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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

WHAT IS YOUR TRAINING METHODOLOGY?

I strictly use humane, positive reinforcement that has decades of scientific evidence to back it up. There will be no pain, fear, or force during my interactions with your dog.

DO I HAVE TO USE FOOD TO TRAIN MY DOG?

You don't have to use any particular tool to train your dog. Professionals like food because it is one of the most powerful motivators in animal training. The reality is that you get more strongly conditioned behavior if you do not limit yourself to praise alone. Another advantage of food is that you can use it to target the dog into position. Food therefore has two roles: as target (“lure”) and as reward. Training with positive reinforcement allows the dog to relax and learn, and strengthens the bond between you and the dog. Over time, you can expect "more for your money," that is more behaviors for fewer treats. You will also become skillful at incorporating other rewards into training.

AREN'T I ACTUALLY BRIBING MY DOG BY LURING HER INTO POSITION WITH A TREAT?

You can't bribe a dog for doing something he doesn't even yet have in his repertoire! Put yourself in his place. Imagine that someone said "palana." What would you do? Nothing, because you don't understand what that person wants you to do let alone why you should do it. Physically placing your dog into position slows down learning and has negative side effects. Using a target allows you to elegantly obtain the correct behavior.

WILL I ALWAYS HAVE TO USE FOOD TO REWARD MY DOG?

Certainly not as frequently as for a newer behavior, but yes, maintenance of established behavior with (concealed) intermittent rewards is a must. There is no free lunch in behavior. Think of it this way: you have to feed your dog anyway. You can give it all to her for free in a bowl or you can reserve part of her daily caloric intake and let her earn it! Also, don’t forget that there are other rewards besides food: everyday things such as play, sniffing, door opening, car rides and access to other dogs can also be used to reward established behavior.

WON'T VIRTUAL TRAINING BE LESS EFFECTIVE?

Dog trainers worked with clients remotely before the pandemic. It has been a valuable tool for guardians who do not have access to qualified, humane help in their area. These are the benefits:

  • It prevents distress for dogs who are fearful or aggressive to strangers in the home. 

  • There are problems that need urgent help. Puppies have a limited window of opportunity for socialization and bite inhibition, or there is serious risk of developing fear and aggression as an adult. Fearful and aggressive dogs also cannot wait. They can worsen over time, and become more difficult to fix as a result.

  • Video coaching is a powerful tool to learn your mechanical training skills. By watching yourself on video, you can break down your technique and gain better understanding of your feedback. It is so effective that the finest dog training schools choose to coach budding trainers via video.

  • You have the opportunity to easily refer back to your session in addition to written instruction.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO TRAIN MY DOG?

During your initial assessment, I will provide an estimate. Your dedication to managing your dog's behavior and following instruction in between sessions will significantly contribute to your success.

WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE DIAMOND DOGS?

Dog training is unregulated in the United States. This means anyone, and I mean anyone at all, can hang up a shingle and charge for their services. 

I entered the field because I passionately opposed the barbaric animal abuse being sold to the public as training. I was also sorely disappointed with the lack of knowledge and competency required to take clients. As a result, I invested in the most comprehensive education available, and gained hands-on experience training dogs in shelter. I've earned independent certification, which requires 300 hours of professional experience and passing a knowledge test.

I develop a relationship with my clients based on transparency and trust. I truly want what is best for you and your dog, and I am committed to ethical business practices. Please take a moment to watch this short video:

Transparency in Dog Training by Jean Donaldson

DO YOU OFFER A GUARANTEE?

It is not ethical to make guarantees about another being's behavior. No person, even the most seasoned dog behavior expert, can realistically guarantee what a dog is going to do.

If you still have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.