Our Dog Training Methods and Philosophy

By John Rubin

As wonderful as it is, and I absolutely love what I do, there is nothing magical about training dogs. A good dog trainer simply employs common sense and then combines that with a foundation based on experience and a clear understanding of the way dogs think, learn and interact - known as pack dynamics. As my experience evolved I also learned to understand what owners needed. This is something so important and not all dog trainers understand this.

Our lives are so busy these days and since our primary pet parent is usually a career woman who is often also a mom, she has many roles she has to juggle. Our understanding of this is essential. Having a well-mannered, loving canine family member is not only the goal for most owners but most definitely a necessity.

Common Types of Dog Trainers San Diego Puppy Socialization

There are basically three types:

Click & Treat Trainers are those who lure dogs to do something by offering a food or toy reward. Don’t get me wrong, I sometimes use food and toys in training, but I also use distractions and corrections. Typically, Click & Treat Trainers do not. Many vets and shelters support this category of training because it sounds better so it must be better. Dogs trained this way often choose not to do what’s asked because they don’t think the reward is of a high enough value to them. These dogs can end up being food and toys obsessed - often pushy and dominant dogs.

Dominance Dog Trainers use intimidation or force their dogs to do what they want. These are “yank and crank” trainers who often teach owners to roll their dogs on their backs and often growl at them. Some even use physical force like kneeing the dog in the chest or poking them in the ribs. They often us choke or shock collars as a method to force the dog to do everything.

Dogs that are taught to respond to a click,  a treat, or a shock, are not taught or motivated to respond to your voice.

Many professional dog trainers use these methods because for them "time is money" and they can get a dog trained much quicker by forcing the dog to perform. The bottom line is with enough force a dog can be trained to do almost anything. The problem with the dominant trainer is that the dog seldom seems stable and comfortable with the handler. Dogs with sensitive temperaments can be ruined by these methods. These methods create fear and mistrust because the dog never knows when they might be punished.

We do NOT believe you need to dominate or intimidate dogs to teach them obedience and good manners.

Our Methods - Our Philosophy

We have always used positive, motivational techniques. Throughout the learning phase, and especially for young pups, we utilize toys, praise, petting and sometimes food. The adding of commands happens in phases and with the use of effective communication - attaching the command (sit, stay, down and come) with the action followed by praise.

Motivational trainers such as us use the dogs natural instincts to learn. Repetition and consistency are key but praise is the essential motivating factor. Once your dog learns any command, the next step is to introduce distraction and correction when necessary.

We employ the "as gentle as possible, as firm as necessary" philosophy. NEVER pain and NEVER punishment. We respect our clients decision to use whatever collar they feel most comfortable using - with the exception of shock and choke chains which we highly discourage - and we teach them to use them properly and gently. Our job is to teach the owner how to properly fit and use the training equipment of their choice.

At John's Natural Dog Training we have had the good fortune of working with dogs of all breeds and temperaments. We work with many rescues/shelter dogs, fearful dogs and highly reactive or aggressive dogs. We are also blessed to work with very young pups, first-time owners as well as experienced owners. This is why our methods and techniques have been so effective for over twenty years.

Our focus is to know what each dogs needs to be the best dog possible! Motivating, gentle, positive, loving, firm and effective - We listen to the needs of the dog and the people they own who love them dearly.

Let Us Earn Your Business We know you have many choices when it comes to selecting a dog trainer for you and your puppy or older dog. Our trainers want to earn your business. Read our reviews from our actual clients that we have had the pleasure of helping over the years.

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We are happy to supply you with any type of referral you need. We have worked with many of San Diego's most respected veterinarians and other professionals as well. With over 25 years as a professional dog trainer, John Rubin is San Diego's most experienced and knowledgeable behavior and obedience specialist. Jessica McCloskey is certified dog trainer, (CPDT-KA) and has many years of experience in the care and training of San Diego's dog citizens. We appreciate the opportunity to work with you and your pup.