Gentle Touch Dog Training

  • AKC Good Citizenship Evaluator
  • Reward-based, science, behavioral-based training approaches – you don’t have to worry that I’ll suggest doing training method painful to your dog … won’t happen
  • Insured through Rural Insurance

Gentle Touch Dog Training Blog is my dog training blog covering topics I find interesting or misunderstood during my weekly interactions with pets and their people.

Dogs are making a choice – our task as trainers is to make the right choice obvious, simple, and rewarding (nerd term: reinforcing). People are making a choice – our task as teachers is to …

I have always liked and been involved with animals from handling my grandfather’s dairy cows – Susie would lay down and put her head in my lap – to taming one of my grandmother’s wild pigeons – Freedom would come to call and ride on top of cars as they left the school parking lot – we lived on the school grounds (parents teachers/principal).

I like knowing and using that information about body language of different species to communicate in a way that we’ll both understand. Dog training has been a lifelong pursuit, study, fascination, hobby and now business.

Becoming fluent in this knowledge can help reduce stress, hassles,  and conflicts with what can be your best friend. Dogs are a lot of work and that’s especially true if you don’t understand one another.

I value truth and information and new understanding. I value family and love and building relationships. I value excitement and adventure and physical harmony. I value science and the things learned from study.

My first pup was in response to my four-year-old wail, “I don’t want to have a new brother, I want a puppy!” Got the brother, got the puppy – they were both a bit of trouble. She was a black lab so I named her Taffy (I know it makes no real sense). I was too young to train her well, although I certainly gave it a good try. My brother was precocious and a biter, he grew out of it.

I’ve trained a lot of people and a lot of dogs, evaluated lots of pups and dogs, transitioned from traditional methods that were taught in the 70s & 80s to clicker and reward-based, positive training methods. And aimed to transition my students as well (so many of us are still in the era of force-based training).

Why isn’t the transition to positive easy? I think because re-active criticism is what we notice – it’s louder, more disruptive, easier to see and model. Pro-active planning and management is quieter, effective, not disruptive and easier to not notice or register; it takes being ahead of the game, but it produces love, acceptance and non-stressful time. Huge benefits.

What do you receive when you learn how to train your dog in a pro-active manner?

  • clearer observation skills
  • understanding of the parts of behaviors (first steps)
  • knowledge of what and when to reward
  • identifying what your dog really likes
  • fun and humor in training
  • joy in learning together with another species
  • communication instead of one-way broadcasts
  • you will still get frustrated, but you will be able to see new pathways
  • ways to evaluate where you and your dog are in the process
  • and you will be able train things you only thought special dogs and trainers could do

What will create stumbles in your path? The idea that it is permissive. “Are you going to let him/her get away with  that?” The idea that a belated punishment would be somehow faster. Or that its good to have your dog at least show some guilt (accept guilt is a human concept and what is shown is placating behavior, aka fear).

POSITIVE is not permissive, but it takes alert attention and quick rewarding of behaviors that are preferred; attention to the details of the steps leading up to the behavior desired and being in the present – that reactive training doesn’t focus on. Huge benefits – being focused, being in the present!

I hope you enjoy my posts and if  you want to improve the relationship you have with your dog, come see me.

Contact: jeaninerenzoni@gmail.com or call 715-784-4248.

I have another website/blog where I’ve posted more articles on topics related to dog training. https://sites.google.com/site/jeaninerenzoni/

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