At Totally Canine, all our trainers use positively reinforcing, non-aversive methods to train your dog, whether they are a puppy, learning for the first time, an older dog polishing up their repetoire of tricks, or a dog who is being retrained.
Our training classes have been developed to be tailor made to focus on the issues which matter to you most, and provide classes at times to suit as many people as possible. We keep groups limited in number, to ensure that you always get the right level of attention. All classes will be run by an experienced and competent trainer, using reward based methods.
What exactly does "reward based" mean?
We like to encourage a dog to think for itself, make good choices and reward them, making it more likely that they will make the same choice in the future. For example, if bouncing around the kitchen and barking with excitement does not get him his dinner, but sitting quietly does, he is more likely to sit quietly while you prepare it!
Traditional training methods use either all aversive or punishment, or a mixture of punishment and reward (this latter is sometimes called "balanced" training). This means waiting for the dog to make a mistake and punishing it (eg, "correcting" with a check chain etc) so the dog learns to avoid doing the same thing again. However, it doesn't give the dog good information about what you DO want him to do, only what you DON'T want him to do. He has to figure out the right behaviour by trial and error - if he wants to. The other huge problem with this sort of training is that it damages your relationship with your dog - you become capricious in his eyes and he cannot quite trust you.
Modern methods using a clicker or a verbal marker, combined with a lure for some behaviours, give the dog feedback on the RIGHT behaviour, without punishing what you don't like. These unwanted behaviours will disappear as they don't pay off for the dog. The skill is in setting the dog up to succeed. This results in a happy, confident learner who spends time figuring out how to please you, rather than a dog who tries to work out how to avoid upsetting you.