Training Philosophies

There are many different approaches to and types of training. This may vary based on the preferences, knowledge and experience of the trainer as well as the breed, age, gender, temperament and personality of the dog, not to mention the problems or behaviors that need to be assessed and goals of training.

There is a lot of talk about “positive training” which ignores bad behaviors (hoping they will eventually cease over time—a gamble that rarely works) while motivating the dog to behave appropriately. Positive training can be good when it comes to motivating a dog to do something in which he is not otherwise motivated to do, but if there is something more motivating than what you have or can offer, that is where this technique’s limitations lie.

The trainers at Redefined Dog Training are well-versed in the three general methods of training: natural communication, classical conditioning and operant conditioning and typically use a very wide mix of all three to meet the goals of the training. The main foundations of our training are classical and natural. Classical training is generally referred to “leash and collar” training while natural communication taps into dogs’ innate understanding of behavior, social structure and communication. Operant training, which we tend to engage more sparingly, is most commonly recognized as clicker training and lures or relates a behavior using positive motivation. Does this mean RDT trainers do “clicker training”? No. A clicker is just a mark or cue for a behavior and we believe this mark is better suited and more reliable with voice or hand signals.

For consistent, reliable results there are three components to training: (1) the dog has to know what you want it to do, (2) they have to want to do it and (3) even if they don’t want to do it, they know they still have to. If you get all three of those balanced properly you’ll enjoy working your dog and your dog will enjoy working for you.

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