Training Tools & Aids
Food, Toys & Physical Praise
Food, toys, and praise are the most used and valued training tool. They are all used as unconditioned reinforcers (rewards) for our dog. Each individual dogs decides what they find the most valuable. Some dogs prefer food, some dogs prefer toys or extra lovings and some dogs like it all! The key is to find your dog's favorite toy or yummiest treat and use that for your training, especially when working on new cues, tricks or in high distracting situations.
Clickers are small training devices that can be held in your hand, they make a small "click" noise when pressed, similar to the clicking of a pen (but louder). Clickers are used as an operant conditioner to mark the exact behavior you are wanting the dog to perform. Ex: You want the dog to sit, so you ask for a sit and the second the dog's bottom hits the floor you click and reward. They are especially amazing for trick training and obedience shaping. Clickers can work better/faster than just using your voice. Our brain to hand is faster than our brain to mouth, which means we can be much precise with the timing of the marker. Clickers are also super consistent in sould, volume & emotion.
A prong/pinch collar is usually a metal collar that has prongs running along the inside of the collar; where the collar meets your dog's neck. The prongs will add mild pressure evenly around your dog's neck when they are pulling on the leash. The most common and well made prong collar is Herm Sprenger (pictured). Prong collars are one of the more misunderstood toosl in the dog training world, looking like a mid-evil torture devices definitely doesn't help. However when used and fitted correctly they are amazing for communicating with your dog. They usually only require a very minimal correcting power from you to redirect your dog, which in turn means less tugging, pulling and leash popping being used as compared to a normal buckle collar. Prong collars are designed to give even pressure all the way away your dog's neck and they are believe it or not, not designed to cause pain. Before using a prong collar be sure to have a professional show you how to use them correctly; when used incorrectly they can cause way more mental damage to you & your dogs relationship/training than good.
Remote Training Collars
A remote training collar consists of a wireless remote and a wireless receiver; that allow you to send a tone, vibration or an elctronic stimulation to your dog. For me personally remote training collars are THE most misunderstood training tool. There is no tool like it, that gives you the level of communication that a remote training collar does. My favorite remote training collars to use are those made by Ecollar Technologies. They are user friendly, come with 100 different stimulation settings, a vibrate/tone only setting and can be linked to multiple dogs with just the touch of 1 button to switch between dogs. When used correctly they will never cause pain, shut a dog down or do harm to your relationship. Remote training collars are amazing backup tools for moments when you desperately need your dog to listen; ex: your dog is chasing a squirrel across a busy street, you call them off, they don't stop, even though you've practiced a million times and they have always done amazing. Without the remote training collar you could find yourself in a lot of trouble; you have NO way to get your dog's attention if they are choosing to ignore you, no way to break that high drive focus they have going. However with the remote training collar it allows you to break your dog's focus and redirect their attention before they ever even make it to the street. I am all about letting my dogs be dogs, while also always having way to get their attention. Before using any remote training collar please be sure to seek professional help in making sure it is properly fitted and introduced to your dog correctly; misused and incorrect corrections can cause more damage to your dog mentally and really mess up your trainng. They are NOT a tool that should be put on and immediately used for corrections.
A muzzle is a tool that keeps your dog from biting or eating something they shouldn't. Our favorite muzzle to use is the Baskerville Ultra Muzzle (pictured); these muzzles still allow your dog to pant, eat and drink freely; they can also be boiled and then reshaped to fit your dog better. Muzzles are not a bad thing, they can be an amazing tool for your dog. Even if your dog is not aggressive or a biter, I believe EVERY dog can benefit from muzzle training. Muzzles can be very stressful for dogs if just thrown on and used only in emergencies. However, by muzzle training you can get your dog comfortable wearing their muzzle; which means in the case of an emergency it is one less thing for them to be stressed about if by chance they do need one. A very good example is: your dog gets injured and must be rushed to the vet, but as the vet is examining your dog they are getting snippy and just want to be left alone; they won't let the vet touch them (which if continued to push could result in your dog biting the vet). More than likely the vet will then have to muzzle your dog anyways; which in turn adds even more stress to the entire situation. But if your dog is already comfortable in a muzzle and knows it's not a bad thing and nothing to fear, you can walk into the vet with your dog already muzzled and the vet can get right to business and not worry about any possible danger to themselves, other dogs, their helpers nor you.
Stages of Canine Development
Understanding a dog’s developmental stages may help you understand current behaviors you’re seeing in your puppy or dog, and can help you be prepared with appropriate training and behavior-shaping and modification techniques.
Nothing in Life is Free
Does your dog refuse to get off of the furniture? Defend their food bowl or toys from you? Are they constantly insisting on being petting or played with by nudging you or pawing at you? If so. NILF might just be the solution for you.
Canine Good Citizen Test
Before taking the CGC test, owners will sign the Responsible Dog Owners Pledge. We believe that responsible dog ownership is a key part of the CGC concept and by signing the pledge, owners agree to take care of their dog’s health needs, safety, exercise, training and quality of life.
ADI-Assistant Dog Public Access
The purpose of this Public Access Test is to ensure that dogs that have public access are stable, well-behaved, and unobtrusive to the public. It is to ensure that the client has control over the dog, and the team is not a public hazard.