Our Training Method

The Canine Coach is a primarily positive reinforcement based company, however we feel that dogs and families are unique and we like to have many training options in our toolbox!  Training is a partnership and your trainer will help you find the best fit for you and your dog.

The concept that we work under is science-based and simple: if something is reinforced, it is repeated. If it is met with no reward or a consequence, it is less likely to be repeated. The more good behaviors (such as lying on a dog bed or coming when we call) that we are able to reward, the less we need to worry about persuading our dogs to stop behaving in a particular way that we do not enjoy, and the less often we find ourselves giving consequences.

We work to create a common language between dog and human, so that we are able to let the dog know when they have done something correctly, when they have behaved in an incorrect way, and how we are going to reinforce them for their correct choices. We do this through a marker system.  We use a verbal marker (most typically the word “yes”) to let the dog know when they have completed the behavior that we would like, and that they will then be reinforced for that behavior. This marker system is also how zookeepers train everything from zebras to orca whales! While all initial reinforcement, regardless of the program, is given through food/treats, you will learn how to use other ways to reinforce your dog over time as well.

Training with a marker system drastically decreases the time that it takes for dogs to learn new skills. It takes the guesswork out of training, and in turn you will be able to tell your dog exactly what they did right. Training should be a fun, bonding experience for you and your dog and you will be amazed at how quick and enjoyable the process can be!