Positive Reinforcements Have Arrived

At The Watering Bowl, we’re blessed with not just good dogs, but also great people. And our certified dog trainers are at the forefront, ensuring our furry friends stay good through 1-on-1 training and classes. Tyler Hayward, Jon Conderman, and Laura Pieczynski head up the Butt Sniffers Academy, and bring many dog-year decades of experience to the job. 

Their methods, which follow the principles of “Least Intrusive, Minimally Averse” or LIMA, set our training apart from the pack. According to Tyler, LIMA “doesn’t net the quickest results, but they garner lasting results not rooted in fear.” 

Like humans, dogs are incentive-based animals and often respond best to positive or negative reinforcement — not punishment, which is the foundational idea of LIMA training. There are no fast cures for unwanted behaviors. It takes time, consistency, patience, and of course, practice.

“I view training as asking, not telling. Listening, not talking. Bonding, not forcing,” says Jon, “It’s shared respect.”

These principles don’t change between pets. But if you’ve compared Pomeranians to Great Danes, you already know dogs are among the most genetically flexible species on the planet. Yet, even in the same breed or litter, behaviors and personalities can vary widely. Our trainers keep this in mind when evaluating and understanding newcomers to the Butt Sniffers Academy. 

“Personality affects everything,” Laura says, “Some dogs can be very eager to work and love to learn. Others will do anything for food. Some only have about ten minutes of focus before needing a fun break!”

According to our trainers, no matter how frustrating or well-worn a dog’s bad behavior can become, there’s almost always a solution. In fact, the most challenging habits to break can come from an owner.

“Dogs are so much better at letting go of the past than people ever are,” Jon says.

During classes, trainers will help evaluate your dog-to-human interactions, while teaching the best practices for lasting change. But if you’re worried about your dog being too old to learn new tricks, have no fear. Our trainers universally agree that there’s no such thing.

“Old dogs can and do learn new tricks,” Tyler says, ”But sometimes they have to unlearn bad habits first, which is why it can take them a little longer.”

Now that you know a little more about our trainers, we hope to learn more about you and your pup. Explore 1-on-1 training options and our classes, then get in touch to book a training session at any of our TWB locations. See you soon!