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Dog Training Techniques


Classical Conditioning

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Classical conditioning is a learning process also known as the Pavlovian method or respondent conditioning. Discovered by Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov, classical conditioning involves developing automatic reflexes to specific conditions. This leads to creating behaviors.

Pavlov is considered to be the father of “classical conditioning.” As a matter of fact, he originally tested his theory using dogs. In an experiment, Pavlov observed dogs began to salivate not just when they received food, but when the people associated with feeding them arrived. Pavlov began to ring a bell when the dogs were presented with food. Over time, the dogs learned to associate the sound of the bell ringing with food. Their mouths would salivate whenever the bell rang.

Dog Training Elite West Michigan dog training techniques are based on classical conditioning and rely on positive reinforcement to help your dog achieve deep-rooted obedience. Working with a Dog Training Elite West Michigan trainer , your dog will become conditioned and develop those “automatic reflexes” to commands such as sit, stay, and so on.

Dog Training Elite uses classical conditioning as one of their dog training techniques in Grand Rapids.
Positive Reinforcement Vs. Punishment

Traditional dog training methods rely on punishment for errors and “low value” rewards, such as praise or petting, when a dog performs a desired behavior. Dog Training Elite West Michigan never resorts to punishing a dog to make them unlearn bad behavior.

Using punishment as a tool can actually backfire. For example: punishing a dog for going to the bathroom inside a house won’t teach them to go outside instead. Often, the dog only understands that the mess makes their owner mad. Instead of going outside, the dog is likely to continue to make messes indoors - but where the owner can’t find them.

Research shows that focusing on positive reinforcement when a desired behavior occurs and not worrying about correcting bad behavior in dogs is more effective and has longer-lasting results. The difference between a dog who has been exposed to dog training techniques used to obey out of fear vs. a dog who learns to obey through a positive, loving bond with their owner is huge.

Positive reinforcement works with dogs because they are inherently eager to please. Rewarding your dog for good behavior as you work with a Dog Training Elite West Michigan trainer to help your dog be more obedient will help you create a deep, loving relationship with your dog built on trust.

Training With An E-Collar


As mentioned above, Dog Training Elite West Michigan NEVER uses punishments like shock collars to train dogs out of bad behavior. Dog Training Elite West Michigan does make use of an electronic collar . The use of an electronic collar is vastly different in two main ways:

The electric collar does not shock your dog. Instead, it generates a gentle electronic pulse, similar to the tug of a leash.

The electronic collar is never used to punish a dog. It is used to simply gain the attention of a dog and help them focus on the task at hand.

Other dog trainers use harsh static collars or spray collars which have been shown to be less effective.

Our Balanced Theory

We base our training around the "Classical Conditioning" model (a.k.a. "Pavlovian" or "respondent conditioning"). This includes developing conditioned or automatic reflexes to commands. In its simplest form (after proper conditioning), when the owner says "sit," the dog automatically sits without thinking about it. Our unique techniques ensure our program is a success no matter what behavior we encounter.


Dog Training Elite West Michigan is the top company near you that uses professional positive dog training methods.
Empowering Owners

We empower owners to train so their dog knows who to obey at all times.

Personalized

We deal with problem behaviors on a personal basis.

Environment Specific

We train wherever issues tend to arise (i.e. jogging, park, home).

Supportive

We support owners in the off-hours (when training is "not in session").

Involved

We work with all members of the household.

Simplified & Customized

We plan training around the owner's schedule and require only 15 min/day follow-up practice.

Continued Training

Additional programs / group sessions offered after in-home training.

Lifetime Investment

We follow up & are invested in the owner's success long-term.

Satisfaction Ratings

Our high client satisfaction rating sets us apart from competitors.

See Our Pricing

Elite Dog Training in Grand Rapids All Breeds. All Sizes. All Ages.

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The Dog Training Elite West Michigan
Difference

Dog Training Elite West Michigan uses modern dog training techniques and methods focused on positive reinforcement and bonding you and your dog. Dog Training Elite West Michigan trainers never resort to punishment to help dogs unlearn behaviors.

Through a combination of commands and an electronic collar, dogs learn to follow commands at once. Dog Training Elite West Michigan’s method of focusing on positive behavior reinforcement nurtures a dog's loving and naturally obedient nature.

After proper conditioning and working with Dog Training Elite West Michigan, when you say “sit,” your dog will automatically sit without thinking about it. The unique techniques of Dog Training Elite West Michigan ensure training is a success no matter what your dog’s behavior.

Get started training your dog today. Find a trainer near you and schedule a free in-home evaluation!

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Dog Training Elite West Michigan uses top dog training techniques in Grand Rapids

We help your dog become a valued companion and beloved member of the family. Read what our customers have to say and then give us a call!

Working with Carrie has been absolutely fantastic. After the first lesson, our Samoyed Henry, was a doing so well. By the second lesson we were amazed and moved to tears at the transformation. Such a relief and joy to see Henry be able to run in the yard, off lease, without fear of him running off. He is one happy 6 month old. I cannot say enough about Carrie and this program. I’d give it 10 stars, if I could. 😊
— Mary Koenigsknecht
Posted November 5th 2022
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My experience with Carrie and DTE has been absolutely wonderful! My relationship with my puppy has completely changed. We are bonded in such an awesome way. I was at my wits end and ready to give up. Carrie truly cares about her clients! Thank you for teaching us how to train Willow to be the best possible dog she can be!! 💗
— Tonya Mannes
Posted September 20th 2022
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DTE has helped our family so much! They have turned our crazy 1 year old doodle into a well mannered polite little gentleman. These training sessions have made it so much more enjoyable being around our puppy and to take him out with us! Definitely recommend to anyone with a new puppy!
— Tessa Kervin
Posted August 23rd 2022
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Dog Training Elite West Michigan has been wonderful to work with. They have been professional, caring, and so responsive. Their heart is in the right place! Highly Recommend!
— Katie Matt
Posted August 10th 2022
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I have seen the effectiveness of DTE West Michigan's training methods and the positive transformation in the behavior of the dogs they train. Carrie and Jess want each owner to have the best possible relationship with their dog so that they can experience all the fun activities and joy that dogs bring to our lives. If you would like to make your dog a bigger part of your lifestyle, I encourage you to contact DTE West Michigan.
— Vince Conrad
Posted July 28th 2022
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I have never been more excited and happy after meeting Carrie and Jessica.. They are so good at what they do and my dog Macie 🐕 is learning so much and follows my command. It has taken so much stress off me she doesn't pull like she use to and walks right beside me and so much more.This happen within a few weeks. It was the best decision i made and highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking about dog training. Well worth the money!!
— Barbara Botbyl
Posted July 20th 2022
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We were desperate to find a training program that would work for our 2 year old puppy. We could not control her barking constantly around friends & family. In fact we actually had considered giving the dog away. But before that happened we decided to give our dog another chance using Dog Training Elite. Carrie & Jessica are very professional & a pleasure to work with. They would praise both our dog & us when we did things correctly, and also corrected us when gave a command that might confuse our dog. With out a doubt this was the best money we ever spent!!! Jim
— Jim Kidd
Posted July 18th 2022
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My Son told us about Dog Training Elite and how it changed his dog. So we called them and Jessica Maxwell and Carrie McIntyre came to our house to discuss this training program. They were very friendly and excited about this program. I will say that it is expensive but the results are amazing. We were to the point of thinking about giving Charlotte away as we could not control her constant barking. Within the 1st week of training the barking stoped and she stopped jumping on people. She would also run away when we wanted to take her for a walk. Week two now she comes we we say come and we do not have to chase here all over the house. We have tried different training program but this by far the best. It has truly changed our dog and also the stress is gone for us trying to control her. Thank you again Dog Training Elite for helping us with our baby.
— Judy Kidd
Posted July 4th 2022
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Carrie and Jess are fantastic trainers. They are dedicated and truly passionate about improving the bond between dogs and their owners. I highly recommend them for all training needs!
— craig fizer
Posted June 14th 2022
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Carrie and Jess are such wonderful dog trainers. I've seen them work with care and professionalism. What a great team to have working with your dog!
— Valerie de Armas
Posted June 1st 2022
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Carrie is a dedicated trainer that is caring and passionate about helping others. Her energy and joy in what she does is evident and shows in her dog Sturgill.
— George Rehbein
Posted June 1st 2022
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Carrie is such a great trainer and is so passionate about what she does!
— Kelley Rosequist
Posted May 24th 2022
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Proud Sponsor of The Malinois Foundation

At Dog Training Elite West Michigan, we believe that Service Dogs save lives. It is our mission to make these life-saving companions available to our Veterans, First Responders, Women Survivors, and Children with Medical Needs. Whether it be for PTSD, Mobility Support, or Special Needs, Dog Training Elite West Michigan work's with the Malinois Foundation to heal and empower these individuals with a specialized service animal, a partner in life, and a new best friend.

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