Training Philosophy

Dog training is for life!

It is important that you choose a training program that works for you and your dog because it is going to become part of your life with your dog forever. Dog training doesn't just happen when you plan to do it and think you are training, it is always happening. Dogs are always learning therefore training is always happening for them. If you allow them to learn the wrong thing then you trained that wrong thing. so don't get mad at your dog for your lack of training the right thing and allowing the dog to learn the wrong thing. You are responsible for everything your dog is and is not learning. 

Understanding the dogs brain is the most important part of our training program. Everyone loves dogs, but not many people consider how a dogs brain functions, what a dog can and cannot do with their brain, and how a dog learns. Neuroscientists have just begun to study the dogs brain. Through MRI scans of the dogs brain, we have been able to understand much more about how the dogs brain functions. One of the things we have learned is that the dogs brain functions like our brain does. We share the same brain function. The parts of the brain that control feelings are the same in dogs as it is in humans with one exception. This part of the brain does not develop past the size and function of a 2.5 year old child. This is why a dogs emotions are very sensitive and not always logical just as a toddlers are not. Many children cry when they first meet Santa Clause and many dogs fear him just the same. The part of the brain that controls logic and learning is also is as underdeveloped in the dog as it is in a 2.5 year old child. Both a dog and a 2 year old child will repeatedly run in front of a moving car because they do not have the brain development that helps them foresee consequences. they do not have the ability to have comprehensive thought, and they do not think logically. They react on impulse, they learn through association patterns, and they develop memory and decision making through consistency and 

Dog psychology is at the forefront of our training program. Far too many people love and own dogs but do not understand dog behavior and that is unacceptable and dangerous to us and them. Dogs do not act out just to make you crazy. Your dog behavior is your dog’s way of communicating to you or to others. It is extremely important that you understand your dog’s behavior and know what your dog is feeling and saying through their behaviors before you start reacting to it. This is not to say you must tolerate your dog misbehaving, but every behavior has a root and you must get to the root of the problem otherwise the behavior symptom will keep showing up. The behavior that you are reacting to is the symptom and you can stop the symptom but if the root cause is not handled properly the symptoms will keep coming back and even manifest into something bigger. Dogs also have a way of figuring things out. People work so hard to spare their dog from dealing with and figuring life out and that goes against what dogs are supposed to do. Dogs don't always understand or agree with our human plans and idea and if a dog is always being force to abide to your plan and your plan differs from theirs, you are going to cause your dog a ton of stress, anxiety, fear, frustration, and even aggression. Your dog does need you, but you need to know when to let your dog figure things out on their own, when and how to help them, and when to take control of the situation. When you come to IDTE we will help you figure all this out in a way that will keep you, your dog, and the community safe and happy.

The dog’s social structure is also at the forefront of out training program. Dogs are social animals, but what does social really mean? A lot of people think a social dog is a dog that is playful with all and an aggressive dog is a dog that fights with any dog, that simply is not true. Just about every specie of animal (humans included) are hardwired for survival. Therefore they must compete with others and protect themselves from threats. Like people, dogs have different personalities, energy levels, social skills, play styles, and age, sex, and power matters in the dog world, just as it does in the human world. The dog’s social structure is much like ours which makes it very complex. Could you imagine if you were expected to be social, playful, and like every single person in the world? How dangerous and unpleasant would that be for you? That is how it is for dogs. Dogs must socialize with the right dogs for them. Just like you make friends with the people who are right for you. Dog’s also must learn how to manage themselves in mix company of dogs including dogs they don't like, trust, or get along with because they are different than them. Just like humans must learn to mingle with all different kinds of people. Managing oneself in mixed company does not mean dogs must play or even get along. Actually that is abnormal behavior that they need to learn to do in mix company because play is a relationship behavior between dogs and even in the dog world dogs that don't like each other must learn to tolerate one another.

Foundation training is the difference between a partly and fully trained dog. When you have a strong training foundation you will reach your goals with ease. If you don’t have a training foundation the struggle will be real for you, your dog, and your trainer. We always start our training program off with our foundation training.  

Communication is very important in dog training. Humans have one way of communicating and dogs have another way of communicating. We will help you build a communication system that works for both you and your dog.

 You need to understand what kind of training you and your dog need. It’s important that you focus your training on what you and your dog need not what you want. If you focus on what you need then you will get to what you want. When you train with IDTE we will tell you what you and your dog need, but here is a brief explanation of our training programs and what different things are used for. Often, people and their dog need multiple programs to get to get where they need to be in training.

Basic Obedience training is when you teach a dog to respond to a cue word with a desired behavior such as sit, down, stay, come. We do not teach basic obedience to control bad behaviors. Obedience training is about the relationship you have with your dog. If your dog does not listen to your cue word then you have a beak down in your relationship with your dog. When you are doing obedience training your dog should be ready and willing to listen to you. If your dog is not willing to listen to you then you have a break down in your relationship with your dog. If you don't know how to get your dog to willingly listen to you then you have a break down in your relationship with your dog. Our foundation training prepares you and your dog for obedience by developing a partnership between you and your dog. Our obedience training is positive based. You will learn how to motivate your dog with rewards like food and toys. You will learn how to properly use luring, shaping, modeling, tacking, pressure and release, and marker and reward training.

Behavior training is teaching a dog not to do bad behaviors such as jumping, barking, digging, running away, chewing, poop eating.  Behavior training requires you to learn the 4 quadrants of Operant Conditioning. Training tools are also important in behavior training, so we will introduce you to different training tools and teach you how to properly use them to help support your dog while they are learning. If you and your dog need behavior training you will be pushed out of your comfort zone. Learning can only take place when you are a little uncomfortable. Growth can only take place when you step out of your comfort zone and come through the other end having learned something new. Our behavior program is designed for both you and your dog to learn, grow, and become better because of the experience that you and your dog went through together. 

Behavior modification training is changing the emotional feeling and response a dog has to a stimulus such as a dogs feelings of anxiety, stress, fear, aggression or their reaction to things like nail trims, veterinarian exams or meeting strangers. If your dog needs behavior modification training, you will learn science-based methods that are cross species which means they are the same methods that are used on changing human emotions and behaviors such as counter-conditioning, desensitization, sensitization, and flooding. 

Leadership is as important in the dog world as it is in the human world. Leadership is cross species. Leadership helps us in difficult situations. Without leadership individuals have no direction and groups have no structure. A lack of leadership creates chaos and a dangerous environment for all. Dogs understand this. Dogs understand leadership. Just like in the human world, not all dogs are good leaders and some dogs don't want to follow the rules of a leader. Some dogs care only about themselves but a leader cares about their own safety and the safety of others. Also, like in the human world, leadership is earned and dogs will only follow a good strong leader.

Socialization is teaching a dog how to manage themselves in mix company such as around dogs and people whom they like and dogs and people whom they don’t like. Dogs are family oriented and socially they are like us. There is a family dynamic with dogs, dogs build relationships, some dogs are very social while other dogs are anti-socials.  Some dogs are bullies, other dogs are natural born leaders, some are dominating, and some dogs are aggressive. Some dogs are high energy, some are low energy, and the energy of some depend on the company that they are around. Some dogs do well in big groups and others do best in small groups. Some dogs are free spirited, and others like to have total control of situations. Our playgroups are designed to bring different types of dogs together so that they can learn how to manage themselves in mix company. Sarah will oversee the group and helps the dogs learn to mange themselves while teaching you about the canine behaviors that are seen within the group. Dogs know dogs better than we do. Playgroups allow dogs to be dogs and communicate with one another the way dogs are meant to. The dogs teach one another and when there is an issue that the dogs can’t work out, Sarah will teach you and the dogs how to prevent a fight from happening.

Outlet is incorporating training with exercise and play to maximize your dogs training and to tire them out physically and mentally. We will teach you how to play ball without creating OCD, how to properly play tug or engage with your dog in a fun and safe way.

Proper handling is training for you. The way you handle your dog and your leash matters to your dog. Stress, anxiety, and even aggression is developed over time by improper handling.  We will help you improve your handling so that you don't create resistance in your dog. 



(707) 349-5488


Hours of Operation

Always Open​​

Area of Service

Kelseyville, CA

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