Our Services and Dog Training Philosophy
Dog Training Services
Currently Peaceful Pack Dog Training only provides individualized dog training. Tracy will work with you and your dog to develop a training plan that meets your specific needs. All family members are encouraged to attend the training lessons and to participate fully. She will provide handouts that clearly describe the lessons and may be used to help practice in between lessons go smoothly.
Photo by Pat & David Buccello
Although Peaceful Pack is not able to offer group lessons at this time, Tracy is a strong advocate for group lessons. If you are able to attend group classes, and your dog is appropriate for group classes, Tracy would encourage you to do so. Group classes allow dogs to become socialized to other dogs, places and people. Socialization is particularly important for puppies. Well socialized puppies become well adjusted dogs. The Association of Pet Dog Trainers’ website has a listing of trainers who may be available in your area- please note that not all are ‘clicker trainers’ so be sure to interview a potential trainer about their training methods.
If you feel that individual training is right for you and your dog, please contact Tracy for information about current fees and availability.
Dog Training Philosophy
Peaceful Pack Dog training is:
- Dog Friendly & Humane
- Relaxed & Supportive
- Informed by current research on canine development and behavior
- Builds a positive relationship with you and your dog
When I first came to dog training the methods used were often harsh and left me feeling sick in my stomach. I could only imagine how my dogs were feeling. Fortunately, for my dogs, I did not stick with training classes back then so they were spared the harsh corrections that were popular back then. Fortunately, for me, I had been blessed with naturally well-mannered dogs.
I currently use a method of training that focuses on positive reinforcement called Clicker Training. It is similar to the type of training that has been used for years in training large marine mammals. If you have ever seen Orcas or Dolphins perform you know that they have been well trained with methods that work!
At the core of clicker training is the guiding principle that when behaviors in our dogs are rewarded they are made stronger and occur with a greater degree of frequency. With this type of training we use a device called a clicker (some folks use an enthusiastic verbal Yes!) to audibly mark the moment your dog performs the desired behavior as cued. The ‘click’ (or Yes!) is then followed by a small food treat or game/toy to reward and reinforce the behavior. Eventually, you fade the use of the rewards.
With the use of clicker training our dogs become active in the training process- you and your dog become training partners! Because we are not pushing our dogs into position or jerking on their collars, they must think and actively engage in learning. When a dog is trying to figure out what we want from them, or perhaps what will earn him/her the reinforcement reward, they will begin to offer lots of different behaviors. Watching dogs actively learning is pretty cool. Watching them zero in on the desired behavior is magical. However, this magic is backed up by the science of operant and classical conditioning.
You may initially think using a marker such as a ‘click’ or Yes! is an added step in the training process. Yet, in actuality, animal trainers have learned that this is the most effective means of training a diverse array of animals from whales, dolphins, cats, chickens and, yes, your dog! When your dog has to actively think about what you want, he/she will most likely learn behaviors more quickly and remember their training better. To top it all off you and your dog will have fun as you train and deepen your relationship with each other!