How Dogs Learn – Seattle Style

In May, the Service Dog Academy attended a three day dog trainer seminar in Seattle conducted by Dr. Ian Dunbar, renowned veterinarian, animal behaviorist and writer.

Seattle is on the cutting-edge of dog training techniques and the Service Dog Academy is leading the pack.

The three day event covered all the basics in puppy and adult dog behavior problems as well as specialized training for competition dogs.

Regardless of whether you pet is just a beginner or ready for show, the predominant opinion of expert dog trainers, including the Service Dog Academy, is that too many dog owners still respond to their dog’s bad behavior with punishment.

Punishing a Bad Dog Does Not Make a Good Dog

Punishment and training are as different as night and day. If you are getting a poor response from the techniques you use to gain your dog’s cooperation, it’s time to re-evaluate your methods.

Your dog will not and cannot respond to training through reprimand for two simple reasons:

  1. Your dog has very limited language comprehension.
  2. Your goal as a handler is to know what your dog understands so he can perform the way you want and not get the blame for your poor communication skills.

  3. Your dog isn’t motivated by anger.

Despite his limited understanding, just like you your dog needs motivation to perform. You can probably agree that most humans need a pretty compelling reason to get off the couch on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Your dog needs his reason too!

Consistent good behavior is all about motivating your dog to want to do exactly what you want him to do.

The Doggy Reward System

Initially, treats are the motivating factor. However, as you dog progresses in his skill level, praise becomes an equally compelling reward. Finally, with more advanced training, the accomplishment of the trained task becomes the reward.

Your dog will become self-motivated and internally rewarded each time he does something he was training to do. Although he will never out grow the need for a treat!

Learning correct dog training techniques can be the difference between a well behaved dog and one that is out of control. It can also be the difference between a well adjusted dog and a frustrated and unhappy dog owner.

Why Advanced Training Techniques Are Necessary

The Service Dog Academy practices the most advanced dog training methods in the country. In order to train service dogs, we must maintain the highest standards in the industry.

By constantly staying at the forefront of doggy psychology and training techniques, we can offer you, the average pet owner, a greater understanding of why your dog acts the way he does.

We will provide you with the skills necessary to motivate your dog and make learning not only possible but fun and rewarding for both you and your dog.

Contact us today for a free consultation and a better dog training experience.

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Mary McNeight and Service Dog Academy have been pillars of justice, advocacy and education in the medical alert dog community. If you would like to support this mission, you may do so using the paypal link below.