The purpose of resolvedogs is to give people the information and resources necessary to “resolve” any part of their relationship with their dogs where there may be stress or tension. There are ways of communicating with dogs that reduce fear, anxiety, aggression, and frustration on both ends of the leash.
My approach to teaching and learning is fun and motivational. All dogs have individual preferences, so the most effective way to teach a dog anything is to figure out what they like best and use it to your advantage! Your dog’s “A+” rewards also double as great distraction training — yes, it is possible to teach your dog to come to you immediately, without force, when there is tempting food on the floor or squirrels in the trees — especially when they learn that paying attention to you is what earns them the access to their favorite activities!
I do not advocate the use of aversive punishment, pain, or intimidation when interacting with any dog. I never use choke, prong, or shock collars. A dog who is a willing participant in the learning process is much easier to teach and happier to listen to you!
When you hear “dog training” advice from anyone, consider the potential outcome if they are wrong! Dog training is not a regulated profession and there are many “trainers” with books or television shows whose methods are dangerous and inhumane. To learn more, here is a summary of various dog training methods and an article on how to choose a dog trainer. Choose the path that will make you and your dogs happy and comfortable, and don’t feel obligated to follow advice from someone who says that you need to dominate, hurt, or threaten a dog to get them to listen to you.
Avoiding the use of aversives is especially important with fearful and aggressive dogs — they will only learn to become more fearful and aggressive when confronted. Aversive methods might seem to suppress behavior initially, but they don’t result in lasting behavior changes and their effectiveness relies on scaring or hurting the dog. If your dog is reactive, a great free resource is CARE for Reactive Dogs. Successful behavior modification protocols are based on changing the dog’s underlying emotional response using counterconditioning, desensitization, and teaching alternate behaviors with positive reinforcement.
The foundation of my training philosophy is based on Susan G. Friedman’s Humane Hierarchy and Emily Larlham’s Progressive Reinforcement Training Manifesto, as well as behaviorists and trainers like Patricia McConnell, Sophia Yin, Jean Donaldson, Karen Pryor, Suzanne Clothier, Leslie McDevitt, Karen Overall, Kathy Sdao, Denise Fenzi, Silvia Trkman, Turid Rugaas, and many more — I am continually educating myself about the most humane and compassionate ways to teach dogs and humans how to live, work, and play together, with the least stress possible.
I am working towards my certification as a dog behaviorist because I love finding creative solutions to harmonious living with our canine friends.
Outside of studying dog behavior, I enjoy teaching fun tricks, service dog skills, relationship-building games, and dipping my feet into the world of dog sports to see what my dogs will like best!