Frequently Asked Questions|
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How should I choose my dog's trainer?
Dog trainers are abundant! Just about anyone can hang out a shingle and call themselves a dog trainer.
Most large retail pet stores and training facilities offer standard dog training services. Many dog trainers use
cookie cutter techniques.
At Sunny Lane Canine Academy, we look at each dog as an individual. We do not have a dog training template.
If one method doesn't work, there is always another to try. Much has changed in dog training in the last 10 years.
Please be assured that we offer only modern, progressive, interesting programs.
Sunny Lane welcomes all breeds, all ages, all sizes. From Chihuahuas to Great Danes and Baby Dog to Senior.
Some of our best students have been Bully Breeds. There is no breed preference or bias here.
When choosing a dog trainer, ask about education, experience, philosophy, and methods of training. Check with local veterinarians and other dog owners in your area.
If you are unsure, ask to observe a class in action.
Why do I need treats to train my puppy?
In positive reinforcement or reward based training, treats are used as a tool; in addition, we use praise and
clickers (optional). A puppy has a very short attention span. You will need to keep him interested
while you shape new behaviors. Treats are used as a reward for a job well done. We use only tidbit
sized treats, usually the size of a pea. Not only does your puppy enjoy this type of training, but also they learn quickly.
Reward based training is much less stressful for your puppy than the old style corrective methods, which use fear and force.
Treats are eventually phased out or put on a random treating schedule.
Why don't you allow training collars in your classes?
I am assuming you mean choke chain or prong collars when you say training collar.
Let's start with choke chain. This metal chain link collar is associated with old school, corrective methods,
which some trainers still employ. This collar was historically used with the leash popping method as punishment
for unwanted behavior, such as pulling or not sitting on cue. The metal collar tightens around the dogs neck
when the dog pulls or the handler pops the leash.
Many people still use this collar as their dog's primary collar. For certain pulling breeds of dogs, this
collar can cause eventual tracheal damage. It is especially dangerous for young dogs or puppies who may become
hooked on things in the owners absence.
The prong collar is a self-correcting collar that many large breed dog owners use to stop pulling.
Although, when used correctly, I don't feel that this as dangerous to a dog as a choke chain,
it is only in the rarest of situations that this is recommended. There is much better and less severe equipment
available for excessive pulling, such as an easy walk harness or gentle leader.
Our training classes cover heeling and loose leash walking. We use the least equipment necessary to
train the dogs walk nicely on the leash. A normal collar and a regular leash are our tools of choice.
However, we will often recommend additional equipment to help owners enjoy a pleasant
walking experience with certain dogs.
Dominance Theory: The Outdated Idea that Harms Our Dogs