about sidekick dog training
approach to training
My approach to training can be summed up in one phrase (motto, tagline, or mission - whatever you want to call it):
Better training through better relationships.
That's the short version, anyway. The long version? My approach to training keeps the following four principles in mind - whether I'm working with my own SideKick, I'm working with your SideKick, or I'm helping you work with your SideKick!
Humane, Force-Free & Reward-Based methods are the way to go.
I do not condone or use methods that inflict physical or psychological pain on the learner (whether that is the dog or the human learner); instead I use science-based, force-free, humane, and reward-based methods that are not only more effective than outdated alternatives, but also strengthen the bond we have with our dogs. I'm consistently on the hunt for books, webinars, seminars, and conferences that will teach me how to be a better teacher to my our furry SideKicks and my human clients with the latest, most effective, science-based techniques.
Give your dog choices.
This may sound like a crazy suggestion, but hear me out. I'm not suggesting we let our dogs run wild and do anything and everything they want; but, as it is, we control so much in our dogs’ lives: when they eat, how much they eat, when they go for walks or outside to play, etc. Having some control and choices can greatly enhance your dog’s quality of life. Force-free, reward-based training methods allow you to offer your dog a variety of safe choices that work for them (gets them what they want) and that work for you! These methods empower your dog to be part of the learning process and help to breed a relationship of mutual trust and respect.
Dogs are gonna dog.
This may seem obvious, but dogs chase things; they lick their butts; they eat random things they find (whether or not it's food). Dogs have a lot of natural behaviors that don't always jive with what is socially acceptable in the human world. Taking the time to understand your dog - dog behavior, what motivates them in a variety of situations, and how to work with their natural behaviors - will make it easier to communicate with your dog, help them navigate the rules of the human world, and build a solid relationship with your dog. Simply put, dogs do dog things and we can't expect them to know otherwise until we take the time to teach them alternatives that are better for them and for us.
Learning is more effective when it's fun! Just like we play games with kids, making training and learning fun for your SideKick keeps them (and you!) more engaged; it's easier to pick up new things - and to remember them later on; and your SideKick will be more excited to come back for more!
Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT)
Established in 2001, CCPDT "is the leading independent certifying organization for the dog training profession. The CCPDT is the leader in the development of rigorous exams to demonstrate mastery of humane, science-based dog training practices." The CCPDT is interested in playing a big role in the continued professionalization of the dog training field, which is currently unregulated.
Fear Free's mission "is to prevent and alleviate fear, anxiety & stress in pets by inspiring and educating the people who care for them."
"By collaborating with and complementing the veterinary team’s efforts, the trainer can better provide preventive services and partner with the veterinary team to address training and behavior concerns, working from a whole health concept and with the oversight of the pet’s vet."
Force Free Trainers of Wisconsin (FFTW)
"The Force Free Trainers of Wisconsin (FFTW) is a membership group of professional, active trainers and veterinary professionals with an interest in behavior advocating for the physical, emotional and environmental well being of companion animals. The FFTW is dedicated to training methods and techniques that focus on teaching animals by rewarding desired behaviors and exclude the intentional use of physical or psychological intimidation."
Pet Professional Guild
"The Pet Professional Guild is a membership organization representing pet industry professionals who are committed to results based, science based force-free training and pet care. Pet Professional Guild Members Understand Force-Free to mean: No Shock, No Pain, No Choke, No Fear, No Physical Force, and No Compulsion Based Methods are ever employed to train or care for a pet."
Fig & Tyler Pet Pro Program
"We created Fig & Tyler for pet parents who, like us, were overwhelmed by the vast number of treat choices. We were looking for something healthy and made from recognizable ingredients, which was not always easy to find. This is why we chose to offer pet treats made from 100% meat and fish. We only use fresh meat and fish from right here in the USA and all of our meat is USDA-inspected."
Use discount code JP0790 to get 10% off your first order of treats!
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SIDEKICK DOG TRAINING MENTIONED ON THE WEB
I was interviewed and mentioned in the Fall 2016 edition of FETCH Magazine!
See page 18 for the article ("TO THE RESCUE: Why Do Some Dogs Save Lives & Others Don't?") and my thoughts!
I was chosen as a guest blogger for the Petmasters Blog in May of 2017!
The blog post, "Dog Parks: To Go or Not to Go?," was originally published on the SKDT Blog.
Teacher's Pet Training Academy, LLC wrote a blog post in January 2019 that included Winter safety tips and activities during the bitter cold. In this post, my blog post about Kong stuffing ideas was mentioned for ideas to spice up your Kong recipes!
The blog post, "Peanut Butter: The King of the Kong...or is it?," was originally published to the SKDT Blog in January of 2019.
I'm a member of Force Free Trainers of Wisconsin (FFTW); a group of us from FFTW had the opportunity to talk dogs, training, and force free fun on Fox 6 News in August of 2019!
In one of the segments, included in the article "Force Free Trainers of Wisconsin embrace a paws-off approach to training your dog," I had the opportunity to introduce a couple fun Recall Games! Check it out!