SUSAN only uses motivational and dog-friendly training techniques with the focus on rewarding good behaviour. She does not use force. This balanced approach is scientifically proven to be the most effective and humane way to train dogs.
We understand that each owner has individual training goals for their dog. What one person considers a priority may be very different to what someone else puts at the top of their list. After all, as long as your dog fits well into your family and the community, how important is it what skills they do, or do not, know? With this in mind, we try to tailor all training to meet individual needs.
We follow the Progressive Reinforcement Training manifesto: in brief, this means teaching animals by rewarding desired behaviors and excluding the intentional use of physical or psychological intimidation.
There are several different methods of positive, reward-based training. Some of the ones we use (and these are the technical terms) are clicker training, classical and operant conditioning, and BAT (behaviour adjustment training) and TACT (touch associated clicker training). Nearly all training initially involves food rewards although these are faded out over time.
Whichever method is selected for you and your dog, everything will be clearly explained to you: for example why the method has been chosen, what it involves, how you do it and what we hope to achieve. We can e-mail handouts to you after your training if you would find these helpful.
Owners are always encouraged to ask questions about the training, and every lesson allows time for a question and answer session. We want you to be happy and comfortable with the techniques that we recommend, because when you are, training will have a much better outcome.
The "watch" cue in action.