I aim to be fair, humane and effective. I believe good dog training does not compel dogs to do our will but convinces them to join our journey in a manner that respects and exalts their character, autonomy and free will. Simply put: bullies compel, leaders convince.
I consider dog training a spiritual calling more than a profession, a form of plastic art. It is how I choose to impact, mold, influence and shape the world around me. Dog training is the medium thru which I express myself.
I do not adhere to ideology or methodology. I enjoy reading recipes but seldom follow them. Unfortunately, in the dog training world it is important to choose a camp and wave its flag. At the expense of personal and professional injury, I refuse to do that and hope never to have. It limits growth and it’s limiting to the dogs we are trying to help. It’s a disservice to the people who hire us.
Rewards are part of our training but they are not all of our training. If you believe that you can reward away dangerous behavior, I am not a follower of yours and I do not want you as a client. Corrections are also part of our training but they are not all of our training. If you believe that corrections is a panacea that solves all problems, I am not with you either and for sure do not want you as a client.
I am a dog trainer. I do not claim to posses all the answers or solve all the problems. I draw from 50,000 years of human history. I draw from the collective experience we have had with dogs so far. Nothing that I do is original. It has all been done before by someone else on some dog at some point in time. I have had many folks and dogs kindly point out the obvious while letting me feel like I discovered something new all by myself.
My work with dogs is all about putting pressure on them and teaching them how to release it. Once dogs learn that they control when and how pressure goes away, a whole new world opens up to them. My job is to make that possible, to teach what we like, to discourage what we do not like and to allow dogs to make choices while holding them accountable.
Accountability is the glue that ties everything. We reward good choices. We correct bad choices. At Yoda Dog we say “Yes” to good behavior and we say “No” to bad behavior.
We employ food, treats, toys, contact and praises to teach and encourage good behavior. Thru constant repetition and by adding the elements of duration, distraction and distance, we proof understanding and mastery of what we expect. Our sense of fairness dictates that we hold dogs accountable for their choices only after we have taught and proofed. Then, and only then, will we ever hold dogs accountable for poor choices.
We correct dogs. We do not shy away from that truth and responsibility. Our training is based on science: Operant Conditioning. We employ all four quadrants. From leash pressure, verbal marking, bonking or a high level ecollar correction, we do not employment corrections without much thought or purpose. We always think about our actions and about the dogs in our care. Is what we are about to do in their best interest? Is it the best way we can humanely, effectively and efficiently teach a dog not to engage in often dangerous behaviors. We do not take this lightly. We aim to correct once so we do not have keep correcting over and over again. Our sense of compassion requires that we measure corrections within the context of the offense. Correcting a dog for breaking his sit command requires a different level of intensity than say correcting a dog that shows aggression and is a known biter. A verbal disapproval like “No” would suffice for the former. For the latter, an uncomfortable high level ecollar correction might be needed to make that dog remove bites from the list of go to behaviors when feeling uncomfortable, unsure or fearful.
This is what we don’t do: We don’t abuse dogs. We do not punch them, hit them, strangle them, hang them, electrocute them…well you get the point. Corrections do not equal abuse. Not correcting is in most cases abusive. Why you might ask? Well, biting dogs keep on biting unless someone tells them such behavior is unacceptable and since no one really wants biters for pets, they end up in shelters temporarily and in landfills permanently.
For some, DIY dog training is a viable option. It requires time, effort and lots of patience but the information and truth is out there mostly for free. For others, professional dog trainers like myself are here to help. Please let us help. Whichever path you take, do not surrender you obligation and responsibility to a shelter or rescue thinking they will fix your dog. They won’t. They do not have enough time, money or people even if they wanted to save every single one. Your dog will end up confined in a cage or dead. Both are bad options. Both betray the trust and the responsibility you owe your dog.
Transparency and honesty are part of our core values at Yoda Dog. That is why we say and show what we do, how we do it and why we do it. We even disclose our prices upfront. We believe in full disclosure and expect the same from you. We put everything out there so you can decide if we fit your needs and if you share our values. The very last thing we want is to waste your energy, time and money.
We are not everyone’s cup of tea. We know that. Not everyone is our cup of tea. We know that as well. But if you are and we are, lets get to work. We will give it all our best, transform your dog and enhance your life.
Here is how to contact us.