Battle Ground, WA
Would you put a choke chain on a whale? Would you try "alpha-roll" a lion? Then why do we shove and yank dogs around to train them? Because we can? That's not a good enough reason for me anymore!
When I signed up for my first class at Mind Your Manners Dog Training I knew almost nothing about the positive training methods that Connie was teaching. I just knew I didn't want to train the old punishment way anymore, but I didn't really know why other than it didn't feel right to teach it to my children (they were raising this puppy too of course).
Without a doubt I made the right choice! MYM not only uses positive reinforcement training, which the more I study and learn, the more I realize is the only training that makes sense, but also focuses on the how and why of dog behavior. Did you realize that when you "correct" a dog for growling you are teaching the dog to NOT give a warning before striking? Congratulations you just made a frightened dog more dangerous! Hmm, not what you were aiming for? Before I knew better I accidentally trained my dog that other dogs equaled pain...guess who's dog was always crazy when we met dogs on the sidewalk? Honestly, as a life-long dog owner I'm amazed my dogs didn't walk out and leave! I was blaming them for behaviors I was accidentally reinforcing, duh!
I am happy to report the puppy turned out fabulous, she just turned two years old and is hands down the best dog we have ever even known! We continue in training because it has become a family hobby (we are raising our new puppy in Connie's classes too). But if you don't become addicted to dog training like I did, and only take a course or two, it will still be well worth your time. Connie's troubleshooting abilities are superb (our two dogs presented distinctly different temperaments and learning styles), and her experience with dog behavior is impressive. You will not look at canine behavior the same again (and that's a good thing). Guess what? Dogs are not plotting to take over the world either (that's cats), you don't have to "dominate" them or be the "pack leader" because they don't want to dominate you! It just takes a little knowledge about what motivates a dog, how to use that knowledge, and time and consistency putting that knowledge into practice.
I really cannot express my gratitude to Connie for opening my eyes to the fascinating world of dog behavior. Over the past two years she has become a friend as well, which is common judging by the amount of repeat customers and participants in MYM events like potlucks and parades.
I really could go on and on, because like I said dog training (and studying canine behavior) has also become a hobby for me, but last line is...I strongly recommend Mind Your Manners Dog Training!