Here at Peace, Love & Fostering we use training methods based in operant conditioning, with an emphasis on positive reinforcement. This type of training teaches the dog that learning is fun, that they can trust their teacher and that they never need to worry about being scared or hurt in the name of learning. There are many synonyms that describe how we train – positive, force-free, reward based – but they all mean the same thing: that we are building a relationship with our dogs based in mutual respect, kindness and the principles of behavior science.
I became a certified trainer through the Karen Pryor Academy in March 2014, and I’m a senior trainer at a DC based company called Dog Latin Dog Training. My absolute favorite dogs to work with are reactive, rambunctious and/or anxious. Yes, as a dog trainer and shelter worker you are usually drawn to the ones with “issues.” I love applying my interest in science to the behavior modification we do with dogs using operant and counter conditioning. I feel lucky that I have this space to share what I’ve learned, because my ultimate goal that drives what I do is to improve the human-canine bond.
Below are some resources we recommend. It’s by no means a comprehensive list, but it’s a good place to start! I’ll get around to giving them all hyperlinks one of these days – until then you’re stuck with your friend Google, sorry!
Trainers we love:
Dr. Susan Friedman
Books we love:
Love Has No Age Limits – Patricia McConnell
Don’t Shoot the Dog – Karen Pryor
The Culture Clash – Jean Donaldson
The Power of Positive Training – Pat Miller
Fired Up, Frantic and Freaked Out – Laura VanArendonk Baugh
The Other End of the Leash – Patricia McConnell
Reaching the Animal Mind – Karen Pryor
Free in-person info we love:
Your Dog’s Friend, Rockville, MD