What is your training philosophy?

I believe based on years of study, research and working alongside dogs that positive, fear-free and reward-based training is the most effective and best way to train not only dogs but all animals. Through years of selective breeding and domestication, we have moulded a creature who loves us unconditionally and craves to be near us. The relationship we have with dogs is unique and not one build on a power struggle. Training should educate our dogs, not suppress them.

What is your training methodology?

I only use positive reinforcement in my training. Positive reinforcement (also known as R+) is extensively backed by science and ethics. In my training will use rewards such as food, toys, praise and physical touch, never punishment/corrections. While punishment may appear to get quick results it has a lasting effect on your dog's ability to learn and their emotional well being. Telling your dog off will not get them to listen to you any better, in fact they start to avoid you more.

What happens to my dog when they get it "wrong" in training?


I will assess the situation, your dog and myself then make adjustments. Your dog's behaviour is information so when they do or do not provide an action to something this gives me insight into how they might be feeling or if the training needs to be modified. Dogs never get things wrong because they have no understanding that their behaviour is wrong.

But wait... aren't corrections needed to train my dog?

Your dog does not need to be corrected for "bad" behaviour. Punishment does not teach your dog how to act in a situation, it suppresses their emotional response which in some situations can be very dangerous. Corrections can create a negative association with you and cause a dog to connect the discomfort/fear with a situation as well. Example: correcting a dog-reactive dog when they are barking at dogs will solidify your dogs discomfort around dogs. Dogs = negative outcome.

What tools and gear do you use?

The tools I use are food and toys. Often (and if it is a safe environment to do so) I do not need anything on the dog in order to train them. As far as gear, in public, I highly recommend a well-fitting harness for learning dogs as this takes the pressure off of the vital structures of the neck. Good harnesses are ones similar to the Perfect Fit harness which we sell. We also use leads of various lengths attached to the dog to keep a dog safe when in public.

Do you offer board and training?

I do not offer this service, however, I do offer Training Walks where I take your dog out to work on their specific training requirements. On the Training Walks I can focus all my expert handling techniques and knowledge directly on your dog. I advise clients to be extremely careful about B&T offers as at the end of the day it is important for YOU to understand how to train your dog. While there are some positive facilities make sure you investigate by asking questions, viewing videos and visiting the site yourself.


©2020 by R+Dogs: Renee Rhoades