Our Dog Training method
Vermont Dog B'n'B uses the philosophy of Pressure & Release in working with dogs based on their natural instincts and methods of communication, knowing they learn from pressure and the release of pressure. We do not use fear or pain to motivate the dog, nor do we attempt to force the dog into submission.
- We have learned to use body language to communicate with the dogs. They will use ear position, head position, vocal noises, showing of teeth, and many other gestures to communicate. We as dog trainers use body language along with other forms of gentle pressure to get the dog to respond. Dogs will be quick to form a relationship of respect with trainers who treat them this way, no matter what behavior they display. Trust comes in time, but respect can be gained quickly. We as trainers must be knowledgeable of the dog’s natural instincts, body language, and communication. Our goal is for the dog to be calm and feel safe throughout the training process so we refrain from using any commands. A dog that feels calm and safe with his/her trainer is quick to bond with that person, and the results can be phenomenal.
- The technique is to apply a pressure either with our body language or a leash which engages their brain with the trainer. We then release the pressure (which is the reward) as soon as the dog responds and doing what was asked for. Timing is everything, as the dog learns not from the pressure itself, but rather from the release of that pressure. Our techniques are a very gentle and instinctual way of training a dog and does not include force.
- Foundation work is most important with a dog and we start building this foundation through our engagement activities with a halti or transitional leash. These activities can include walking, leash handling, and impulse control. Once your dog learns these concepts we can then work with you on how to apply them in your everyday life. There is an emphasis on timing, feel and consistency from the trainer that is taught to the owner.
Most dogs that come to us for training are over excited or become excited when the owner starts talking to or petting their dogs. Once owners learn they can communicate with their dogs quietly without commands and using only correction sounds, they are astonished. After the foundation of this philosophy is built (usually 30-45 days), the owner can then layer commands on top of the pressure and release techniques we have taught them.
We not only use pressure and release in a 1-on-1 situation but also in a social environment with large groups of dogs. Dogs are consistently using the pressure and release technique on each other throughout the day, it’s how they communicate. We hope this sheds some light on how we work with the dogs, you won’t find a quieter, more primal way of dog training.
Pressure and Release has become very popular in the past decade, you can thank Heather Beck, owner of K9 Lifeline for bringing these concepts to the canine world.