Dog’s Best Friend Techniques – Positive Reinforcement Works
11 September, 2012

I had the pleasure of speaking with Rebecca Mandell, owner of Dog’s Best Friend training.  Rebecca is a wonderful and compassionate dog trainer and person.  Her reputation proceeds her as she is known as one of the top dog trainers in the South Bay.  She is compassionate about dogs and thinks of them as family members and approaches her training with that philosophy.

We discussed various topics and below is an overview of our discussion.  I provided the questions and Rebecca answered them accordingly.

When should you start training a dog?

It is important to start training a dog when he or she is a puppy, or, in the case of a rescued or older dog, as soon as you bring him/her home.   The world is new to them as is each and every experience.  It’s not only good for a puppy to learn about their new world, but for a dog parent to learn to understand and communicate with them.

During this time, dog owners have the chance to bond with their new puppy and set the path for his or her emotional well being.  Each puppy comes to a family with different experiences so it is important for dog parents to pay attention to what each puppy’s needs are and act accordingly.

Do you have a specific technique that you use for training?

Positive reinforcement is the only way to train a dog so he or she always has positive experiences.  Dog parents want their dogs to feel safe in their home.  Even if a dog makes a mistake, it is important not to punish them, but to see that you haven’t taught them clearly , and need to better communicate what you’re are asking of them. Punishment is never an option, and can lead to your dog being fearful of you and their world.

Instead, dog parents/trainers should reward their dogs for doing the right thing.  It is imperative to look at why the dog is making a mistake.  Is he or she scared, intimidated, confused, or simply hasn’t been taught well enough?  Once the cause is identified, then we can better understand how to approach and train that particular dog.

It is also important to understand that each dog is different and what works for one dog might not work for another.  Dog parents really need to “listen” to what the dog is telling them by their dog’s actions, and emotions, and approach the dog accordingly.

But let me be clear, no matter the issue or the dog, we ALWAYS use positive reinforcement.

What makes a good dog trainer?

A good dog trainer listens to the dog, has compassion, and is able to communicate well with all types of dogs, and dog parents.  They have the dog’s best interest in mind, not their own ego or goals.

Rebecca and I could have spoken for hours.  She is really compassionate about her dogs and helping other dogs in an upbeat positive way.  Take a look at her website and contact her for your dog’s training needs.  You and your dog will be much better off for it. Click here to learn more about Rebecca Mandell and Dog’s Best Friend Training.

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