PITT K9 TRAINING TOOLS
We do have our favorite go-to tools that we use on a regular basis because we have found them to be the most consistent and effective for clear communication and to expedite the training process time and time again on any and every dog, any age, breed, or size. With this being said, we always respect our clients wishes and are willing to work with them to find solutions with any training method and tools available that they are the most comfortable with using on their canine companion. Below is a list of the most common tools we use at PITT K9.
The single most important tool we use here at PITT K9 is dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical that is naturally produced in the brain and regulates feelings of happiness which creates pleasure. We generate your dogs natural highest level of dopamine they are capable of producing through the use of food, treats, toys, play, praise and anything else that motivates your dog. We use this to excel the learning process combined with our training methods and techniques to create and develop high levels of dopamine in your dogs brain. We use this to our advantage to build motivation in your dog and harness their drive and energy. This makes training for your dog fun and enjoyable for them while expediting the training process. Think of dopamine as the fuel that lights the ignition in your dog.
Food is a primary reinforcer. This means that your dog instinctively knows they need food to survive. We use food to our advantage to create motivation so we can teach your dog how to perform desired behaviors and obedience.
TOYS AND PLAY
Toys and play are another primary reinforcer. It is a very natural instinct for dogs to want to play. We use toys and play to create motivation in your dog while building the bond stronger. This helps to expedite the training process because if your dog is having fun while learning they learn quicker.
All dogs have a 'reward center' within their brain which produces a positive stimuli. This is produced through being petted, rubbed, and hearing praise words combined with proper positive tone and energy which releases dopamine in your dogs brain. We use praise as a way of communicating to your dog that we are happy with their actions and behaviors at a particular moment in time, which helps to expedite your dogs learning process.
A marker word is used to mark an exact moment in time that a desired or undesired behavior occurs. This creates clear consistent communication to your dog WHY they are being rewarded or corrected. Dogs learn best when rewarded or corrected within 1 second of a desired or undesired behavior. It is unrealistic to be capable of consistently rewarding or correcting your dog within 1 second of the behavior, especially if you are at a distance from your dog, so a marker word is used to mark the exact moment in time. We can then reward or correct as needed afterwards because our dog has already understood WHY they are being rewarded or corrected because we told them the EXACT second that behavior was performed. Markers are a tool we use to create consistent and clear communication with your dog to help them understand what we are teaching them, what we expect out of them, and to make it very clear to your dog why they are being rewarded or corrected for the exact behaviors when they are presented. This expedites the learning process as it is very clear for your dog to understand so they are never confused.
This is the oldest known tool for dog training ever created and still to this day is so misunderstood by most average everyday dog owners. Once you truly understand how to use a leash to effectively communicate to your dog, you have clear consistent communication with your dog to tell them where to go and how to get there. Think of the leash as the steering wheel to direct your dog in any and all situations.
We use a combination of different collars all with different purposes and for different applications. We use everything from the flat buckle collar, the Herm-Sprenger prong collar, the Martingale collar and the slip collar. These help create pressure and obligation when a dog needs a helpful push in the right direction.
Some of our training is done with using the highest quality Remote E - Collar that the dog wears, which is the most effective and modern training tool available for instant, clear and consistent communication with your dog. This is the only SAFE, RESPONSIBLE, and RELIABLE way to achieve true off leash freedom with guaranteed and reliable obedience in the real world with real distractions. Once fully trained an E-collar is only meant as an insurance policy for the "what if" moments in life. This way you can give your dog off leash freedom while keeping them safe because using an E-Collar is the equivalent of having an invisible leash on your dog when trained properly.
Think of the E-Collar as a GPS for your dog. They will always know where to go and how to get there, this way they will never be confused or lost again. Through clear and consistent communication, regardless of situation, distraction level or distance from you, they will always know the road to success.
Modern, humane and ethical E-collar training is very complex. The upside of E-Collars is they are the most consistent, effective and modern training tool available. The downside is that they are very easy to misuse or abuse in the wrong hands or with someone that is uneducated on modern training methods. Outdated methods are a way of the past and are not humane or effective and do not achieve the best results. To ensure the proper and safe use of this equipment we advise dog owners to only seek the help of an experienced and trained professional who only uses humane and ethical training methods.
An E-Collar is a language that your dog needs to learn before you can effectively and fairly communicate anything with it. This means never using the E-Collar as a correction on your dog until they are fully trained with it and fully understand the language. Training your dog with an E-Collar should only be done on your dogs lowest perceived level in combination with a known command followed with a positive reward. Proper E-Collar training CANNOT be done within the span of just a few hours if you want real lasting results of the highest quality. It takes a few weeks and hundreds of repetitions moving up week by week to the next level of training until your dog is fully trained. We will never have you use an E-Collar on your dog until you have successfully used one on us first. This way we can ensure you fully understand correct timing and application. This reinforces clear and consistent communication with your dog right from the start.
We NEVER train or use the E-collar as a correction tool only, it's so much more than that. The E-collar should not only be a NO, it should also be a GO. This is why it's so important to not attempt on your own and seek the help of a trained and experienced professional who only uses humane and ethical dog training techniques. We will only work with high quality approved E-Collars (E-Collar Technology or Dogtra brands only). These brands are top of the line with 1-100+ stimulation levels to find your dogs lowest perceived level as they emit a stimulus similar to a physiotherapy muscle stimulation as opposed to an electric shock.
We use a variety of other tools to fit the different preferences and needs of our clients. We use everything from the easy walk harness, the halti, the regular harness, the bamboo heeling stick, the life-jacket, the muzzle, the place pad, squirt bottle, air horn, whistle, the dog crate, and many more.