What types of tools/methods do you use?
At The Urban Hound we know that no two dogs are alike, and therefore we do not restrict ourselves to one method or tool. Our goal is to teach your dog to work with us using a method that is balanced and relationship driven. While our primary tools are based on positive reinforcement (praise, affection and food) we do put a strong focus on real world dog training and believe that there is a time and a place for correcting unwanted behavior. Our handling tools include, but aren’t limited too, slip collars, prong collars, and electronic collars.
How does the training process work?
There are three distinct phases to the training process, teaching, training and proofing. In the first stage, teaching, we slowly guide and show the dog what we want. We are taking english words (“let’s go” “sit” “down” “come” “place” etc) and attaching an action to them. This process takes time and patience and tons of positive reinforcement as we create these associations. From there we start the training phase. During this phase we start to train the dogs that these behaviors are non-negotiable, and that we expect them to do it the first time we ask them. Once the dog is responding to our first request of any given command we begin to proof the training. This is where we add the real world element. Sure, we might be able to do a down stay inside with limited distractions, but can we do the same command on a busy city sidewalk? That’s where the real test comes in, and yes, we think any dog is capable of doing it!
I’ve done training elsewhere, and I’m interested in attending your structured daycare program, can I start without doing one of your other training programs?
The short answer to this is, maybe. We would need to evaluate your dog and make sure that their level of training is compatible with our other students in structured daycare. A basic barometer for our structured daycare dogs are that they are expected to be able to walk on leash without pulling or getting overly excited when they see distractions, and also do 20-30 minute down stays around heavy distractions. If you feel confident that your dog can do these two behaviors then we might be able to let them straight into our structured daycare program!
Do I have any homework once the training is complete?
Training is just another word for relationship. And just like any relationship it requires some maintenance and upkeep to sustain it at an optimal level. So, the short answer is yes, there will be homework! In order to support the training that we work on with you dog (whether in a class, private lessons, day school or board and train) there will be some level of a lifestyle adjustment with your dog. While we cannot ethically guarantee our training 100% (because we can’t control what happens with each dog once they leave our facility) we can guarantee our support and continuing work if you ever feel like the training with your dog has begun to slide. But, usually, that starts with rebooting habits with your dog at home.