To educate dog owners on how their dogs learn in order to improve their inter-species relationship. To resolve problem behaviors in as timely a fashion as possible so that dogs and owners can spend their time engaging in more useful, and fulfilling activities together. To increase the level of social responsibility dog owners have towards their community at large as it relates to their dog being a member of society. To help dogs learn how to keep their homes. To help homes learn how to keep their dogs.
Our training blends new and old training techniques that utilize the dog’s natural drives and instincts. Our training methods are supported by scientific literature, but we also know that true science reveals/supports nature, it does not contradict it. For this reason, we are not a “positive only” training provider.
We major in reinforcement and, minor in punishment. We prefer whenever possible to teach, pressure, and reward the dog to do the right thing. But we do not shy away from the limited use of tactful, intelligent, and non-injurious punishment for dangerous and anti-social behaviors.
We challenge owners to be problem solvers, to address issues rather than avoid them, and to use trained skills to help them and their dog to be more agreeable companions to one another, and to allow them to share more of their lives together. We feel that conceptual understanding, and skillful application of training is empowering.
If you don’t understand principles, the “rules” of training, you will be a slave to technique. We want clients to understand the important principles of dog training so that they are able to break down training challenges into their component parts and create solutions to problems on their own. This isn’t possible if they simply focus on WHAT to do. They need to understand WHY they do it.
On the other hand, there are plenty of trainers and owners who get it, “in theory”, but can’t seem to get the job done “in real life.” These individuals understand how training is supposed to work, but they also need to be able to skillfully apply those concepts in real life.
Finally, we strive to teach owners how to move their dogs forward in training, but also how to handle their dogs out in the real world, where the environment is never sterile, is ever changing, and constantly presents new challenges. In training, we handle the dog in a way that shows them the approved behavior in a scenario. In real life, we handle dogs to avoid failures. This approach of pushing the envelope in training but handling conservatively in real life helps keep dogs and owners safe and happy.
Still need more information about how we train? Please read the following blog posts, which are taken verbatim from our training guide for clients:
Importance Of Standards
The dog training industry is completely unregulated (for now).
Anyone can say they are a "dog trainer".
Services with unclear language mislead you on what to expect for your time, effort, and money
Trainers can "make up" whatever standards they want, or have none at all
Current certifications don’t actually certify ability to produce results
Different Starting Points
In and around Baltimore, you'll frequently see various charity runs and marathons take place. Streets are blocked off and participants are positioned at various places along the route based on where they are starting. Some folks run a 5k, others a 10k, and others perhaps a half marathon. Though the starting points for each participant are different, their end goal is the same: get to the finish.
We look at dog training in much the same way. Some of you may have found yourself here because you just need a little bit of help with common issues (jumping, barking, selective hearing). Others come to us because they are dealing with more severe concerns including things like extreme fear/anxiety, reactivity, and even aggression towards other animals or people. Some might be trying to get off on the right foot with a new puppy.
Regardless of where you start, our goal is to have everyone get to the same finish line. So even if it takes you a bit longer, good training should resolve your concerns and teach you and your dog important life skills that allow you to go through life together safely and comfortably. From our perspective, we feel good about the job we've done when bystanders can watch a group class and be unable to pick out the "problem dog" from the group, because everyone is able to do work at the same high standards. Not every problem is completely fixable, but every problem can be significantly minimized through good training.
To that end, we utilize independent, third party, standardized testing to prove that our training works. Sure, it might take some folks longer than other to get there, but we're here to help and we won't give up on you.
We utilize an independent, third party standard for our foundation obedience training that every dog training with us will be able to meet. We do so for two reasons:
It proves that our training works, regardless of breed, size, temperament, or behavioral issue.
It informs and guarantees you of what you can expect us to accomplish, provided that you do your part, in exchange for the fees we charge for training.
We are currently using the United Kennel Club Socialized Pet Obedience Test as our graduation standard for our foundation obedience training. This test requires the application of trained skills to show that dog/handler teams can navigate a wide array of common scenarios they will encounter together in the real world. It allows flexibility in training equipment that is practical for pet owners, particularly those living in dense urban environments.