Our Doglosophy

REWARDING THE DESIRED BEHAVIOR MAKES A HAPPIER DOG

Our Philosophy

Diva Dogs personnel use rewards-based dog training methods and follow an applied behavior analysis approach to modifying dog behavior.  Early founders in the field of psychology were B.F. Skinner (operant conditioning) and Ivan Pavlov (classical conditioning) and we credit them for inspiring a generation of humane animal trainers.  Every step of the way to learning about dogs, we pursued being mentored by the world’s best behavior & training experts committed to understanding the animal mind.  Therefore, we believe every dog would prefer the freedom to make a choice between right (the desired behavior) and wrong (the undesired behavior).  Dogs trust and prefer humans to provide kind and patient instructions rather than corrections.  That is what we prefer when we learn something new.  We may not agree with everything dogs do naturally, so how do you curve the undesired behavior?  As intelligent human beings and caregivers we can facilitate what do we want to see the dog doing under a variety of circumstances.  When a dog is under our care, we play a leadership role & responsibility to understand the dog’s body language, coach and reward the behavior we want to see more often.

The A-B-Cs — How Dogs Learn

The Antecedents – Behaviors – Consequences (ABCs) of dog training.  Dogs learn in two ways, by consequences and by associations.  The leash is an antecedent — it predicts the event that follows (dog walk).  For example, when a dog is learning Leash Manners, you want the dog to walk by your side (the behavior), we can apply a positive consequence with something pleasant (a food reward) and the dog will learn to watch you and stay by your side.  This is rewards based training and the food rewards are faded away over time.  In the not so distant past, some trainers thought dogs could only learn Leash Manners by applying something unpleasant (leash jerk) — the negative consequence — for not staying by your side.  So, the dog learned to avoid the pain and annoyance, the dog stays by the side of the handler.  This is punishment based training.  Positive and negative reinforcement can produce the same terminal behavior (walking by your side) but one method (force-based) applies pain, annoyance, fear or coercion and the other is rewards-based.  The second way dogs learn is by association.  For example, dogs learn to associate the leash with going for a walk, a chance to smell new and exciting things, or romp around the beach or park (fun places), or able to meet other humans and dogs.  Dogs quickly learn the leash brings good things into my life and their emotional response to the sight of the leash is often evident by a perky face, a wagging tail and a quick race to meet you at the door to be leashed up.

Choosing a Trainer

Cindy Lonnstrom is a graduate of the San Francisco Academy for Dog Trainers.  She offers rewards-based puppy training services to help you raise a calm and well-behaved adult dog.  Please contact us today for more information about our Training programs.  To learn more on how to choose a professional dog trainer, click here.