Controlling outcomes by Rewarding, Interrupting, Preventing, Ignoring, and Managing.
A Zen Human Makes a Zen Dog
Zen Dog Training is focused on how we as people interact with our dogs—which is the key to successful training. Our Games and Solutions are carefully designed to get people to follow through with training. People learn the most effective (and least invasive or harmful) methods for getting results, and improve the bond they have with their dog with mutual understanding.
Can Dog Training be Zen?
Compassionate understanding helps people realize that dogs cannot change their nature, so we as enlightened humans need to accept them as they are. Zen Dog Training helps people learn to act and interact with their dogs in counter-intuitive ways that improve inter-species communication.
Our methods help people learn to take small steps on a daily basis that lead to lifelong obedience. For people with a Zen attitude, shifting the dog/human relationship can be achieved by playing games with their dog for as little as 15-20 minutes a day!
Stay Ahead of the Training Curve with a Zen Environment
Best of all, our systematic-approach encourages consistency: there is no magic bullet to dog training, but establishing clear boundaries and making sure people follow through with rules comes close.
An essential aspect of training is carefully structuring the environment so dogs learn via natural consequences. When training is focused on controlling the outcome and people realize that every interaction with their dog either reinforces or undermines the rules – dogs learn faster with less stress!
For example, when visitors arrive or during puppy play time with children, our clients learn to use an Indoor leash, or a Tether, and Treats to design scenarios where their dog is controlled and opportunities are created to reward good behavior. Most people do the opposite. They give their dog too much freedom, allow their puppy to nip, jump, bark, or even bite visitors and children and then struggle to intervene after it is too late!
The Zen Way of Training
The Secret to Zen Dog Training is to ensure the humans have the upper hand. Natural motivators like food, attention, petting, and play are essential to the training process and are withheld when necessary. Teaching moments are created by setting up situations where people can notice and reward good behaviors, but also, by efficiently interrupting unwanted behaviors.
At Zen Dog Training we teach FIVE Training Options (strategies). By applying these strategies and practicing fun exercises, people can train almost ANY dog and solve almost ANY problem behavior.
The FIVE Training Options are:
- Noticing and REWARDING good behaviors.
- Learning how to INTERRUPT without accidently encouraging bad behaviors.
- PREVENTING unwanted behaviors.
- Creating situations to teach lessons by IGNORING demand behaviors.
- MANAGING situations to control outcomes.
Helping shy, fearful or protective dogs
It is important to mention that some dogs are too nervous, shy, or fearful to participate in regular obedience training. Solving this difficult issue takes a different approach, as these dogs must first learn to be calm and more confident before training begins.
Therefore, on top of the five training options is the strategy of helping dogs cope with their phobias and teaching them to not be protective. Known in the scientific community as a Desensitization and Counter-conditioning plan, at Zen Dog Training we cover it with a separate training plan called a Coping Strategy.
Beyond Positive Reinforcement
Training goes beyond positive reinforcement, as people learn how to signal and stop bad behaviors, how exactly to make ignore techniques work, and how best to respond (and when not to respond) to demand-seeking behavior. Results come quickly when people repeat exercises to help dogs understand the consequences for their behavior.
We encourage people to think about training as an ongoing mission, much like parenting. Dogs are incredibly intuitive, sensitive, and intelligent, and they are constantly learning and testing the rules, having the best methods, and knowing how to focus training efforts are essential to success!
Start Your Zen Journey Today
Find out more about Zen Dog Training by scheduling a free 10-minute evaluation with a trainer. Use our methods to turn your dog into a Zen Dog!