POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT OF ALTERNATE BEHAVIORS
As humans, we often consider many dog behaviors as "Problems" or Nuisances" that are very inappropriate in "our" human world. All these "problem behaviors", like, jumping, chewing, barking are normal dog behaviors and the dogs really enjoy them. The important part the human-owner plays is to teach the dog an alternate behavior that will be better than the "problem", otherwise the dog will choose to take over and do this type of behavior every time the opportunity arises.
It is very important to identify what triggers the "problem" behavior. This way we can apply a positive technique to teach the dog an alternate behavior. We must ensure that we desensitize the dog from that specific problem situation.
Our Philosophy is to teach the dog owner to minimize or eliminate behavior problems by being proactive. Such as giving the dog treats or praising the dog when they perform the way we want them to.
Positive reinforcement of Alternate Behaviors is an important step in treating the behavior problem. The idea is to give the dog an opportunity to learn a new alternate behavior which is more rewarding then the old problem behavior.
We teach our clients how to train their dogs by using POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT which enables them to have a happy well behaved dog.
I have loved dogs all of my life. As a child my parents brought home a Collie. This was a beautiful and intelligent dog. At that time I did not know what to teach or how to teach the dog, but we could "talk" to the dog, play with him and do so many things, he just seemed to understand. Later we had a Cooker Spaniel, then a couple of Dalmatians, an Irish Setter and then a Chihuahua. All of them were family pets. I did not have the skills to train the dogs, but all of them where very well behaved dogs. I was able to walk them without a leash and they always stayed at my side.
Times have changed and with that, my knowledge of dogs in general, their behaviors, as well as how to teach them, such as the seven main cues, agility, obedience, tricks, scent, you name it. The more I started to understand dogs, the more I wanted to become a certified dog trainer.
I find it fascinating one can instruct a dog owner how teach their dog certain behavior(s) and see the results. After owning dogs all my life and currently training my three dogs, Molly an Italian Greyhound, Moka a Yorki-Chihuahua mix and Evan a retired Greyhound racer, I wanted to provide a service where I could provide in home training and instruct dog owner(s) in order to have a happy well behaved dog.
As an adult, I started training my dogs and I realized how wonderful it was to work with man's best friend. I started pursuing my passion to train people to train their dogs several years ago. I achieved my dream through academic study, hands on training, as well as reading trainer books, taking courses and participating in conferences about dog behavior and training.
I am a graduate of the Animal Behavior College (12 month course) as a Certified Dog Trainer. I also studied to train Shelter dogs. As a firm believer in Continuing Education, I continue to increase my Credentials by taking additional courses and participating in National Dog Trials. I am a Professional member of the Association of the Professional Dog Trainers.
Margarita R. Douglas
THESE QUESTIONS MAY HELP YOU HIRE THE RIGHT CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL DOG TRAINER (CPDT)