Welcome to Pawsitively Trained!
Please read through the welcome material to gain a better understanding of the training program and protocol. This information should help answer any upfront questions you may have about how to get started and what is in store for you and your pup.
Congratulations on helping your dog become Pawsitively Trained!
Please contact Kelsey with any questions.
For a pdf handout of the following material, click here.
- Group Training or Private Training: both programs have their advantages; check out the website for more detailed information and pricing, or contact us to get a recommendation.
- Group Training - Group training includes owners and the dog. Sessions are once/week for 1 hour. Make sure to schedule group sessions online. You must be enrolled in each week you plan to attend prior to class start to receive any necessary class information.
- Private Training – Private Training can be in the studio or in your home, depending on your location. Contact us to set up a time for your first session. First sessions may or may not include the dog. Sessions are scheduled to meet your needs and are 1 hour.
- If Kelsey needs to reschedule, you will be contacted prior to your scheduled session time and will be rescheduled.
- If you need to reschedule, please contact Kelsey asap to make necessary schedule changes.
- No charges apply to rescheduling, but sessions do eventually expire if they are not used.
- If you need to miss a group class, it is important to find out the specific topic you are missing so you can be scheduled for the appropriate makeup class.
- All sessions can be purchased online or you can pay with cash/check/card when you arrive at your first session. You must have an online account and payments must be made in full to start the training program.
- If dog is present, make sure they are leashed and have gone to the bathroom prior to the session.
- Kelsey talks a lot! Taking notes makes it easier for most people to keep track of information, but group class review and some behavior handouts are also available on the Pawsitively Trained site. The link to these handouts will be located in your receipt email.
- In most sessions, Kelsey will be teaching you how to train and work with your dog.
- Sessions typically start on-time. If you are early, be patient and wait until class time so as not to interrupt previous sessions.
What’s Needed for Training?
Healthy & Up to Date
- If your dog is lethargic, having diarrhea, vomiting, feverish, exhibiting skin irritation, or showing any other signs of contagion, please reschedule your session and contact your veterinarian.
- Vaccinations are your responsibility. Bringing an unvaccinated dog to a public place puts your dog at a higher risk for disease, as well as young and immunocompromised dogs.
- Requirements for puppies – started DHPP vaccine series.
- Requirements for dogs over 6 months –completed puppy vaccinations + Rabies vaccine.
Flat Buckle Collar
- Appropriate size: easily fit a finger in between collar and neck, not so loose that collar will easily slip off (if collar continues to slip off, a martingale style collar may work).
- Body harnesses work well for many dogs, but must also be properly fitted.
- Choke chains, electric collars, and prong collars are not recommended for class.
- Alternative training aids such as front (chest) clip harnesses or head halters, may be recommended for added control (available for sale).
Fixed Length Leash
- Appropriate size: 3-6 ft., thickness and material is based on personal preference.
- Retractable leashes are not appropriate for class.
Treats and Chews
- Small, soft, smelly treats work the best for working with the dogs.
- Every dog has different tastes; determine which treats are irresistible to your dog.
- A treat "trail mix" works well to help keep the dog interested, even around distractions -add a variety of smells and textures plus some of your dog’s normal food.
- Dog will be more interested in treats if they are hungry, consider skipping their meal before class.
- Have good chewies available to keep your dog busy during the lecture portions of class. You can use a stuffed Kong, bully stick, marrow bone, etc. to provide an outlet for the dog to lick and chew (encourage chewing, not playing)
- Treat pouch is recommended (available for sale).
- Please always clean up after your dog and feel free to take your dog on potty breaks whenever needed to help encourage good potty training habits.
Things to Consider When Training:
Dogs need a job!
- What was your dog bred to do? Look at all levels: DOG, BREED, PARENTS, PERSONALITY
- Every dog is unique, but genetics still play a major role. Satisfy the needs of your dog by utilizing their skills.
- Controlling resources – it makes sense to dogs to work for what they want: food, playtime, going outside, furniture, cuddle time, toys and chews.
- What role should your dog play in the family? What does your ideal dog look like? Start teaching good habits early by practicing training in your normal routines. Incorporate short exercises when you eat dinner, when guests come over, when you go to bed, when you go for walks.
“No Bowl” Feeding
- Food bowls are boring!! Find other methods for feeding your dog and eliminate the bowl!
- Training (fill the treat pouch with kibble and reinforce good behavior throughout the day)
- Find It Game (hide kibble on the floor, around the house, in the lawn, on walks, etc.)
- Frozen Kong (stuffed mostly with kibble, recipes available on Kong.com)
- Puzzle toys and slow feeders (many brands available, or make your own!)
Mental Stimulation vs Physical Exercise
- “tired dogs are good dogs; bored dogs are bad dogs”
- How do you make your dog think? Thought provoking toys, training sessions, tricks/agility/sport training, meeting new dogs and people, games, etc.
- Most dogs do not work their brain enough and need more mental challenges.
- How much exercise does your dog need? There are differences in age and breed, but all dogs need physical exercise every day.
Management vs Training
- Most situations require both
- Management = controlling the dog/environment to set the dog up for success. With management, the dog is no longer able to practice undesirable behaviors (keeping dog on leash, crating, tethering, etc.).
- “Practice makes permanent!” make sure to not allow your dog to practice undesirable behaviors
- Training = teaching the dog how to respond to a stimulus. With training, the dog learns how behave in a way that is different from their natural response (sitting instead of jumping). Always consider what you would like to do INSTEAD of the bad behavior.
- Management generally is the first step, then training helps to lessen the amount of management required.
Cued vs Captured
- Cued = the handler prompts the dog in some way (verbal, gesture, food lure, etc).
- Captured = the handler waits for the dog to do a behavior, THEN we mark and treat. Example: the “Say Please” exercise (can be used in many situations, not just mealtime)
- Hold the dog’s meal and stand quietly, completely ignore the dog, the dog may jump / bark / spin / etc.
- When the dog sits, mark and reward the sit by placing the dish on the floor.
- Eventually, with practice, the dog will instantly sit for food – no cue required!
- By capturing the sit, the dog exhausts the other options because they were ignored and did not produce any feedback.
- Positive exposure to new dogs (Breeds, ages, sizes, colors, energy levels, etc.)
- Positive exposure to new people (Hats, sunglasses, uniforms, kids, wheelchairs, etc.)
- Positive exposure to new places (Dog parks, stores, neighborhoods, crowds, noises, etc.)
- Make every
socializing experience positive! If the dog has a negative experience while
socializing, that can impact them for life. Make each exposure fun for your
Words Used in Training:
- Word or gesture that is paired with a specific desired response
- Every cue should be uniquely paired with an action so the dog does not get confused
- Try not to repeat cues. We want the dog to respond the first time the cue is offered
- Ex. Sit or Down
- Known as a "tail-wag word"
- Use whenever dog offers a good behavior.
- Ex. Good girl! You're so smart!
- Marks the instant the dog offers the desired behavior
- Is always presented immediately before the treat when teaching new behaviors
- Timing is very important!
- Ex. Yes or Click from a clicker
- Tells the dog that they are free (they can get up and move around, go drink water, etc)
- Make sure to use a new word, not one used for another behavior like Come or Yes; good words are Ok or Release.
Applying Some Training:
dog is performing an undesirable behavior, it is important to: Interrupt-Redirect-Reward
We want dogs that offer the desirable behavior because they know it is the better choice, not because they are afraid to get in trouble. Always reward the replacement behavior to reinforce good choices. Ask “what would I rather the dog do?” instead of saying “stop doing that”.
Interruption vs Punishment
- Every dog has a different sensitivity level, so it is up to the dog to determine if THEY find something punishing.
- Punishment is anything that has been added to a situation that decreases likelihood of behavior. Examples: Yelling, hitting, making loud noises, pulling on leash, patting on top of head, etc.
- Punishment often teaches dogs to be quicker and sneakier, and how to avoid being “caught in the act”. Punishment is also often paired with the punisher (handler) instead of the behavior, creating a conflicting relationship with the handler.
- There is no need to add a punishment to train a dog. Teach the dog how to make good choices through positive reinforcement and proper management.
- Interruption is anything that gets your dog's attention and momentarily stops previous behavior. Examples, Snap or clap, ah-ah sound, dog’s name, come, leave it, walk away or turn around, etc. Interruption allows us to redirect the dog to a replacement behavior and should not be scary.
- Rule of thumb: punishment=ears back and cowering, interruption=ears forward and alert.
Attention Seeking Behaviors
- Behavior offered to get your (or another dog’s) attention. These behaviors do not occur when you are not around to notice and they are often quite annoying! Examples: barking, jumping, pawing, etc.
- Ignore behavior completely, remove yourself or the dog from area, if necessary.
- Capture (mark and treat) good replacement behaviors the moment they occur. Examples: sitting, quiet, laying down, doing nothing, etc.
- Remember, negative attention is still attention! Don’t tell the dog to stop the attention seeking behavior, as that is feeding into the attention.
Reward Good Choices
- Don’t forget to reinforce the good dog!
- The dog doing nothing naughty is the dog making good choices! Pay them!
Fine Print in Training:
- Kelsey is only around for short sessions, but you are around your dog every day. Make sure you practice throughout the week so the dog can be successful. “Practice makes permanent!”
- It is important for you to be positive, consistent, patient, and respectful while training your dog. Your dog is a family member and it is crucial that we maintain humane standards while working with them. Always focus on the behaviors you CAN reward, not just the behaviors that you want to eliminate.
- It is easy to get frustrated and to get off track. If you are having a hard time accomplishing a task, please do not hesitate to reach out. Whether you just need clarification, motivation, or additional instruction, Kelsey is here to help!
- There are a multitude of resources out there. Research is encouraged! Taking a look at positive reinforcement protocols, understanding dog behavior and body language, and getting opinions from veterinarians and other dog professionals, are all excellent ways to advance your training program. However, please make sure to discuss all training methods and findings with Kelsey, so she can create a training program that will best match your needs. Conflicting training protocol can produce undesired results, so it is important to keep communication open with your trainer. Set your dog up for success!!
Refunds and Returns
- Any unused sessions will remain in online account until the expiration date. If returned for account credit, credit amount will expire at 1 year.
- All returns and refunds are prorated based on number of purchased sessions left in training program.
- Refunds are available within 30 days of purchase.
- Working with animals is unpredictable and can be dangerous, please participate at your own risk.
- There is no guarantee for animal behavior, even after an extended training program.
- Pawsitively Trained, LLC, Kelsey Weber, Sherwood Business Park, Income Property Management Co., and any other employees or affiliates are not liable or responsible for injuries incurred to humans, animals or property.