How Do We Train Dogs?

Finding a professional trainer these days can be a minefield. The increase in dog trainers popping up online is on the rise, which in one breath is great to see – as the more trainers there are, the more dogs & owners can be helped.

But on the other hand, trainers with limited experience end up doing more damage than good, yet look great due to their social media.

So what is our approach at Valorant K9?

It is no secret that we are what you would call ‘balanced’. This is often overly simplified with the view that a balanced trainer simply corrects/punishes unwanted behaviour and rewards desirable behaviour – when there is way more to it.

We look at the dogs emotions. We want to establish why a dog does what they do, looking at what the motive is, so that we can effectively teach and modify behaviour. We want to create and establish the usual things that most dog trainers will mention, such as a healthy relationship dynamic, structure, boundaries and so on. But a big part of what we do is creating and conditioning a positive emotion in the work that we do with our dogs.

We want our clients dogs to value and find training extremely rewarding. The act of working for their handler being the main enjoyable part and not just the reward at the end. The more invested and interested we can make our dogs in working with us, the more enthusiasm, desire and work rate we can get out of them. After all, we learn best when we find the work enjoyable!

Despite this, we are also not shy of telling a dog when they are wrong. It is all about being proportionate and fair. Would we punish a dog that does not know what they should be doing… no. We have to teach them what we want, to then be able to hold them accountable for making poor decisions. We guide them into making the correct decision and establish rules, boundaries and expectations.

Do we use the same training tool on every dog? No! What is best for one dog may not be best for another. We will utilise what we feel is best, whether that be a normal collar, a slip lead, a harness (less common), pinch collar or e-collar. As after all, we must not become reliant on tools as they are nothing more than a training aid to OUR training and communication.

Are we qualified trainers with the papers? Yes! But we recognise that has no correlation between being an excellent dog trainer and being a poor one. We are constantly learning about dogs, studying courses, researching learning theory and going to see trainers, as we are always and will always be looking to expand our knowledge in training.

Does every training session look pretty? Absolutely not. We often see dogs that have severe behavioural issues where we are the clients last resort and we have to dive into the training head on – but we love it!💪

We love helping clients & their dogs to live in harmony, providing a more free and enjoyable life together. Because after all that is why we own a dog… to enjoy our time together.

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