Only reward-based training techniques are used at Pawtential.

You will be taught how to put a reward system in place to encourage desired behaviours in your dog. This method of interacting with your dog will help build a relationship based on mutual love, fun, trust and respect.

You and your dog will be unable to learn if stressed, anxious or fearful. We therefore do not use any harsh training techniques or tools such as check chains, punishment, force or intimidation.

A dog taught against its will is a dog unwilling still!

The focus is on keeping you and your dog relaxed and happy to create an optimal learning environment. We do this by keeping classes small and incorporating games and fun into each lesson plan. In this way we set your dog up to succeed in practising the desired behaviours and routines.

Positive reinforcement (using rewards to increase desired behaviours) is based on scientific learning theory. Dogs learn by association and consequences. Using rewards creates positive associations to people, objects, situations, other dogs and training, resulting in a relaxed, happy dog capable of learning and willingly following your lead.

‘When your dog learns that certain behaviours bring to them all they value in life, those behaviours will increase.’

Rewards can be whatever your dog values in life, such as toys, games, your attention, access indoors, off leash play and food.

The reward that most motivates your dog (usually food) is used in classes to teach desired behaviours. You will then begin to introduce other rewards in order to maintain this new ‘language’ you have taught your dog.