The Treat Misconception
Many people have asked me about “treat training” in puppies and dogs. Their question is usually along the lines of “if I use treats to train my dog, won’t I ALWAYS need to use treats?” The answer is quite simple. If treats are being used as a “system of rewards” rather than a bribe, then no. Treats are a wonderfully effective and easy way to get our dogs to want to work and learn, however once our dog has learned and proofed a behaviour, then treats will be needed less and less. The behaviour becomes a habit, and we expect more from our dogs for less constant rewarding (similar to a paycheck at the end of your work week). We begin to transition our dogs to “life rewards,” which means your dog is working for YOU, not just for the treats.
-Jumping up on guests
-Pacing or inability to settle
-Accidents in the house
-Pulling on leash
And many more
-ABC Certification in Animal Behaviour
-Pet First Aid Certified
Julia is a spirited woman and graduate of the Animal Behavioural College in Canine Obedience. Her dedication and passion for the animals combined with her patience for the job makes her a very successful trainer. Julia has spent over 6 years in the training industry working with many different dogs and has developed a unique style of canine education. Her extremely positive methods and willingness to work with you and your dog closely have "wowed" many people.
On top of teaching her own classes, Julia has spent the past few years working with puppies and adult dogs at Canine Academy, teaching classes for the College Royal Dog Show, and being the oncall trainer and assessment specialist for Needlenose Greyhound Adoption. Raised on a horse farm, she has always had a deep connection with the many animals around her, big and small. She has experience working with aggression cases, anxiety, as well as her year long dedication to educating herself on many different breeds. She has also successfully trained three of her own dogs, one as a Service Dog for National Service Dogs in Cambridge, and one as a Rally Obedience champion (who is also her loving companion), and an off-the-track "demo dog" Greyhound. Julia will also go that extra mile and come to you in your own home with training solutions and programs, or provide a selection of excellent classes to join with your dog. Don't hesitate to call or email Julia with any questions you may have, as she is more than willing to help!
Alyssa has had dogs her entire life. At 13, her family rescued a Samoyed puppy and she and Kalen were inseparable for 14 years. Alyssa worked hard from a young age to help Kalen overcome his past of abuse and undersocialization. Her passion for animals and behaviour started then and continued into adulthood as she graduated with an Honors in Psychology from the University of Guelph She now has a 3 year old Samoyed, named Stark who loves learning - especially when it comes to agility. Alyssa has been assisting in positive reinforcement training classes for 4 years, and has been lucky enough to be helping Julia at JV Training since November 2019. Stark and Alyssa are a certified therapy team with Therapeutic Paws of Canada and visit a local nursing home weekly. Alyssa's goal is to get her Karen Pryor Trainer's Certification and continue her involvement in the training community. Alyssa and Stark are currently working on Sports Foundations and one of their goals for 2020 is to enter a friendly agility competition and participate in the College Royal. Some of Stark's favourite things are giving kisses to all of his friends, hiking and playing fetch with and pouncing on his Chuck-It. We can't wait to meet you at JV Training!
Remember: there can be valuable, positive solutions to common problem behaviours. Safety always comes first with you and your dog.
At JV Training we believe in creating a harmonious relationship between dog and owner. As the experts we use only positive, scientifically proven methods to set you and your dog up with the appropriate program to achieve your goals.
We can help with such behaviours as:
Alyssa (Assistant Trainer)
Erin (Assistant Trainer)
Erin is a Ph.D. student studying livestock genetics at the University of Guelph and has been an assistant at JV Training since May 2018. Erin's family used to breed English Springer Spaniels, so growing up she had a lot of opportunities to practice puppy care and training. Currently, Erin owns a homebred 8 year old English Springer Spaniel named Hunter who she likes to teach new tricks, take hiking, and practice agility and rally obedience with.
Erin became interested in formal obedience and dog sports through the College Royal Dog Show during her undergraduate. The College Royal Dog Show is held in March each year and pairs students at the University of Guelph with dogs from the community to teach various obedience skills over eight weeks of training classes before the big show. Erin has competed as a handler in the College Royal Dog Show for the last 7 years, and she was also the Director in 2016 and the Demonstration Team Coordinator for the halftime show in 2017.
Why choose Positive Training?
Positive-based training is a scientifically proven method which uses a system of rewards to shape desirable behaviours in your dog so that they will want to perform these behaviours again. It uses techniques such as “positive reinforcement” to create certain behaviours, and negative punishment (taking something away) to wean out undesirable behaviours. In order to create desirable behaviours without aversive techniques we must put this hierarchy into place. Rewards are not necessarily treat based, but can be whatever your dog finds motivating. They can consist of verbal praise, toys, affection, or whatever stimulates your dog and makes them want to work for you and make good choices. Positive training uses the philosophy that your dog will not only learn quickly, but will be willing and happy to learn when given the proper encouragement and structure. Together this formula creates a confident and responsive dog.
Before beginning a training exercise ask yourself:
-Is my dog healthy, happy and thriving?
-Is there something directly causing my dog's behaviour?
-Am I motivating my dog?
-Is there something specific I am trying to teach my dog?
-Am I using the right equipment?
-Am I using training methods that make sense to me?
-Am I repeating the same thing over and over and
expecting a different result?
-Am I as well as my dog in a good state of mind?