The biggest difference between the Columbus dog training at Off Leash K9 Training and other dog trainers, in general, is our philosophy of not approaching training with an ideological bias.
There are many training methodologies, and an owner can quickly get confused while researching how to approach a behavior problem while searching the web or even asking other trainers, who will all give different answers. All these methodologies exist because they work with specific types or a general percentage of dogs. However, we believe every dog’s temperament and traits must be considered to avoid mistakes.
Instead of focusing on one methodology, we apply the entire spectrum of pressure vs. reward (operant conditioning) based on a dog’s temperament and behavior issues.
50% of our clients have already been through training programs…and have been unsuccessful.
In general, around 50% of our clients have already been through training programs, even board and trains, and have been unsuccessful. Many of these have focused only on rewards, which can lead to specific behavior issues. Still, in general, the biggest problem is the dog simply won’t listen in the presence of any type of distraction.
We also receive clients whose dogs have been worked strictly with pressure. In most of these cases, the pressure has been applied too heavy-handedly, and we now have a dog with a confidence/anxiety issue. This is why it’s critical to have an experienced handler guiding owners through any type of pressure work.
We avoid these issues by taking each dog’s specific temperament and drive into account. For some dogs, a treat as a reward is pointless as the dog may simply not have a drive for the treat, and you’re left standing pleading with the dog while they chase a squirrel (competing motivator) across the road. That same dog may get extremely excited by a tug, ball, or even simply enthusiastic praise!
On the other hand, when working with pressure, you may find one dog is extremely strong and confident and doesn’t respond, while another dog will wilt if you simply give a strong look. Additionally, a dog in a relaxed environment may respond to very low levels of pressure. Still, in the case of the squirrel above, it will require much higher pressure levels to minimize the effect of that particular distraction.
We approach every issue from the dog’s perspective
You can see many examples, before and after, of client dogs we have trained (another point that sets us apart, in my opinion) on our YouTube channel. We do these videos to show our results rather than talk about them. I feel like our results speak for themselves. We approach every issue from the dog’s perspective and never try to hammer a circle into a square.
Handling skill is a huge factor in these results, but equally, it boils down to work ethic and dedication. We work with many tough behavior issues, and it can take blood, sweat, and tears to achieve a breakthrough. That said, the more work a handler puts in, the more rewarding it feels when that breakthrough comes.
Finally, it’s our motto to address every issue, above all else, with the dog’s best interest at heart. I think the fundamental approach is not only a major factor in our results but shines through with our clients, as you can see in our many reviews and testimonials.