Embracing Dogness, Empowering Choice
Positively supporting the human-dog relationship
Why is choice so important in our dog’s lives?
Well, it’s fundamental in our human lives, and we don’t give it a second thought until it’s taken away from us, right?
Just think how many choices you make in a day…when to sleep, what to eat, what clothes to wear, where you’d like to work, who you want to socialize with and on and on… Many dogs live in a world where they don’t even have choices. And sadly, research demonstrates that a lack of choice leads to stress, anxiety, physical symptoms such as ulcers and high-blood pressure, and a condition called “learned helplessness” in which the animal essentially gives up and stops trying to express itself.
On the other hand, being given meaningful choice opportunities increases joy and reduces stress, even in potentially stressful situations. But don’t fret. Giving your dog choices isn’t as daunting as it sounds! My goal is to teach my clients how to create a choice-rich environment for their dogs with easy to implement steps that can be used at home, when training on walks or during playtime.
And when you give your dog more choice, his overall behavior will improve. That’s because most misbehavior is related to stress. When we increase choice, we decrease stress, and that leads to better behavior! Choice Matters.
My mission is to help you create an environment where your dog has many good options, and almost always makes the right choice!
Happier dogs make happier, less stressed pet parents, bringing joy and harmony to your home.
Dog’s Choice believes in the power of relationships that are based on trust and support. This belief applies to our dog-human and human-human relationships.
Positive Reinforcement – What is it and why does it matter?
Positive Reinforcement uses science-based, force-free techniques aimed at building trust and confidence with your dog. This empowers him or her to offer new behaviors and make better choices. Positive Reinforcement also takes into account the individual learner by developing their skills based on how they learn and what motivates them.
If you reward your dog with praise, play, food, toys, etc. when he responds to you or demonstrates a behavior you like, then that behavior will likely be repeated.
Positive Reinforcement rewards positive behavior that’s incompatible with negative behavior thereby lessening your dog’s frustration, anxiety and stress, while also enabling the dog to feel emotionally stable.
Emotionally stable dogs are less likely to display anxiety-based behaviors which are at the root of many common dog behavior issues.
Rachael Magee is a graduate of the prestigious Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training & Behavior and has been granted official status as a VSA-Certified Dog Trainer (VSA-CDT). The Victoria Stilwell Academy is the world’s premier institution for professional dog trainer education founded by renowned dog behavior expert Victoria Stilwell, and graduates of VSA have been individually taught in-person by Stilwell and other VSA faculty. All VSA graduates have been rigorously assessed at the highest level for both skills and knowledge in the areas of dog training, behavior modification, canine ethology, creative problem-solving and more. Additionally, great emphasis is placed within VSA’s industry-leading curriculum upon effective and empathetic human communication skills. This unique focus results in professional dog trainers who are prepared not just to train dogs successfully using powerful force-free, positive reinforcement-based tools and techniques, but also to help dog owner clients to learn how to truly transform canine behavior and set their dogs up for success using the latest in modern behavioral science methods. Learn more about the Victoria Stilwell Academy here.
Fear Free Certified Professional Trainer. As a Fear Free Certified Professional, I am committed to alleviating fear, anxiety, and stress in pets. Learn more at fearfreepets.com