WHY K9 LEARNING ACADEMY
There is a wide spectrum of dog training philosophies, with positive-only reinforcement at one end of the spectrum and correction-based training at the other. At K9 Learning Academy, we use what is called Vocal coaching and balanced training. Dogs are individuals, just like people. Successful training methods for one dog will often be completely different for another dog. We have found this to be much more effective than either positive-only reinforcement or correction-based training.
If you watch a group of dogs interact, they correct each other- constantly. These corrections are not abusive. They are an essential part of communication that accomplishes a crucial element in any relationship- boundaries. Balanced Reward-Based Training mimics how dogs interact with one another. This includes consistent, timely, and appropriate praise as well as consistent, timely, and appropriate correction.
High value rewards are used in the learning phase of training to teach behaviors. When teaching a behavior we start with treats and eventually fade them out completely once they understand the particular command. Even after a dog has learned a command or behavior, there will still come a time with every dog when surrounding distractions are much more compelling than even high value rewards. The “balanced” part of a reward-based system is that corrections are introduced once a command or behavior is learned but not followed. A correction is a consequence for not following previously learned behaviors or directions. Its purpose is not to punish a behavior but to refocus the dog on the desired behavior.
An experienced Balanced Reward-Based Trainer is one that utilizes a wide range of tools and adapts the trainer's methods to suit the needs of the individual dog, owner, and environment. We also believe that you should not allow your dog to train at a facility where you can't watch them. That why we have incorporated live video feed, to see how we train and that we are transparent as possible. Everyone owner should be able to watch their dog's training journey and when you come train with us you have that ability.