What Methods Do You Use To Train My Dog?
We Speak Woof utilizes science based learning theory to modify behaviour. Ever heard:
"I tried positive training, but it didn't work for my dog"
"Treats are bribery"
"Some breeds aren't meant for reward based training"
Positive reinforcement training means finding what motivates your dog & reinforcing them with it. While we use food rewards as the quickest, easiest, and most times the highest value option, we also look for what makes your dog light up to use that as a reward for the behaviours we want to increase. For more information on reinforcers watch this short video by Dr Susan Friedman of Behavior Works:
When it comes to fear/anxiety/aggression, we focus on desensitization & counter conditioning to alter a dog's negative emotional response to a positive one by pairing it with something really good. The fearful object now means something great will happen as we help make the interactions more predictable (as per graphic below). We Speak Woof subscribes to the humane hierarchy, employing LIMA (Least Invasive Minimally Aversive) to help you achieve your goals. We will not use pain/psychological intimidation on a dog, as studies have found this increases fear, anxiety & aggression toward people.
Do You Have A Facility?
No, we train your dog in their home environment, the place where they need to practice good behaviour the most. If, however, your dog's issue occurs in a particular place, like a dog park, we are always up for a road trip (as long as it's within our service area).
How Does Payment Work?
We take a small number of clients in order to give you personalized attention so for that reason lessons must be pre-paid and are non-refundable. After your lesson is booked you will have the option to pay online via Paypal, MasterCard, Visa or you can email us an Electronic Money Transfer (EMT) from your bank.
What is Your Cancellation Policy?
Any cancellations must be made 48 hours prior to the scheduled session. Cancellations past 48 hours will result in the forfeit of lesson with no refund. The only situation we will reschedule past 48 hours is if your dog has become too ill to eat.
Do You Offer Daycare Services or Board and Train?
We do not offer daycare but are happy to refer you to trusted businesses that can help with your dog's needs. Our Day Training program is what we offer in lieu of Board and Train as there are very few Board and Train professionals that utilize positive reinforcement methods. Andre Yeu of When Hounds Fly wrote an excellent article detailing why Board and Train is not recommended including the story of White Socks, a dog who was returned to their owner with neck wounds from either a prong or shock collar that was used while boarding.
Can We Discuss My Dog's Case Over the Phone?
You bet, we offer a 30 minute phone/Skype consult for $40. This time can be used to discuss a nuisance behaviour with your dog, questions about obtaining a new dog/puppy, or potential changes in your life/routine and how it may affect your dog - just to name a few topics. However, if the question is about an aggressive dog, it's better to hire us for lessons. Aggression cases require a full history and commitment from you, there is no 30 minute advice we can give you that will "fix" the situation.