The Training Method

The training method that we use is based on positive reinforcement. We reward the dog for behaviors that we like. Usually, we use a food reward. However sometimes we’ll also use other rewards like a retrieve, a game of tug, etc.¬†Conversely, we make sure that we do not reward behaviors that we do not like.

This method is based on the principles of operant conditioning and uses R+ and P-. The theory is that the dog will modify it’s behavior based upon the consequences of the behavior.

We use a clicker to mark the behavior that we like and to bridge the time it takes to deliver the reward. You can find many resources on the internet by searching for “Clicker Training”.

There are three basic methods for getting behaviors from our dogs. We use Capturing to get naturally occurring behaviors. We use Luring to get the dog to move by following a reward. We use Shaping to get behaviors by rewarding small steps of the desired behavior.

So, we start by teaching our dogs a behavior. Then we add a cue to the behavior. We then work on incrementally increasing duration, distance and distractions until the dog can fluently perform the behavior as desired.

I have been trying to keep the text of this manual short. So, if you have any questions about the methods contained in the manual, please call and we can discuss your questions in detail.