OBEDIENCE TRAINING

Communication is key

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Owning a dog is as much a joy as it is a responsibility and commitment.

It is your job as a dog owner to provide guidance and education to ensure a happy, healthy life.

You and your dog should work as a team. You need to be able to trust in your dogs training no matter the distraction or environment. Learning to efficiently communicate human to human is difficult, never mind human to canine, and there is nothing more frustrating than a misunderstanding.

 

We start with teaching manners with basic obedience. It is here we develop a common language that teaches our dogs to think critically and allows us to converse and express our needs and wants. At Heart of Gold Canine we don't have a "cookie cutter" method. Everything we do is tailored to you: your needs, goals, and budget. Once we begin, you will see the unbelievable results that will last a lifetime. As long as you are willing to teach, your dog is willing to learn.

How do you train?

Using science backed methods with proven results.

Dogs, just like us humans, learn best when positive reinforcement, and ample motivation are used alongside redirection and consistent structure. We at Heart of Gold Canine have studied with some of the best minds in the country. Training for your dog should be based on their individual personality, aptitude and behavior concerns. We are balanced trainers and do not restrict ourselves to one "method" of training - no dog is the same and training must accommodate that.

The Four Quadrants of Dog Training

Operant conditioning is using consequence manipulation to increase or decrease the frequency of a particular behavior. Frequently, when trainers speak to clients about their dog’s behavior, they refer to one or more of the four quadrants of operant conditioning. In all operant conditioning applications, the learner gets to decide what is punishing or reinforcing. Punishment and reinforcement are defined by their effect on the relative frequency behavior. 

 

As they relate to training, these words have very specific definitions which differ from their colloquial use:

  • Punishment: any consequence which reduces behavior. 

  • Reinforcement: any consequence which increases behavior.

Adding a desirable stimulus to increase the frequency of

behavior. Ex: You go to work

all week, and are reinforced

with a paycheck.

Adding an aversive 

stimulus which will reduce

the frequency of behavior.

Ex: You eat spoiled food and get 

a bad taste in you mouth.

Removing an aversive stimulus to increase the frequency of 

behavior. Ex: Your alarm goes

off continually until you turn

it off.

Removing a desirable 

stimulus to reduce the

frequency of behavior. Ex: 

Child fights with a sibling and 

has their favorite toy taken away

(R-)

Negative

Reinforcement

(P-)

Negative

Punishment

(R+)

Positive

Reinforcement

(P+)

Positive

Punishment

If a person yells at a dog to stop barking behavior and the barking does not decrease in frequency, yelling at the dog has not, by definition, functioned as a punishment. If the person keeps yelling at the dog and the behavior does not reduce in frequency, the person is nagging, rather than training. If you give your dog a piece of kibble each time he sits and he does not offer the “sit” behavior more frequently, the kibble has not functioned as a reinforcement.

Each and every dog is an individual and that is why our programs are completely customized to you and your pup. While the science behind it may be complex and confusing the results speak for themselves. 

With every program we teach, our aim is to polish our students and bring out the best in each unique dog. We believe every dog has a heart of gold, and it is our mission to help them shine.