It's our pleasure to introduce Ivy Kite and her handler, Lisa. Dog training is our specialty and service dog training is our passion.
For years, reputable service dog facilities have quoted almost 2 1/2-3 years for a mobility service dog to be trained and operational. They also quote a price tag of around $30,000.00 for raising and training a service dog. Unfortunately, the time it takes and the price tag of a service dog was utilizing what I like to think of as "old school" training methods. Not that these methods didn't work. They often produce good results. However, as we know, the fall-out rate for service dogs is extremely high. Why? The answer in my opinion is that too much stress was put on young puppies at too early an age.
Our philosophy and training methods have shown that by allowing puppies to be puppies and building confidence as well as a strong trusted relationship with the puppy's handler results in puppies that can be placed in service in a little over a year.
We'd like to introduce Ivy who celebrated her first birthday just a month ago. Australian Shepherds, Aussies are not the typical service dog due to their herding instincts as well as sometimes what is conceived as being fearful or flighty. Ivy's training as a puppy involved no corrections and Ivy was taught to remain in her handler's bubble when walking or anytime on a leash. Most of Ivy's early life was 100% positive with treats given as primary reinforcement and words, toys, smiles, tone of voice, facial expression, etc. given with the treats to act as secondary reinforcement. Added to Ivy's stress free life was the introduction to "Free Shaping" with a clicker. "Free Shaping" involved fun, short rounds of allowing Ivy to figure out puzzles through small approximations to a final behavior.
At approximately 6 months of age, Ivy's life turned around when she said goodbye to her handler and participated in 4 weeks of "In Kennel Training" where Ivy learned obedience through positive reinforcement. In her 3rd week of training Ivy learned that once she was taught what to do with positive reinforcement that there were repercussions when she decided to break training.
Upon graduating her obedience training, Ivy continued working with her handler Lisa as she learned that what she had been taught in training was lifelong how she was to behave. Additionally, we began working on more advanced "Free Shaping" skills with a clicker. Unlike obedience where disobedience was followed with a stern "No," Ivy learned that clicker time was fun time and a time for her to use her bright young mind to "think outside of the box." And think she did. In "Free Shaping" anything is possible and everything is positive. Even a mistake is met with a smile and the words "Uh Oh," never "No."
Once a week, Lisa, Ivy and the TDK Service Dog Trainers would meet. Sometimes our meetings were just to talk, other times Ivy was shown something new. Young Ivy was eager at each session to participate because each session allowed her to use her mind to problem solve. And problem solve she did. Lisa dutifully did her homework each week and those efforts showed as Ivy absorbed everything we taught her.
Ivy celebrated her first birthday by proving that "Free Shaping," allowing a dog to figure out what is expected of them through small approximations to a final outcome, can escalate a service dog's training to be ready to be placed with a family on or near their first birthday, greatly reducing the training time and expense involved in training a dog the skills needed to provide a helping hand to someone in need.
Ladies and gentleman, the best is yet to come.
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The Dog Knowledge in Charlotte, NC offers comprehensive dog training and behavior programs to suit any client's needs. If your dog needs obedience school, or if you are looking for dog training, a dog trainer, or dog trainers in the Charlotte, NC and Greater Charlotte area, than The Dog Knowledge Dog Training is right for you! We also offer dog / doggie daycare and boarding!
We proudly offer dog training services in the following areas: Serving Charlotte, Lake Norman, Uptown Charlotte, Dilworth, Gastonia, Belmont, Concord, NODA, Lowell, Mt. Holly, West & North Charlotte, Mt. Island Lake, Dallas, Pineville, Mathews, Mint Hill, South Park, Uptown, Plaza Midwood, Meyers Park, Cotswold, Ballantyne, Fort Mill . . . . In fact, we serve almost all of The greater Charlotte area! If you don't see your town on here, just call and ask.
Visit: http://www.thedogknowledge.com or call: (704) 365-1892