Training Philosophy

The DogSmith® Behavior Consulting Case Management Philosophy

Here at the DogSmith are Training and Behavior protocols, methods and philosophies are founded in the science of Applied Behavior Analysis. They are also governed by our ethics and managed through our ”Guiding Principles".

Applied behavior analysis is the science of controlling and predicting behavior.

  • As behavior analysts we reject the use of hypothetical constructs and focus on the observable relationship of the dog's behavior to its environment.
    In scientific theory, particularly Psychology, a hypothetical construct is an explanatory variable which is not directly observable. For example, the concepts of intelligence and motivation are used to explain phenomena in psychology, but neither is directly observable. A hypothetical construct differs from an intervening variable in that it has properties and implications which have not been demonstrated in empirical research
  • By functionally assessing the relationship between a problematic behavior and the dog's environment we can effectively and efficiently change unwanted dog behaviors while improving the relationship the owner has with their dog and their joint quality of life.

How your DogSmith training expert will work with you

The DogSmith works with each client to develop a behavior change program that meets the clients goals. The behavior change programs are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and have set time-lines.

  1. When training dogs we need to ensure that they are actively involved in the learning process.
  2. When the dog is actively participating, rather than passively observing, greater learning takes place. This applies to both the dog and its owner.
  3. Newly acquired skills need to be repeated frequently in a variety of contexts to ensure they are fully learned. This means the skills you and your dog learn will be effective in and around your home and out and about town.
  4. When practicing new behaviors frequent repetition in various scenarios ensures the skill is truly owned' so the dog can not only generalize its behaviors in new situations but can also discriminate when appropriate.
  5. Most importantly when training your dog remember to positively reinforce correct behaviors. Rewards for accomplishing skills successfully are an effective method to ensure learning takes place. Rewards used when you begin training, such as food and toys, can be quickly replaced by life rewards, such as attention and petting.

Recommended Reading. The Pet Professional Guild Position Statements.

Recommended Reading. The Pet Professional Guild Open Letters.