Our Training Philosophy
At the Dog Trick Academy we have one key element that underlies all our training techniques. It is best captured using a single word – POSITIVE.
We know you love your pet, and we know that rewarding your pet gets far better results than any other method. Dogs are like kids – if something is fun and they get praised for doing it right, they will do the good or approved action time and again. Positive reinforcement works. Every time.
For many dogs, rewards come in the form of a treat and a pat on his/her favorite spot. Now, we aren’t suggesting that you feed your dog nonstop with treats as a way to bribe him/her to do what you want. Instead, we recommend using food rewards as an effective way of teaching the desired behavior. Once your dog has mastered the behavior, other types of rewards can be given, such as attention, praise, playing with a toy, etc.
The Dog Trick Academy training techniques are non-threatening, non-punishing and employ no force whatsoever. In other words, we teach you to use positive reinforcements as a way to achieve your training goals. Dogs perform desired behaviors because they see the value in doing so.
We teach you to use the exact same methods used to train dolphins. Think about it. You’d never get a dolphin to do what you want by yanking him on the leash, so why do that with your dog when there are other far better methods available?
The Dog Trick Academy uses positive reinforcement methods such as capturing, luring and shaping. All of these methods can be used to teach your dog the desired behavior in a way that allows the dog to learn it himself, all without the use of force.
By capturing an ingrained normal behavior, such as yawning or stretching, that behavior can be turned into a trick your dog does on command. Your dog learns to repeat the behavior in hope of getting that special reward, and eventually the training itself becomes self-rewarding for your dog, as it becomes a means for attention.
Luring is the process of training where you “guide” the dog into the position that you want. This is a very effective means of training your dog to do many cool tricks, such as rolling over, spinning in a circle and weaving in and out of your legs.
Shaping is the most advanced method of the three – because the dog has to actively figure out what is required of him. This allows us to train very complex tricks, like playing chess, putting toys away and even blowing bubbles. All of which are accomplished by strategically rewarding layers of behaviors that lead to the final desired behavior or trick. It is also a great exercise for your dog’s brain, to help him stay sharp even into older years.
The Dog Trick Academy training methods are fun for both of you – and 100% safe and secure for your best friend.