patience and a commitment to excellence. The more time you put into it the better results you will see. Dogs are always learning regardless of time of day or your motivation to train. Dogs do not generalize very well so be sure to train in several different places so that your dog can really “make the connection.” If you always teach “Sit” in the kitchen…then your dog will learn “sit”, but it may be in the kitchen only. Just remember all dogs are different so be ready to adjust your expectations. Training is one of the best ways to a happy and respectful relationship between you and your dog.
9.- My dog is such and such a breed..is s/he trainable?
All breeds have the ability to be trained. Dogs like people can be motivated by different factors. Just because you may want your dog to be motivated by treats or a ball does not mean that is what s/he likes. You have to do your best to figure out what makes your dog tick and then use that as your reward. Have several rewards that you can utilize so that your dog does not become bored of one thing. Treats, toys, tug, playtime with other dogs, the ability to run and sniff can all be used as motivational factors.
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10.- My dog is older. Can s/he still be trained?
The myth that you 'can't teach an old dog new tricks'!...it really is a myth) In reality, older dogs are often easier to teach! They may have a few habits to change, but they usually enjoy the training and all the attention they get. In turn, it makes the dog interested in the lessons and therefore a quick learner. You may find that your dog is smarter than you think. Dogs do what they do because of the consequences for them. An older dog would love to experience positive rewards and consequences as much as any young pup.
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