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Positive Dog Training

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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 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 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 offers expert positive dog training programs near you.

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


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Positive Dog Training


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.

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Dog Training Elite is the #1 positive dog training near you.

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!

The team at DTE Denver all really value the relationship between dogs and their owners!
— Kelley Rosequist
Posted May 17th 2022
google
DTE is great! They really helped to work on my dogs leash aggression. Very knowledgeable and can tell they love dogs!
— Katie Petri
Posted May 14th 2022
google
We had a great experience with Dog Training Elite. We worked mostly with Salena and our puppy loved her. Trainings were effective and they gave us all the tools to reinforce everything she learned. They were awesome to work with and our puppy learned so much.
— Sara James
Posted May 9th 2022
google
DTE has completely changed our family dynamics with our puppy Ned. We were hesitant about using an e-collar at first, but after completing the training we would do it all over again. We wanted Ned to be trained well enough so that we could take him everywhere we go without added stress. Walks are more enjoyable without him pulling to get ahead, no more table surfing, and he actively listens to us on the first command. Highly recommend DTE, the staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful. They answered all of our questions and explained every aspect of the training. Jason was great to work with!
— Ellen Claire Tipp
Posted May 6th 2022
google
We have had such a great experience with Dog Training Elite. We've had three different trainers work with our very anxious 2 year old boxer. When we started we couldn't safely walk him. We have now walked to a park full of kids, scooters, and people and he held a down! Money well spent!
— Jodi Parker
Posted May 5th 2022
google
DTE was recommended by a friend who was using them. After letting her know my pup was having issues playing with other dogs, she let me know how effective they have been with their dogs. I was hesitant because of the price point, but these are skills my pup will use for the rest of her life, so I decided to take the chance. Having them come for individualized sessions and teaching was key for me. But then the follow up of group classes would be the deal sealer. Communication before and after the sessions was/is a bit lacking, but if you really needed to be in touch, someone would get back to you quickly...within the day. I look forward to continuing the training with her 16 group classes! I gave a 4 at this point because we're really only a quarter of the way through the training.
— Valerie Silberman
Posted May 5th 2022
google
Snowie has learned so much! We loved the in home training as well as the group classes! Evan was so awesome with her!
— Jamie Bryan
Posted April 30th 2022
google
Colleen was amazing! She walked us through training our 3 Brittany’s. There is a remarkable positive improvement in both their demeanor and behavior. Two of them are rescues that endured previous abuse. Colleen helped us work through their fears and insecurity.
— Maureen Evans
Posted April 28th 2022
google
We have been in training since Jan 2022. It is amazing how with the right tools your dog will shine. We have a golden lab, hes 7 months old, he is being trained for a service dog for my grandson. Matt and his trainers have been awesome with him. He is doing things that are amazing to watch. When you see a puppy turn into an obedient dog its a wonderful feeling. We are in the adolescent stage so yes it gets rough but so worth it when he shows off and does an awesome job. I see our experience going forward to be hard work but Matt and all of his trainers will be right by our side as we get to our goal. Thank you guys so much for taking care of our future worker!
— Bobbie Schoonover
Posted April 28th 2022
google
We have an Australian English Shepherd Mix who was incredibly aggressive to the point we couldn't have guests over to our house. DTE worked with her and by the end was letting the trainers give her belly rubs. We really couldn't believe it. At the beginning of the program that never would have happened. We had reservations in the beginning about using an ECollar, however, our dog now wags her tail and gets excited when we grab it from the counter. She truly is a different dog and I can't recommend DTE enough!
— Megan Newcomer
Posted April 26th 2022
google
Evan, with Dog Training Elite, is THE BEST! I recently moved to Utah and wanted to continue training with my 3-year-old GSD. She was still having some reactivity issues that I couldn't get to the root of. During our consult, Evan pointed out behaviors that both myself and my girl were doing that created miscommunication between us. After 5 sessions, we solidified her obedience and established clear communication between both her and myself. I'm confident as her leader and love that she checks and frequently! Evan introduced a new training tool that works for both her and I! Her reactivity has greatly improved from where it was. Sessions with Evan were fun, safe, and he always explained the 'why's' behind what we were doing. The group classes are amazing and have challenged us to grow as a team, continuing to build on what we learned during training! Everyone at DTE has been fantastic! My girl is calmer, more confident, and our relationship is even stronger all thanks to Evan and DTE!
— Sarah Ann
Posted April 25th 2022
google
Dog Training Elite is absolutely amazing. It has been a wonderful experience from the very start. All of the trainers are incredibly knowledgeable and willing to help with anything we need. In just a few months, we've seen a major transformation with our rambunctious 2-year old Aussie/Lab mix, Maho, thanks to everyone at Dog Training Elite. We are so appreciative and happy we sought out help from this organization!
— Whitney Sayre
Posted April 22nd 2022
google
If you’re reading this review, you’re probably wondering if elite dog training is going to be worth it for you. So let me share my story to help you make your decision.. Two months ago I decided to bring home a lab puppy: Mocha. This was my first dog ever. It was not an impulsive decision- I had done my research and had given it much thought and preparation. I was ready. But, oh boy, was I wrong about that. I was so not prepared for what came next! Weeks of sleepless nights (The little ball of fuzzy cuteness turned into a relentless all night barking machine after dark) Potty training. Crate training. Off! Don’t bite people! And then the walks.. Mocha was an uncontrollable force of nature, even at 10 weeks old, to the point of literally choking herself. I tried all the YouTube videos. Bought half of Amazon’s collars, leashes and devices that promised miracles. Nothing worked. Three weeks into this I realized I needed help. And this is when I found Elite Dog Training. I signed up for the Gold package with the 5 in house training sessions and hands down this was the best decision I ever made (after getting this cute puppy in the first place). Evan did all 5 sessions and he was absolutely amazing. Mocha adores him. She’ll do just about anything to hear him say “Yes!” Each session was partially her learning something new and partially training me on how to continue teaching her. It was magic! I didn’t realize how easy this was going to be. After only 2 sessions my life had already gotten significantly better. After 4 sessions , random people stopped me on walks to ask me how I got my puppy so well behaved. We just completed the 5th in house session and I have a really happy puppy, who is very proud of herself for having learned these things. After Evan left, she came over to show me again what she had just learned - wagging her little tail while she did every command without hesitation, her little puppy face lighting up knowing she got them all right. So..Today, when the doorbell rings, she goes to her “place” and sits down. When we walk around the neighborhood she heels and walks beside me - and then when we get to the park she can “break” and run on a longer leash and go do fun dog stuff . In the dog park she can run off leash and play with other dogs and when I call “here!” , she stops whatever she is doing, comes running and sits in front of me. She sits and lays down when asked to. We can walk past people and most dogs without her going ballistic (even when the other dogs are out of control) Being in training was also helping her to understand other things in her routine. So although not part of her training, she stopped barking during the night and she can be by herself for a couple of hours without barking up the neighborhood. And oh yeah …She figured out what drop it! means (must have for lab puppies that literally pick every piece of trash on the street). … Did I mention that she’s not even 5 months old yet ? So yeah… it was more than worth it! Every pet owner needs Evan in their lives. We can’t wait to get started on our 6 months of group training!
— Gudrun Bonte
Posted April 7th 2022
google
Charmone really knows her stuff! She is a professional and gets the desired results!
— Jasmine Garland
Posted April 4th 2022
google
All the people working in the San Antonio facilities were amazing! I highly recommend this group to anyone in need of dog training and already have!
— Jacquelyn Davis
Posted March 31st 2022
google
DTE was a blessing to myself and my dog! They have great communication skills and our meeting reminders were really helpful for my schedule! All of the trainers had a great amount of patience and Thor is a new dog! I can't wait to join them for group classes!
— Lauren Griswold
Posted March 31st 2022
google
Such a great training experience!! They take the time to come into your home and assess your dog and their needs. Evan Sutton was the best trainer and so patient with my pup. I would recommend to all my friends!
— Brittney Pearson
Posted March 22nd 2022
google
We signed up with DTE and honestly I wasn’t sure how effective they would be. My dog Bo is so anxious and aggressive I never thought we would be able to fully enjoy him. We were assigned Evan and I can’t begin to tell you just how amazing of a person Evan is. Evan connected with Bo and helped him do things I never thought possible. The pic of him next to Evans dog was the first time I have ever had my dog next to another animal that he wasn’t trying to kill. Evan is incredible, kind, caring, and I would recommend him a million times over! Thanks Evan and Bo is such a happier animal because of you. Well worth the money!!!!!
— Erek Winnett
Posted March 18th 2022
google
We signed up with DTE and honestly I wasn’t sure how effective they would be. My dog Bo is so anxious and aggressive I never thought we would be able to fully enjoy him. We were assigned Evan and I can’t begin to tell you just how amazing of a person Evan is. Evan connected with Bo and helped him do things I never thought possible. The pic of him next to Evans dog was the first time I have ever had my dog next to another animal that he wasn’t trying to kill. Evan is incredible, kind, caring, and I would recommend him a million times over! Thanks Evan and Bo is such a happier animal because of you. Well worth the money!!!!!
— Erek Winnett
Posted March 18th 2022
google
we had a great experience working with Dog Training Elite. Trainers were very patient and with our busy life schedule and were very committed to the success of our family's dog training. Looking forward to 6 months of park class. Thanks!
— Lindsey Cowdin
Posted March 16th 2022
google

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Proud Sponsor of The Malinois Foundation

At Dog Training Elite, 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 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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Dog Training Elite - AKC STar Puppy Instructor
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The Dog Training Elite Difference


Dog Training Elite uses modern training methods focused on positive dog training using reinforcement and bonding you and your dog. Dog Training Elite 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’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 is the place for you.

The positive dog training method of Dog Training Elite 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, when you say “sit,” your dog will automatically sit without thinking about it.

Dog Training Elite 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 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 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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