Training Philosophy.

Family Dog Training is an in-home dog training service. FDT specializes in training the whole family on how to properly raise and train the family dog. This will ensure that the dog is receiving consistent commands in everyday situations from everyone in the family. Consistent commands and positive reinforcements will lead to reliable behaviors from your dog. The training will provide you and your dog with a consistent way to communicate. This will have your dog listening to even the youngest member of your family reliably. This is how the dog learns his or her place in your family. This relieves anxiety and allows the dog to fit into your day-to-day life. I also firmly believe a consistent routine for your dog is key to a happy relaxed well-mannered dog. It allows them to know what to expect and what to do in everyday situations. Besides teaching the basics of Sit, Down, Heel, Come and Stay I also teach you what your dog should do at family meal times, when a visitor comes to the front door, to sit at every door, how to behave on walks, and generally be a well-mannered dog that is a pleasure to be around.

The training method I use is based on praise and not treats. I want the dog to do what is asked of him or her out of a desire to please you not because you have a treat. This only happens when a relationship built on mutual respect and consistent clear expectations are set. This takes time, patience and work. I use a leash and collar method. With praise and play as the reward for the dog. The collar I use depends on several factors. First being the age, strength and size of the dog and family members. Second is the level of correction required to stop unwanted behaviors. This can be any collar such as a nylon collar, martingale collar, prong collar or e-collar. All of which when used properly with positive reinforcement and appropriate corrections are great training tools. Positive reinforcement and play are a large part of the training. Besides praise for behaving correctly playing a favorite game or with a toy at the end of each lesson or during a break is the reward for your dog. They want nothing more than to be rewarded with praise and to play with you. This training system is used by many professionals who must have reliable behaviors from their dogs. Such as Law enforcement, Military and Search and Rescue to name a few. My goal is to eventually have your dog off leash with no collar listening to you out of a desire to do so.

Training for on leash obedience and manners in the house can take 6 to 8 lessons to accomplish depending on the dog and the family’s aptitude and diligence in training the dog. Off leash obedience can take another 4 to 6 lessons again depending on the dog and the family’s aptitude and diligence in training the dog. Consistency, routine and positive reinforcement are the foundations everything is taught on. I like to train in small manageable lessons that everyone can accomplish. This allows the lesson to be more positive and upbeat. I do believe in pushing the dog once the fundamentals are mastered, then we can begin introducing distractions, like food, other animals and kids playing around.

I recommend starting training at 4 months of age or older. I will work with children of all ages but generally suggest any one younger than 9 years of age wait till the fundamentals have been mastered by the adults. I will give children younger than 9 tasks they can do to help train the dog and teach the dog they are above them in the hierarchy of the family.

My training is geared towards your family pet’s obedience and manners. That said, I do some problem solving with behavioral issues on a case-by-case basis. Most issues can be eliminated or managed with the fundamentals and a consistent routine.

I don’t train aggressive dogs! In my experience aggressive dogs require a controlled environment like a kennel. They need a skilled trainer who can spend every day with the dog building a bond and addressing the issues in a very safe manner. This can take months of intense training and conditioning just to manage the issue and it may never truly go away. If your dog is aggressive, I can recommend a facility that can help you and your dog.