Dog Training Questions & Answers
Frequently asked questions
Services we offer
What is Clicker Training?
Clicker training is the most effective way to communicate with an animal. You can clicker training just about any animal on earth. The clicker signals to the dog that a treat is coming. So, if you click when your dog sits and deliver a tasty treat, your dog will begin to sit more frequently trying to make the "CLICK" happen.
What is Positive Reinforcement Training?
Positive reinforcement training is where you use things like food, toys, praise, and/or life-rewards to reinforce your dog/animal's good behavior. Clicker training is a great example of using positive reinforcement in dog training, the dog sits and you click then deliver a treat and presto, you are using positive reinforcement to train your dog/animal.
What is capturing a behavior?
Capturing a behavior is what we do when we first start training the dog to do a certain behavior. We do not say anything or do anything to prompt the behavior. All you do is wait for the behavior to happen and click the instant the behavior happens then you deliver a treat. That is how you capture a behavior in dog training. For example, if I wanted to capture sits I would just observe my dog and as soon as he/she sat down I would click the clicker, the clicker tells the dog a treat is coming and if you click the clicker when the dog sits, the dog learns that sits equals clicks and treat so therefore the dog will start doing more and more sits, to get the click to happen.
What is private in-home dog training?
That is a service where a certified dog trainer from Best Buddy Dog Trainer, LLC comes to your home and teaches you and your dog how to train. We believe this is the BEST way to start out whether you are a new to training or you have taken several classes before.
What is Board and Train?
Board and Train is a program that is like a bootcamp for puppies and dogs. We take the puppy in for 21 days minimum. The dog trains everyday, walks every day, dog on dog interaction, mental stimulation, physical stimulation, manners, socialization, and play time for 21 straight days.
Do we offer puppy boot camp?
Yes, we do! It is what we call board and train. We take in all ages. We just do not accept aggressive dogs in this program.
Where are the dogs kept when they do a board and train?
The dogs are kept inside with Jeff and his family.
Which areas do we travel to for private dog training lessons?
We travel to Southern Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County and Calvert County.
What are group lessons?
Group Lessons are when you have more than one dog in a public setting for dog training. We only offer those types of lessons puppy owners or dog owners that are already take our private classes and are passing. We don't believe it's good to start dog owners out in a public setting with 5-10 other dogs and parents. We believe in starting with private lessons and once you and your dog has developed the skills needed to do advanced training then you would train with your dog's behaviors in front of other dogs.
What are socialization classes?
Socialization classes are for puppies between the ages of 8 weeks and 6 months old. These classes are geared towards exposure towards other dogs and people more so than learning an obedience behavior. The good thing is, because our clients have to already be enrolled in our course this means the classes are less hectic and more effective.
How many dogs do I allow in my socialization classes?
3 dogs minimum is what it takes to start the class and 6 dogs maximum are allowed to enroll for each class.
Are there any breed restrictions when considering taking on a client?
No! We never use breed as a deciding factor in any decisions we make when it comes to accepting clients.
How do I get my dog to stop jumping?
Well, this isn't an easy answer. But, if I had to give a short version of the answer it would be this; To stop jumping, you have to figure out why the dog is jumping. Who is reinforcing it? Dogs don't do behaviors that have no pay-off. Meaning, if it isn't rewarded in some way, it won't happen for long but, when you see it happening every day, and every week it is getting worse and worse well, then the behavior is definitely being rewarded. You need to figure out what that reward is to the dog and you need to remove it and manage the situation so that the dog isn't able to practice the jumping behavior and then you go to work with exercises that replace the jumping behavior with an alternate positive behavior like sitting to greet or bringing a toy to you when they want to greet you or interact with you. If you are struggling with this, we would love to help you. If you aren't in our area, no worries, we offer video call training and can help you no matter where you live as long as you have internet and time to train.
Vet Recommendations! Who do we recommend?
Well, first and foremost we recommend Solomons Veterinary Medical Center in Solomons, Maryland.
Dog Training Tips
What is a Cue? Why Not Say a Command?
A cue is a word that you will use to get your dog to do a behavior. Here at Best Buddy Dog Trainer, LLC we don't use the word command. A command implies that there is a threat or punishment to follow if the dog doesn't comply. We like to think of a cue as an opportunity to earn a reward. In order to add a cue to a behavior, your dog must know that behavior and be able to do that behavior without being asked, prompted, lured, or enticed in any way. We start with using the clicker to teach the dog which behavior you want them to repeat then when the behavior is reliable, we add a cue to the behavior so we can ask for the behavior when we need our dog to do something for us.
What is the best way to train my dog?
Why not just say "yes" instead of using a clicker to mark behaviors
Well, I will put it like this: You will eventually use the word "Yes" to mark behaviors but, you won't do that until the dog has already learned the behavior and that is because using the clicker to mark behaviors is like using a knife to cut steak and using the word "Yes" to mark behaviors is like using a butter knife to cut steak. You should start out using the clicker to train your dog then once your dog knows the behaviors and they are on cue, you will switch over to using the word "yes" to mark that behavior.
What if my dog pees and/or poops inside my house? What should I do, or what should I say?
If your dog pees and/or poops inside your house you should say ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!! Dogs do not know right from wrong. They have no clue using the bathroom inside your home is a bad thing and if you catch your dog relieving themselves in your house and you punish them you run the risk of teaching the dog that it is not safe to use the bathroom in front of you. So, that causes a problem when you take your dog outside, they think that you are going to punish them because there is no way to communicate to the dog that they will only get smacked, yelled at, or scolded if they use inside not outside. The best thing to do is to cook up a steak and start taking your puppy out every 30 minutes and stand completely still until the puppy goes then click and give that puppy a few pieces of steak. If your puppy doesn't go in 5-8 minutes, go back inside and watch him/her close, let them get some water, do a few training session, play a little bit and then head back outside after about 15-30 minutes and stand still being as quiet as possible in the same spot as last time and wait. Say nothing, do nothing. Repeat these steps until your dog goes outside, make a big deal out of it and feed lots of steak pieces and your dog will love going outside in no time!!!
How many times a day should I train my dog?
You should try to train your dog 2-3 times a day minimum. Tip: It is better to break the behaviors up into two or 3 different sessions instead of training it all, once a day.
Which behavior should I start with?
Our head trainer and owner of Best Buddy Dog Trainer LLC teaches his clients that you should always start with your ATTENTION exerices first. Once those dog training exercises are out of the way then you should do a variety of different things but, always start with Attention. If you don't have your dog's attention, you don't have your dog!