Training/Classes

Positive Pawz Training is reward-based training strictly using positive reinforcement methods. We are innovative, family friendly, and want you to learn to effectively communicate with your dog! Kellie graduated from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science in 2005 and continued her career as a veterinary technician for 11 years. She found her focus as a positive reinforcement reward based dog trainer and graduated with honors from Animal Behavior College. She continued her student teaching at All Breed Rescue & Training in Colorado Springs, CO until she returned to Michigan in the spring of this year. She has raised 5 puppies for Leader Dogs for the Blind, 4 are currently working in harness for the blind and 1 is in the breeding program. And is a professional member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and a Proud Pet Professional Guild Member. Classes will be 60 minutes in length and run for 8 weeks total. Wear comfortable shoes. Vaccines required. Adult dogs need their distemper/parvo, bordetella, and rabies vaccinations. Puppies need a minimum of their first bordetella vaccine and their first 2 distemper/parvo combinations. Private lessons are available in addition upon request.

  • Building relationships through trust by creating a reinforcement history
  • Pain free, force free means do it because dogs want to not because they are afraid of you
  • Laws of Behavior are true 100% of the time and by using these laws there is nothing you can't learn to do with your dog.
  • First Law of Behavior: Behaviors that are rewarded will increase so reward behaviors that you want to see again and give your dog reinforcement for doing good things like laying down and chewing on an appropriate toy.
  • Second Law of Behavior: Behaviors that are not rewarded will cease to exist. A reward consists of looking at, talking to, or touching in a positive or negative way. Therefore, all you need to do is figure out the reward, then take the reward away or make something else better like ignoring a dog that jumps.
  • Third Law of Behavior: Behaviors previously rewarded that are suddenly no longer rewarded, will increase in both frequency and duration (which is called an extinction burst) before they cease to exist.

TOP 10 TRAINING TIPS
  1. First do no harm: no hitting, kicking, slapping, shoving, pushing. Pain free and Force free.
  2. Dogs are opportunists. They do what works and don't automatically know the human rules. They are constantly looking for 1st law of behavior.
  3. A consistent behavior from you leads to a consistent behavior from your dog! Be consistent for the life of the dog creating structure and boundaries. Remember to use start cues (“Let's work”) and stop cues (“Take a Break”)
  4. Find the Perfect reward to get the behavior. The dynamic changes from dog to dog, day to day, and depending on the environment and distractions. A Reward is given during or upon completion of a behavior. It must be liked, unpredictable, and perfectly timed. A reward marker is a tool that gives a clear system of communication and tells your dog I like what you did and “yes lets try that again!” What you did just made that happen. In this class we will use a verbal marker of the word “YES” which means teaching with acoustical guidance, this word is a promise of a treat and we must honor that contract. In order to correctly use your reward marker timing is everything, a reward must be given within 1 to 2 seconds after your marker is used.
  5. No is “not” a cue. It doesn't tell your dog what to do because it is a non-action word.
  6. Don't de-dog your dog. You need to find outlets for normal doggie behavior like chewing on appropriate toys and digging in appropriate places.
  7. Build a Solid Foundation with these essential steps.  Get the behavior and ask only the possible by setting your dog up to be successful. This is done by teaching a lure and reinforcing the behavior. Use educational praise. This is what we call it. Need to hear the word 20-60 times before they learn it. Which law of behavior is this? Give Cue only ONE time because if you teach with one cue your dog will respond on 1 cue. If your dog doesn't respond to your cue the first time ask yourself why: Do they really understand? Have they learned at that level of distraction? Are they too scared or stressed to respond? If not succeeding, make things easier and go back to square one. DO NOT REPEAT YOUR CUE!  Help your dog generalize the behavior because dogs are very superstitious. Practice everywhere you can think of and in every position. It's a Cue, not a Command. A command means do it because I said so. A cue is an opportunity you can't afford to pass up!
  8. Expect success for yourself and your dog, don't set your dog up to fail. You are not being judged or graded.
  9. Make training part of your lifestyle. Practice during commercial breaks, at doors to go outside, before putting down a food bowl, make it part of games, and try using your dogs dinner as treats.
  10. Accept the dog you have, not the dog that you wish you had. Your dog is an individual developmentally, personally, and in training; everything happens at different
    stages. Relationship is built along the way.

Supply List
-Flat Buckle or Quick Snap Collar and/or well fitted body harness
-If your dog is a real puller I recommend an easy-walk or freedom harness
DO NOT ALLOW: Slip Lead, Prong or Pinch Collar, Choke Chain, Check Chain,
Electronic Collar
-TREATS: 5 Different Types, Refer to Treat Test, and Remember you are in competition
with your environment
-6 foot leash (nylon, cotton, or leather is best). NO RETRACTABLE LEASHES.
-Water Bowl
-2 Project Toys because it reinforces “taking a break”, gives them something to do, and
helps relieve anxiety
-Examples: stuffed Kong toy (peanut butter works great and is easy but there are
lots of other ideas), bully sticks, pig ears, cow hooves
-More examples for use at home: Buster Cubes, Bob-a-Lot, Any other Toy you
can stuff kibble in
Optional Supplies
-10 to 20 foot lead
-treat bag/old fanny pack
-mat/bed/rug