Abbe prides herself on being a relationship-based balanced trainer; meaning rewarding for the behaviors you want from your dog, but also communicating “No, you can’t do that” for behaviors you don’t want. The reward part of training can be food, a toy, verbal or physical praise. The way you communicate “No, you can’t do that,” depends on the dog. It could be as simple as interrupting an unwanted behavior with the clap of the hands for a loud noise, use of a spray bottle of water, spatial pressure, or leash communication (if your dog is on leash). No matter what you’re communicating to your dog, it needs to be clear - both the good and the bad. And timing is key, especially with a reward because you could accidentally reward on unwanted behavior.
Abbe believes the key to success is clear communication, in a way your dog understands, repetition, and consistency. This is how she created the tagline for Affinity Canine - Human. Canine. Communication. It’s all about the clarity of communication to your dog while building a relationship with your dog based on trust.
Abbe often gets asked about the types of tools she uses in her training. No dog or one person is set-up with a cookie-cutter type of tool. It’s a discussion of what behaviors the dog is exhibiting and what approach is best - not only for your dog but also for you, the owner. Some examples of tools include:
•Head harness (similar to Gentle Leader)
•Metal slip collars
The key to remember is that any tool can be used negatively; it’s all about how it is used, not the tool itself. This is particularly important during the training process. Abbe will not only show you how to use the tool but also to how to size it properly for your dog to achieve the most effective results.