In the fall of 2008, Crocus Obedience & Kennel Club (COKC) adopted a balanced training method – “positive but not permissive” – based on operant conditioning. This method allows you to have control of your dog while maintaining trust. Without trust you cannot gain true respect from your dog.
The “positive” part
When teaching a new behaviour we use positive reinforcement, i.e. rewarding correct behaviour and ignoring incorrect responses. We work at creating a desire in your dog to work with you. This is accomplished through relationship-building play. Once the dog sees the handler as a source of fun, handler focus greatly improves.
The “not permissive” part
Once the dog knows the behavior, we give verbal feedback for incorrect responses if needed. If your dog is doing something that is self-rewarding (e.g. barking, chewing, or staring at other animals) you need to interrupt that behaviour. This can be accomplished by giving verbal feedback, using body language, putting the dog in a crate, or simply moving away from the stimulus. Practicing “nothing for free”. Your dog needs to earn his supper, walks or favourite toy by performing a behaviour such as sit or down first.
Our three main training objectives
- Obtaining Handler Focus: Without focus learning is impossible. By playing games with our dogs we are teaching them that we are more exciting than everything else. Most of these focus games are stationary because movement can be very distracting.
- Preventing Anxiety and Problem Behaviours: We work at preventing anxiety and problem behaviors by teaching bite inhibition, doing a lot of socialization to people and things, teaching the dog to make good choices through games like “It’s Yer Choice”, and teaching the dog to love his crate by playing “Crate Games”.
- Gaining Control while Maintaining Trust: We help you teach your dog some basic obedience, using “positive but not permissive” methods.