Frequently Asked Questions And Answers
Like any business, we find certain questions popping up with some frequency. Here are some we’ve been asked recently which are most easily answered by explaining our approach to dog training.
Where’s the menu?
Customers have asked why North Edge K9 does not offer a “menu” of different classes they can pick from, just like what they have seen on the internet. Classes named ‘Star Puppy’, 'Family Manners’, ‘Community Canine Citizen’, ‘Charm Class’ … you get the drill.
What’s your preferred method of training?
Many of our clients also want to know what methods we use to train dogs; for example, are we using clicker training, special training equipment, or any particular dog training method? This makes sense, as a simple Google search yields a mind boggling array of information that we feel confuses rather than clarifies.
The simple answer is that we don’t believe a menu or any single training method works. Every dog is different and for that matter, every owner is different, too! That’s why cookie cutter training and fixed menus aren’t effective. Do you ever wonder why police dogs are individually trained by their handlers under close supervision of experienced, certified police K9 trainers, and why their training is not being molded into any rigid ‘curriculum’?
The North Edge K9 training philosophy
How we train is entirely dependent on your dog's temperament, drives and conformation, your long-term goal(s), what the dog responds to best and the overall environment the dog lives in. Our training philosophy is actually quite simple: It emphasizes teaching and empowering YOU, by providing the knowledge, understanding and tools you need. Our dogs don’t know fear or failure because we are deliberately setting them up for success. Likewise, the only constant in our training methods is setting you and your dog up for success.
We structure our training analogous to building a house. That is, we insist on bringing in the correct components at the right time and in proper sequence — and only after we have built a solid foundation. Dogs can’t be ‘built’ cookie-cutter like modular homes, instead each requires a blueprint that is different for each dog, must remain flexible and offer continuous adjustments based on custom-tailored, feedback-guided direction.
While we utilize numerous strategies and techniques we’ve found to be tried and true, knowledge and strength without direction are useless. Our success is built on the following four steps.
1. We help you understand your dog.
This foundation building step is essential to charting a meaningful way forward that is specific to you and your dog. Blanket statements like 'I want my dog to protect my family', or 'I want an obedient dog' are incomplete and hazy. We typically tease out the specifics by generating a customized training plan with and for you.
2. We emphasize state of mind in our training — both yours and your canine partner's.
Teaching a behavior without context is incomplete; one needs to incorporate both the dog's mind and the handler's emotions.
3. We help you see the world around you through your dog’s eyes and mind.
You will not only be able to better define start and finish for what you want, but also learn how we utilize customized and flexible tactical moves to get you there. The emphasis is on flexible, good dog training doesn’t work rigidly.
4. We strive to get you and your canine partner to where you want to be in the most effective and efficient way.
This is particularly true for correcting most unwanted problem behaviors. We love nothing more than enabling and nurturing our client’s own abilities, thus lifting both you and your dog by providing the tools and knowledge you need.