Our Philosophy & Tools
Here at Allegiant K9s we believe in "Balanced Training." Balanced training is a combination of positive reinforcement (reward-based training) and accountability (rules, structure and consequences/corrections).
We start off all training with positive reinforcement (reward-based training). Positive reinforcement is excellent for teaching dogs what we want them to do: sit, down, stay, go to your place, come, heel on leash, etc. However, positive reinforcement alone does nothing to ensure dogs will actually do all those behaviors reliably, especially when we need them to do it most. It also does nothing to stop unwanted behaviors (counter-surfing, jumping, digging, barking, reacting, nipping/biting, aggressive behavior, etc). There has to be some level of accountability or your dog will only obey commands when the reward (food, touch, praise, toy, engagement, etc) is worth it. If something in the environment (squirrels, other dogs, children running, guests coming in the home, food on the counter, etc) is more enticing and exciting then what you have to offer, then your commands go "out the window" when the dog knows it won't be held accountable. Basically, it is more fun to "be a bad dog" than it is to "be a good dog." What happens when an aggressive dog would much rather tear into another dog instead of focus on a treat or toy from you while on a leash walk? What happens when a dog finds jumping on people WAY MORE fun and rewarding then getting a treat for sitting? What happens when a fear-aggressive dog still wants to bite strangers even if the strangers are non-threatening and offering treats? And what happens when your canine buddy refuses to come when called despite all the praise and treats you offer? This is why BALANCE is so important and when we provide a good balance for our dogs, we have a much HEALTHIER relationship with them.
We use advanced remote E Collar (Electronic Collar) training. Remote collar training is a very calm, clear, humane, reliable and safe communication technique. The stimulation the dogs feel is very similar to the stimulation in a TENS unit for physical therapy for humans. 95% of remote collar training is simple, light communication and we teach in several stages over time. Think of it as an invisible leash or an invisible extension of your arm that allows you to communicate, very effectively, with your dog... even from a distance and even with distractions around. The dogs HIGHLY associate the E Collar with FUN! When the collars come out- our dogs get EXCITED! It is no different than when the average dog owner grabs their walking shoes and dog leash- their dog gets excited. Same with the E Collars as 95% of the collar is used for simple and light communication. The other 5% of the remote E collar is used for accountability/punishment- to stop unwanted behaviors and accountability/punishment is necessary at times. When dogs go home from training, ALL commands are VERBAL first. We only use the remote E collar if and when our dog doesn't comply with a verbal command. The remote E collar gives us that extra assurance that our dog will comply with commands... even in heavily distracting environments... ensuring our dog will be well-behaved and more importantly... will be SAFE.
Why E Collar/remote collar?
1.Results- Simply put: proper E Collar pressure training succeeds where other training tools and techniques have failed owners and have failed dogs, especially in areas of recall (coming when called), leash pulling/leash reactivity and nuisance behaviors such as barking, jumping on guests, fence fighting, etc. Remote collar training gets great results, period.
2. Reliability: E Collar training provides reliable communication (our dog training remote collars have a 1/2 mile range and are completely waterproof) & control of your dog, even in the most distracting environments.
3. SAFETY - when it comes to things like training a dog off leash or managing a dog that has reactivity issues, there is no other safer option than proper E collar training.
4. Calm, quiet, precise communication- communication is clear, timely, calm and quiet. No need for abrasive leash corrections, raising a voice, or constant luring/bribery to get our dogs to comply with commands.
5. Owner does not need to rely on physical strength to handle and communicate with their dog. We should not need to rely on physical strength to communicate with our dogs.
6. Calmer and happier dogs and more confident and happier owners: Proper, reliable & effective communication sets dogs and owners up for success, which leads to a much more enjoyable relationship. Check out the HUNDREDS of videos on Allegiant K9s Facebook and this webpage combined.
More detail on our philosophy...
More times than not, when a dog is having "issues" it is because one of the key ingredients is missing. Many owners feel like "loving their dog to the moon and back" is all it takes to raise a well-balanced and happy dog. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Love is a key ingredient, but by itself, it falls well short of what our dogs need to truly be well-balanced and happy.
1. Exercise: Dogs need and deserve an "outlet." They need appropriate exercise, stimulation and engagement in their world.
2. Clear & Consistent Communication: Dogs need and deserve to be communicated with clearly. Dogs deserve good QUALITY training. Everyone in the home needs to be on the same page.
3. Positive Exposure to the World: Dogs need and deserve to experience the world (more than just the house and the backyard) in a positive light. It builds confidence, "soundness" and a well socialized dog. Plus, dogs WANT to get out and explore the world! The house and backyard get very boring very quickly.
4. Discipline: Dogs need boundaries and rules. In fact, they THRIVE with them. Dogs are much calmer, more well-balanced and overall happier when they know exactly what is expected of them and then held accountable for their actions. Dogs, just like people, cannot do whatever they want whenever they want. Fair discipline is a key factor for a well-balanced dog.
5. Love: Dogs need and deserve our love, compassion and patience.