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At Mountain Ridge Animal Hospital we follow positive reinforcement-based training techniques. We teach our dogs what we want them to do, rather than what we don’t want them to do. We do this using rewards (food, praise, pets, or toys, whichever the dog finds most rewarding). If a behavior needs to be corrected, we follow the LIMA (Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive) philosophy.
Our goal is to make it clear to the dog which behaviors we want to see from them. We do this using marker training, capturing moments in time when the dog makes a good choice. In addition to training, we review ways to keep your dog happy by ensuring you are meeting their physical and mental needs. We cannot have expectations for our dogs to behave how we want them to if we do not give them what they need to be successful.
While the dog training field is not regulated, we do think the education behind handling and teaching skill sets is incredibly important. As a result, we require our trainers to be certified through a reputable organization. All of our trainers are certified or in the process of being certified by the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers. This long and thorough exam can only be taken after several hundred hours of dog training experience, and can only be passed with a true understanding of learning theory.