Establishing a strong foundation with your pup through positive-reinforcement training helps her grow into a wonderful companion. Communicating with dogs can be difficult, but positive training can overcome the challenge. We have a new trainer, Chris Hernandez, on staff, and he is expanding our behavior training services. He will consult with you on bonding with your pet through correct training, puppy kindergarten, performance pup classes, and doggy daycare integration. He uses only positive-reinforcement training techniques, completely avoiding aversive methods, such as prong collars, alpha rolls, and dominance theory. Our team believes in helping you and your pet establish a bond through mutual trust and respect, by rewarding correct behaviors while ignoring incorrect actions.

What is positive-reinforcement training?

Positive training, often referred to as force-free training, is built on the concept that you reward your dog for any correct action and you do not punish her or use aversive methods when she performs incorrectly. Positive training uses the following key concepts:

  • Positive reinforcement, paired with removing or withholding something your dog wants—attention, treats, or toys—guides your dog into making the right choice.
  • Confrontational punishments, such as hitting, kicking, or yelling at your dog, must be avoided, because these methods can increase stress and make aggressive dogs more aggressive.
  • Your dog is not asserting her dominance when she doesn’t listen to you. A dog often disobeys due to a communication breakdown—she has no idea what you want. Dogs aren’t trying to be the pack leader—they want to understand and communicate effectively with their owners.
  • Dogs can’t speak, but humans can learn to read their pet’s body language and to base  their pet’s perceptions on those cues. Positive training bridges the communication gap and allows people and their pets to understand each other.

Positive-reinforcement training often uses high-value treats, toys, or actions that a pet treasures most—chicken, steak, cheese, a tennis ball, or a belly rub. Once you have learned to communicate effectively with your dog using her treat of choice, you can guide her toward correct behaviors. She will learn much more when you use positive methods instead of harsh punishments.  

Benefits of positive training

The benefits of positive-reinforcement training include:

  • Builds a strong bond with your dog based on trust and respect
  • Avoids increasing anxiety or aggression
  • Uses fun, easy training methods for the entire family
  • Provides mental stimulation, preventing boredom and problem behaviors
  • Allows a dog to choose, without fear of repercussions
  • Builds a dog’s confidence

The benefits of humane, ethical, positive-training methods make building a bond with your pet through positive training rather than dominance-based training a no-brainer.

Meet our new dog trainer

We are pleased to welcome Chris Hernandez, our new trainer and canine advocate, to our staff. Chris, who was born and raised in Conroe, is a family man, dedicating his time to raising his son, Jameson, with his wife, Katrina. His passion for training canines began when he was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in 2014. As a combat veteran who served as a paratrooper, he was searching for a canine companion and stumbled across Sarge, a headstrong white German shepherd who needed direction. Chris set out to harness Sarge’s potential and found a trainer who gave him a free internship and helped him become a well-rounded, compassionate dog trainer. For the past five years, Chris has built on his experiences, training military, police, and personal protection dogs, and teaching dogs and their handlers how to search for drugs, scents, and people; how to bite on command; and other skills working dogs need. He also specializes in behavior-modification techniques for aggression and anxiety issues. A strong member of his community, Chris has volunteered in animal shelters to help reduce behavioral issues, using positive-reinforcement and behavior-modification protocols. If you need help with your dog’s training routine, or if you are heading out of town, Chris has had substantial success with the extensive training sessions he provides as part of his program. We believe all animals deserve humane, ethical, training methods, and we are excited to partner with Chris and his positive-reinforcement training techniques.

If your pup has a behavior problem, let us help. Give us a call to set up a training consultation with Chris Hernandez