Fired Up! Dog Training
and Pet Sitting
What equipment do you use/recommend?
The short answer: nothing that could cause your dog to react out of pain or fear.
The longer answer: only tools to be proven effective without using force, pain, or fear. Standard training equipment typically consists of flat collars or body harnesses, clickers, and non-retractable leashes. Special equipment that could be recommended in certain cases includes: martingale collars, front-clip harnesses, head collars, target marks, target sticks, pedestals, and long leashes. Each dog and situation is different, so recommendations are made according to each dog's specific needs.
We never use or recommend or anything that causes pain or fear, such as choke collars, prong or pinch collars, or electronic collars.
What happens when my dog gets it right?
Excitement and fun! When a dog performs the correct behavior, or performs a cue or task correctly, there is a click followed by praise and either a treat or quick play session. In order for a dog to understand what is wanted of him, it's important to reinforce correct behavior. This also keeps training fun and your dog wanting to do work with you more and more!
What happens when my dog gets it wrong?
Simply offering the wrong behavior (i.e. sitting when he was asked to lie down) means the situation will be set up again and he will be given another opportunity to perform. If the dog offers the wrong behavior twice in a row, it's best to retract to an easier step in the process (for the previous example, going back to using a hand signal to give the dog a visual representation of what is being asked) or redirect them to something else before going back to the original behavior.
If a behavior is exhibited that could lead to escalation or an unsafe situation (i.e. a dog-dog interaction in which there is growling or lunging), the dog will be removed from the situation as gently, but quickly, as possible. It is important to not allow a dog to remain in a situation that could escalate or become unsafe for anyone involved. Furthermore, punishing a dog for showing signs that he is uncomfortable or overwhelmed will lead to more extreme behaviors, such as snapping or biting.
What organizations do you belong to? What are your credentials?
Membership has been granted by the Pet Professional Guild, an association in which professionals are held to the highest standards of caring for and training animals in humane and ethical ways: without pain, force, or fear. Membership has also been granted by Doggone Safe, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public about dog communication and body language. The goal of Doggone Safe is to prevent dog bites and keep communities safe and dogs in their homes rather than being surrendered for behavioral issues.
A list of credentials can be found on the "About" page.