What is “Whole Dog Training”?
Reliable, effective dog training goes beyond the teaching of basic obedience commands or correction of unwanted behaviors. To truly eliminate behavioral and emotional issues, we must address the whole dog.
Our training creates a healthy balance between all the elements that make up your dog. Diet, exercise, sleep habits, and mental stimulation are just a few. Behavioral problems are symptoms. When we strike a balance in all areas of your dog’s life, we find true wellness and a happy, healthy dog.
The single-most important aspect of dog ownership is the relationship you share with your dog. A misunderstood relationship will create frustration and behavioral problems. Dogs need direction and guidance to feel truly at ease in the world. They need to understand their place in the world and, more specifically, your family. They need leadership.
Dogs were designed to lead or follow. They must do one or the other, and if they are not following your lead, there will be imbalance and behavioral or emotional problems to some degree. Even a well-mannered dog, without leadership, is not fully content and at ease.
Leadership is not about “dominating” your dog, but rather providing clear understanding of your expectations. It need not be harsh or overbearing. Consistency goes a lot further than punishment, and so leadership should be firm but gentle. True leadership will garner a dog’s respect and a willingness to follow.
Our training programs teach you how to project such leadership in a way your dog understands and appreciates.
One area often overlooked by dog trainers is a dog’s natural drives. Understanding and satisfying these drives is essential for a well-balanced dog and a healthy relationship.
Dogs are social animals with a strong pack drive. This instinct is what motivates much of a dog’s behavior. Understanding this drive and, more importantly, satisfying it, is critical to solving behavioral problems. Our training programs place a strong emphasis on pack drive.
Dogs are also natural predators. They are born to hunt and kill for their food, but don’t get to do so when living with us. This prey drive, left unfulfilled, can create frustration, hyperactivity, and anxiety in a dog. Rather than allowing your dog to hunt down local wildlife, you can satisfy prey drive through structured play. This is something I teach in all our training programs.
Many behavioral problems are a direct result of too little activity. Physical exercise is important, but mental stimulation even more so. Keeping your dog’s mind active is critical for good health and behavior. Creating a daily routine, giving clear direction and “jobs” for your dog to do are important. Regular activities like “pack walks” and play are indispensable for a satisfied and truly fulfilled dog.