Training Methods & Philosophy

All Big Canines, LLC is a credentialed, licensed, and insured training & behavior company. One of only two locally credentialed trainers and behavior consultants. We adhere to a code of ethics and standards and are required to take continuing education units to renew our multiple credentials.  We also abide by the Hierarchy of Dog Needs as seen below.

This is maintained when working both directly with clients in 1:1 programs or group classes as well as in our bad dog rehab programs. 

Teaching both ends of the leash is crucial for the success of dogs and their humans and has the added benefit of everyone having fun and enjoying their time training. While dogs and people do learn differently we are a science-based company and we do not implore the use of aversives (pain, fear, intimidation- shock/e-collar/stimulation, choke, prong/pinch) or dominance theory as they are outdated and wholly unnecessary. Contrary to many commonly mis-held ideas that certain breeds need a heavier hand or are more strong-willed. That is anthropomorphization (attributing human characteristics onto animals) which is common as we work to understand our own furry friends but scientific research over the last several decades has helped us to understand that those are myths and not actually true for other species of animals.  

We utilize the four quadrants of operant conditioning and classical conditioning and we focus on the behaviors we do want from the dog vs what we want to stop. Here is why, If a dog jumps on its owners we focus instead of teaching them to sit down for greetings or do to a designated area until they are calm and released. For a dog who has barking, lunging, and growling toward people or other animals, we teach them to calmly walk with their owners, focus on their owners, and condition a new emotional response toward the things that frighten or frustrate them. 

We use rewards focused (toys, play, treats/food, access to activities and spaces) positive reinforcement training methods and will never use or advocate for the use of aversives. Have a dog with strict dietary needs? That is not a problem. Have a dog that doesn't like food or food doesn't help them refocus when they see a trigger, that's okay too! Positive reinforcement, science-based training isn't just about food as payment. While yes there are payouts still think of it the same way you think of earning a paycheck for doing your job. That is what we do with your dog. 

 Some visual examples of how this works can be found below. 

Positive Reinforcement training leads to happier and more compliant dogs. Dont take our work for it. Check out the following links for more information.

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