The Dogworks Dogwalking and Training
At The Dogworks™, we’ll teach you the secrets to successful dog training, using time-tested methods approved by veterinarians and trainers around the world.

There are no harsh or punishment-based training methods in our classes or In Home Programs.  We make training fun for you and your dog and only use humane methods which help strengthen the bond you have with your dog.
We use kind, effective, reward-based training techniques and do not advocate the use of any methods that inflict pain or fear. Our training methods are based on the most up-to-date, scientific principles of how dogs learn and our team regularly attend courses, workshops and seminars to keep our knowledge topped up.

Rewarding the good stuff

​​​
One of the foundations of dog training is that when you reinforce or reward your dog for doing something, they are more likely to repeat the behaviour. If you do not reinforce the behaviour, it will stop.
Reinforce more of the good stuff, prevent the bad stuff or train an alternative behaviour. SIMPLE!!

We may not realise it but we are training our dogs all the time. Dogs are like sponges - always soaking up information and learning - and often we don't use this to our advantage. If you don't pay attention to what you are teaching your dog (either on purpose or inadvertently), you may end up with a dog that you've trained to jump up at you, whine and nudge for attention, beg for food, or even run away from you when you call them!

Using food in training

We use food rewards in our training classes – especially when training new behaviours.  We use the food to ‘pay’ our dogs when they have performed the desired behaviour.  If they don’t perform the desired behaviour, we withhold the ‘pay’ and then make the ‘job’ less difficult so that your dog can succeed and earn their ‘pay’.  By encouraging your dog with food rewards he learns much faster and enjoys it more​

You wouldn't go to work without some sort of pay so we shouldn't expect our dogs to do it! Just as jobs in the human world pay different wages, the same is true for dogs.  The more difficult the ‘job’ – the more a higher wage is needed.  You may find that the food reinforcers your dog works for at home, won’t work as effectively in a class environment, so you will have to ‘pay’ a higher salary!

From a scientific perspective, food in training is often referred to as a primary reinforcer.  It's primary because dogs need food to survive and the delivery of it, after performing the desired behaviour, is reinforcing - increasing the likelihood of the behaviour being repeated. 

Don't worry, you're not bribing your dog to do anything for you - the food is a consequence of the behaviour, not a bribe.  You don't have to use food reinforcers forever, and eventually you can fade them out, reinforcing your dog randomly rather than every time - ensuring that you still praise your dog for performing the desired behaviour.

If you are finding yourself more often than not, yelling, screaming at or hitting your dog or considering the use of quick fix training tools such as citronella collars, shock collars, choke chains, prong collars or electric fences, etc. please take a step back and a deep breath. If you don’t know how to help eliminate your dog’s behaviour problems in a humane way, use your higher human intelligence and call in a professional! We're here to help you every step of the way!