Dog Training Classes & Individual Sessions

Training your dog is an important part of enjoying a happy, healthy, balanced friend!

Our staff and dog trainers work with you to help achieve your training goals from walking on a leash, sit, down, stay and advanced level obedience for therapy dogs, AKC Canine Good Citizen, and overcoming problematic behavioral issues.

Your dog will be the happiest (and you’ll be happy too) when there is a clear understanding of your expectations and boundaries in the house or out for a walk. We utilize a lot of praise, excitement, and fun to get your dog engaged paired with correction for unwanted behaviors. A core foundation of obedience is the stepping stone to managing puppyhood as well as creating confidence in shy or fear aggressive dogs.

PetU Training Philosophy

We want our dogs to listen to us and understand how to be in our homes or in a public place, but these are expectations of the “human world.” We have to understand that when a dog enters our lives, it is up to us to guide and educate on our way of living. Our approach at PetU to train good behavior or commands (such as sit, stay, come) is to understand how a dog learns and what motivates them. All dogs are different and there is no “cookie cutter” training method. Historically as humans domesticated dogs, we had very specific jobs for very specific breeds. This has changed a great deal over time, yet we must always take into consideration genetic dispositions based on breed and background.

It is important to understand that if we do not encourage and teach a dog to look for guidance and feel deeply connected to their human, they will make their own choices as to what their “job” is, and these decisions can lead to unacceptable, destructive, and sometimes harmful behaviors. With these expectations, we must also provide high reward and praise for the desired behavior or engagement. As balanced trainers, we condition correction using training tools and collars that provide clarity for correct or incorrect behaviors in a given situation. With the combination of high praise and reward as well as correction, our furry friends are able to understand their roles in our homes and lead successful, happy lives. 

At PetU, we provide education for the proper use of training collars such as pinch or prong, as well as martingale, chain, or e-collar. However, training tools are not required, and owners will have the final decision to use any specific training collar. Training collars can be helpful in communicating clearly with a dog and it is important any training tools are used in safe, minimally aversive approach, because training should be fun for both you and your pup! This combination allows dogs to clearly understand our expectations and develop habits of a well-mannered dog. Consistency and patience are at the heart of any training method, and we encourage you to find what works best for you and your dog to achieve your training goals.

We offer group classes, one-on-one sessions, and our Board & Train Program. Learn more in your location’s Pricing Section.

What is balanced training?

Balanced dog methodology uses all parts of BF Skinner’s Operant Conditioning theory developed in the 1900s. The learning theory is broken into quadrants that are used to understand how humans and animals learn and is often used in dog training. Essentially, balanced trainers use all “tools” available in the “toolbox” to address the individual learning needs of different dogs. This methodology often uses both rewards as well as corrections to ensure we make it as clear as possible to the dogs which behaviors we like and which behaviors we don’t like.

In the four quadrants, “reinforcement” means to increase the likelihood of a behavior – usually, we see this as a treat or praise. “Punishment” is meant to decrease the likelihood of something happening like taking away a child’s video games or a time-out. Punishment does not mean harm, but instead simply something unpleasant or uncomfortable.

The “Positive” and “Negative” parts of the quadrants should be looked at more mathematically as in adding or subtracting, rather than “good” or “bad.”

The quadrants include:

  • Positive reinforcement (giving treats and praise when the dog performs a command)
  • Negative punishment (removing the offer of treats when the dog does not perform the desired behavior)
  • Negative reinforcement (removing pressure or stimuli when the desired behavior occurs such as putting pressure on a dog’s rear end to encourage a sit – the pressure is released once they are in a sit)
  • Positive punishment (adding stimulus to stop an undesired behavior such as correction if a dog is jumping on a child)