Woman feeding dog

The right dog trainer uses positive reinforcement.

There’s a huge difference between positive reinforcement dog training and balanced dog training. The former method is all about teaching your dog tricks, manners, and behavior through positive reinforcement, and the latter uses aversive methods and/or punishments for the dog’s upbringing.

If you love and care about your furball as much as we do, then we highly recommend that you go with a trainer who is well-versed in force-free dog training. Before we begin, there’s something we would like to discuss.

Should I Hire a Certified Dog Trainer?

How many times have you heard this statement, “He just has a way with dogs”?

Hiring a certified trainer can be a bit heavy on the pocket, but it will certainly be worth your while. Certified professionals in the dog training field have both the experience and education to properly address any training processes you may have to go through with your pup. If you don’t have the budget for a professional trainer, then choosing a self-taught trainer can be tricky. We want to help you find the best fit for your family, so keep reading for some tips on how to choose a trainer!

Regardless of whether you go with a certified or self-taught trainer, please make sure that you hire a positive reinforcement trainer that uses force-free methods. Here are the questions (and answers) you can ask to confirm which type of trainer they are:

Can you explain to me how you train dogs?

Answer- We use a force-free training method and don’t believe in punishments. Our primary tool of training is a clicker. We recommend all our pet owners use a harness with an 8-foot leash rather than a collar and retractable leash to prevent any pulling behavior. We aim to make your dog feel comfortable during training, so he listens to you and readily responds to cues.

What do you do if a dog does not respond to the training the way you want them to?

Answer- In our opinion, behavior is just that, behavior. If your dog is doing something you don’t like. that is something that should be redirected. The key is to teach them alternative behavior so that if they do something inappropriate, you can redirect their attention by giving a simple cue. For example, if your bed is a “no dog” zone, then instead of getting mad at him for breaking the rules, you can teach him to sleep on a dog bed or in a crate of his own. This training will make him think twice before getting on the bed again because he gets reinforced for being in his bed or crate instead.

How do you punish the dog if it doesn’t listen to you?

Answer- As we said, we use force-free dog training methods, which means no punishments. However, we may remove our attention or redirect if the dog is exhibiting unwanted behaviors.

How do you know the training method you choose will be right for my dog?

Answer- We know that no two dogs are the same. Hence, we will start with standard training techniques such as sit and walk cues. Based on your dog’s level of understanding, we will steadily progress and adjust our training methods to fit your dog’s style of learning. It is extremely important to have a good understanding of a dog’s behaviors before putting together a training plan for that individual.

I adopted my dog from a shelter, and he has trust issues. What will you do if he starts to growl and bite?

Answer:-We use a desensitizing method to change a dog’s emotional response. This force-free dog training method involves using techniques that address why your dog is exhibiting this behavior and then aims to reshape the way your dog responds to any problematic stimuli. Click here to read our article on growling for further information

Training is extremely important for teaching your dog appropriate social behavior so that he doesn’t harm others or himself. Force-free dog training ensures that your dog will learn manners without causing any issues down the road. For dog training in Miami, visit the website Dances with Dogs. They provide both in-person and online dog training. To know more about their services or to schedule an appointment, call on 786-299-1552.