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Philosophy

Our training is deeply rooted in our belief system. Dogs are not possessions. They are intuitive, thinking, loving, spiritual beings. Training is not about complying with orders from a dictator. It is about building a bridge of communication which transcends the differences between two species, and builds a lasting bond based on understanding and trust.

Our training model is a reward based learning system which builds motivation by working with the dogs innate hardwired drives. The individual characteristics, temperament or personality of each dog determines in which drive (prey, pack, defense), he learns best, for each individual situation.

Prey drive, determines his level of seeking/hunting behavior exhibited by chasing, catching and retrieving. Motivators for these dogs may be food, balls, tugs and other toys.

Pack drive, determines the dogs level of companionship and desire to please. Motivators for these dogs are physical touch and verbal praise.

Defense drive (fight or flight), determines a dogs level of confidence/shyness and willfulness/compliance or reactivity. Dogs high in flight drive exhibit behaviors such as shyness and lack of confidence when presented with new people, places or things. Motivators for these dogs may be new situations in which the dog can succeed and be rewarded, thereby desensitizing him to his previous fears. Dogs high in fight drive exhibit behaviors such as high confidence, often dominant, and sometimes aggressive or bullying behavior. Motivators for these dogs may be redirected behavior to an acceptable alternative or removal of a desired item until the undesired behavior stops. The thoughtful application of an aversive such as the verbal reprimand  "no " may also be useful.

Every dog has varying degrees of each drive. By engaging the correct drive for the desired response, training the dog to respond to commands becomes possible. Employing the use of creative play, luring, free shaping, chaining, and the use of verbal markers while the dog is in the correct drive allows the dog to learn at an efficient rate and retain those learned behaviors for a lifetime.

 

He is my other eyes that can see above the couds; my other ears that hear above the winds.

He is the part of me that can reach out into the sea. He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being; by the way he rests against my leg;
by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile;
by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him.

(I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.)

When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive. When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile. When I am happy, he is joy unbounded.

When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags.

Without him, I am only another man. With him, I am all-powerful.
He is loyalty itself.

He has taught me the meaning of devotion. With him, I know a secret comfort
and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant.
His head on my knee can heal my human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things.

He has promised to wait for me... whenever... wherever; in case I need him.
And I expect I will; as I always have.

He is just my dog.
Tears and Laughter


Gene Hill