The Clever Canine, LLC                Intelligent, gentle dog training.
Training Methods

Positive Reinforcement

The Clever Canine uses primarily positive reinforcement for training obedience and solving problem behaviors.  Both highly effective and dog-friendly, this method rewards your dog for doing something desirable, like coming when called or greeting visitors politely.  Dogs choose much of their behavior based on what has been reinforced or rewarded the most in the past.  This applies to behaviors we like as well as those we don’t!  For example, if you give your dog a treat for coming when called, you are greatly increasing the chances of him coming again in the future.  Also, a dog that successfully steals a sandwich off the counter is very likely to try that again too.

The rewards can be anything your dog really loves, such as food, toys, praise, petting, play, or other activities.  These are offered like a paycheck in return for behaviors that you like.  It is not uncommon to see a dog that is out of control or unruly become focused, eager, and responsive when using positive reinforcement.  Plus, it is a lot of fun for both dogs and their owners!

"Positive is Not Permissive"  (Susan Garrett, Dog Trainer and Winner of 
                                                                                        20 National/International Agility Championships)

The purpose of training is to teach your dog to behave appropriately.  The Clever Canine will show you how to take control of your dog’s behavior by taking control of the things he wants.  By learning how to control your dog’s “resources”, you place yourself in a position of control, where there is no need for force or harsh correction.  This creates a balanced dog/owner relationship based on trust and respect.  It is a win-win situation, where your dog is happy to offer the behaviors you want in return for the things he wants.  


Clicker Training

When deemed appropriate to the needs of the dog and owner, The Clever Canine offers clicker training as a fun and effective form of positive reinforcement training.  Clicker training teaches your dog to think and to happily participate in the learning process.  As a result, dogs that have been clicker trained typically respond quickly and eagerly to cues given by their owners.

Clicker training has been used successfully to train all kinds of creatures, from dogs to dolphins to chickens.  It uses a method called operant conditioning and is a great way to teach your dog just about anything, from learning to greet visitors politely, to laying at your feet, to turning out the lights for you. 

A clicker is a small device that fits into the palm of your hand and emits a distinct clicking noise when pressed.  We teach your dog to associate the sound of the clicker to mean “Yes! That’s it!” and that a reward is coming.  It indicates to the dog the precise moment when he has done something right.    Clicker training is also invaluable for training behaviors from a distance, when you can’t reward your dog immediately, but want to tell him that he got it “right”.     


Brains, Not Brawn

The Clever Canine values the dog/human bond very highly and therefore does NOT use choke collars, electronic (shock) collars, harsh corrections or physical coercion in training.  While these methods may force compliance in your dog, they also foster a lack of trust and can create stress-related problems such as avoidance and aggression.  If nothing else, they will communicate to your dog that you are surely not his best friend.

Ready to train, or have questions?  Contact:

Valissa Willwerth, Trainer/Behavior Consultant

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