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Dog Training Services


Positive Dog Training in Grand Rapids, MI

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616-600-1393


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Contact Dog Training Elite West Michigan

Or Call to Schedule FREE In-Home Evaluation & Demo

616-600-1393


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Positive Reinforcement vs. Punishment


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 than training that incorporates punishment for bad behavior.

Positive dog training in Grand Rapids works because dogs are inherently eager to please. Rewarding your dog for good behavior helps create a deep, loving relationship with your dog built on trust, as opposed to one built on fear of punishment. The difference between a dog who has been trained to obey out of fear of being punished vs. a dog who learns to obey through a positive, loving bond with their owner is huge.

Dog Training Elite West Michigan trainers use treats as an initial reward for puppies and dogs learning commands. When the trainer is absent, or you’re in between obedience classes, you can continue to use treats as a reward for your dog when they exhibit a desired behavior. Dogs tend to be highly food-motivated, so this is an extremely useful tool. You can also reward your dog with a play session, take them to the dog park or anything else you know your dog enjoys. After all, you know your dog best!

Dog Training Elite West Michigan offers expert positive dog training programs near you in Grand Rapids.

For full package details (with disclaimers) please reference our pricing page.


Silver

$1,695

Training Equipment Included: E-Collar, Biothane Leash, Training Place Cot

  • In-Home Training SessionsOne-on-one & personalized 2 Sessions
  • Group Park Training Sessions 8 Sessions
  • Come
  • Heel (walk with you, loose leash no pulling)
  • Sit(next to you & off leash at a distance)
  • Place(go to bed)
  • Quiet(stop excessive barking & whining)
  • Off(furniture when desired)

Gold

$2,295

Training Equipment Included: E-Collar, Biothane Leash, Training Place Cot

  • In-Home Training SessionsOne-on-one & personalized 5 Sessions
  • Group Park Training Sessions 12 Sessions
  • Come
  • Heel (walk with you, loose leash no pulling)
  • Sit(next to you & off leash at a distance)
  • Place(go to bed)
  • Quiet(stop excessive barking & whining)
  • Off(furniture when desired)
  • Down(lay next to you & off leash at a distance)
  • Load Up (go into kennel, car, or dog house)
  • Manners, Safety & Boundaries
  • Calm Anxiety & Build Confidence
  • Housebreaking / Potty Training
  • STOP Jumping on People
  • STOP Mouthing & Nipping
  • STOP Chewing & Digging
  • STOP Begging & Stealing Food
  • STOP Bolting Through Doors & Running Away
  • STOP Chasing Animals, Cars & Bikes
  • STOP Reactivity (dog & human)

Platinum

$3,195

Platinum offers advanced obedience/behavioral modification with a goal of off-leash control. Includes additional training options and offers more one-on-one and group sessions than Gold.

Training Equipment Included: E-Collar, Biothane Leash, Training Place Cot

  • In-Home Training SessionsOne-on-one & personalized 8 Sessions
  • Group Park Training Sessions 16 Sessions
  • Come
  • Heel (walk with you, loose leash no pulling)
  • Sit(next to you & off leash at a distance)
  • Place(go to bed)
  • Quiet(stop excessive barking & whining)
  • Off(furniture when desired)
  • Down(lay next to you & off leash at a distance)
  • Load Up (go into kennel, car, or dog house)
  • Manners, Safety & Boundaries
  • Calm Anxiety & Build Confidence
  • Housebreaking / Potty Training
  • STOP Jumping on People
  • STOP Mouthing & Nipping
  • STOP Chewing & Digging
  • STOP Begging & Stealing Food
  • STOP Bolting Through Doors & Running Away
  • STOP Chasing Animals, Cars & Bikes
  • STOP Reactivity (dog & human)
  • *Stay With You on a Jog or Bike Ride (off-leash)
  • *Emotional Support Dog Training(ESA)
  • *Control Aggression(dog & human)
  • *Calm Extreme Anxiety(behavioral modification)
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Highest Rated Dog Obedience Trainers Near You in Grand Rapids
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Positive Dog Training in Grand Rapids


As for not worrying about bad behavior – it may feel strange to act like everything is fine when your dog chews on your shoes, or goes to the bathroom inside your home. But focusing on rewarding good behavior and forgoing punishment for bad behavior is more successful in the long run.

Relying on punishment for errors and “low value” rewards, such as praise or petting are long held “traditional” methods for dog training. Punishments like flicking a dog’s nose, shocking them with a shock collar, or anything else that may cause a dog pain are unfortunately still in use today by many dog trainers.

Not only is it inhumane, but 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 — where the owner can’t find them.

Punishment training also damages the relationship between dog and owner. Dogs do not understand right and wrong. Instead of associating punishment with a specific behavior they learn to avoid, as with the bathroom example, they instead learn to live in constant fear of punishment. This prevents owners from bonding with their dogs in a meaningful way.

Pricing Free Demo

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Dog Training Elite West Michigan is the #1 positive dog training near you in Grand Rapids.

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.


  • 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 20 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.

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
google
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
google
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
google
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
google
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
google
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
google
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
google
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
google
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
google
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
google
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
google
Carrie is such a great trainer and is so passionate about what she does!
— Kelley Rosequist
Posted May 24th 2022
google

All Reviews Set up a demo today!

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.

Learn More

Dog Training Elite West Michigan - AKC STar Puppy Instructor
Dog Training Elite West Michigan - Canine Good Citizen Evaluator
Dog Training Elite West Michigan - AKC Community Canine
Dog Training Elite West Michigan - PRTA Pro
Dog Training Elite West Michigan - IACP Member
Dog Training Elite West Michigan - AKC Member

The Dog Training Elite West Michigan Difference


Dog Training Elite West Michigan uses modern training methods focused on positive dog training using 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. The electronic collar is not a shock collar and never used to punish bad behavior. Instead, it produces a sensation like the gentle tug of a leash, and is used to help recapture the attention of a dog who gets distracted.

Dog Training Elite West Michigan’s method of focusing on positive behavior reinforcement nurtures a dog's loving and naturally obedient nature. The method is the same regardless of the situation, whether training a puppy, an older dog or a service dog.

If you are searching for positive dog training near you, Dog Training Elite West Michigan is the place for you.

The positive dog training method of Dog Training Elite West Michigan ensures training is a success no matter what your dog’s behavior. If you have a brand new puppy who is stubborn and smart, or an older dog who has slipped into bad habits – or perhaps never learned – after proper conditioning and working with Dog Training Elite West Michigan, when you say “sit,” your dog will automatically sit without thinking about it.

Dog Training Elite West Michigan offers specialized in-home training services so your dog gets the attention and training he or she needs, and you learn alongside them so training continues when the trainer leaves. Dog Training Elite West Michigan also offers group classes for dogs who are ready to take obedience training to the next level, and service training programs for a variety of needs.

If you’re looking to train a service dog, or just looking for a loyal four-legged companion, Dog Training Elite West Michigan will help you get there with our positive dog training. You can get started today.

Find a trainer near you and schedule a free in-home evaluation!

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