A: Absolutely! Using positive reinforcement means rewarding the dogs behavior with anything the dog finds rewarding to him. This is very often food, toys, petting and play as you will find in our Private Training. It is our job to motivate students and teach them to love learning. We do not push or pull your dog into obedience positions, we use food to lure them into the positions we are teaching and click & treat!
Q: Will my dog only work for food after graduation?
A: No, with the exception of young puppies enrolled in Puppy Head Start. Adults will perform the obedience commands without the presence of treats. During the dogs training in Board & Train and your graduation training, you will be using treats to “teach” your dog the obedience positions. When the dog becomes proficient we reduce the food treats so that they are not needed for your dog to be willing to perform the commands. We never go to zero food, however the treat will not need to be waived in front of your dog’s nose to get him or her to perform.
Q: Do you train with “Negative Reinforcement?”
A: Negative reinforcement in its scientific term means to “take away the pleasant thing”. An example would be not giving the dog the treat if he doesn’t sit. We utilize all 4 quadrants of learning in training, it is scientifically impossible to train any animal with positive reinforcement only. Our focus is teaching the dog what we want them to do and focusing on positive behaviors. We do give feedback to the dog when we do not want them to engage in a behavior so they can learn what behaviors are acceptable and which ones are not.
Q: Will a prong collar really help my dog?
A: No harness, head halter, collar, or special leash will teach any dog not to pull on the leash. Harnesses and head halters teach the dog to walk at an angle, helping some to pull slightly less, while damaging their neck and spine. We are equally concerned about your safety and your dogs safety. A prong collar is an effective training tool when used properly. The collar itself will not train your dog; it is the proper fit, function, use and introduction of the prong collar that can provide the means of communicating, achieving reliability, and ensuring safety for both the dog and the owner. A dog that pulls you down or out in front of traffic is very dangerous and we want to ensure you can enjoy safe, tree free walks when you train your dog.
Q: Do you use e-collars, electric collars, or electronic collars?
A: In our Off Leash program and our Behavior Training program we use a high quality Dogtra brand e-collar to communicate with the dog. The e-collar is used to communicate known commands with stimulation. We are not using the e-collar to punish a dog. We are using it in a systematic training process to communicate with the dog with low-level static (not electric) stimulation. As with all training tools, they alone will not help or “fix” a dog’s behavior. It is the proper implementation of such a training tool; fit, function, use and introduction. We do not use e-collars on puppies under 6 months age.
Q: What certifications for dog training do you have?
A: At Appalachian Dog Training LLC, we take pride in the years of education and experience committed to the training and care of all dogs. Our Head Trainer has successfully completed a hands-on vocational school Masters Program at Highland Canine International School for Dog Trainers, their apprenticeship program, and holds Masters degree in Canine Life Sciences from Bergin University of Canine Studies, in addition to working in dog boarding facilities and animal shelters for 20 years.
Our trainers are Pet CPR and First Aid Certified to ensure the health and safety of your pet during their stay.