Ever Wondered Which Dog Training Is the Best? Read How One Dog Owner Found Out
By Kristi Twyeffort
“Does dog training really work?” In 2017, after adopting my sweet terrier, Penny, I asked myself that same question. When you adopt a dog, you experience the joy of giving them a home but miss out on vital training during crucial growth periods. So, I took Penny to various trainers to work on some of her ruff habits and behavior, but nothing stuck—until I found Dog Gone Amazing.
How I Went From “Dog Training Is Stressing Me Out” to Traveling the U.S. With My Pup
In 2023, I promised myself I’d finally cross the “Great American Road Trip” off my bucket list. The plans were set, but I couldn’t imagine going on this long and thrilling trip without my best pal by my side. I realized Penny needed a bit more training to make the trip safe, stress-free, and fun for everyone. I started my search for the ideal training program to get my pup up to speed and ready for the journey ahead. In perfect timing, I came across Dog Gone Amazing’s programs, and I picked up the phone because I had to know more.
After speaking with Heather, DGA’s Assistant Manager, and discussing Penny’s training needs and goals, she recommended the 14-Day Advanced Board and Train package. She said it would help my pup learn in a focused environment with one-on-one attention to speed up results. But that also meant I would be away from her for two weeks.
“Think of it like a mini vacation for Penny,” Heather said. “You’ll also get to practice our training techniques with drop-in visits, and we will make sure to keep you updated on her progress during the 14 days.”
The customer experience I received from DGA was unparalleled. Not only did Heather reassure me about being away from Penny, but she also addressed my concerns about the training tools DGA uses. To get a little more technical, this is where balanced dog training versus positive reinforcement comes into play.
Balanced v. Positive Reinforcement: Which Dog Training Is Best?
My dog is stubborn and, quite frankly, too smart for her own good at times. Positive reinforcement is a training approach that rewards desirable behaviors with treats, toys, or praise. I experienced the limitations of positive reinforcement when I needed Penny to do what I wanted, but she would only obey if a treat was in sight. The rest of the time, she did what suited her fancy.
Come to find out, the solution to this behavior was balanced dog training. It combines both positive reinforcement and correction techniques to modify dog behavior effectively. The method uses rewards for good behavior and correction for undesirable behavior to create a balanced approach to training.
The common tools used in balanced dog training are e-collars and prong collars. I think I had the reaction that many owners first have when they hear the words “electric” or “prong” while training their dogs. But the DGA team was knowledgeable and explained that it’s not a punishment, nor does it hurt the dog. Since we don’t speak canine, these techniques are just a better way to communicate with your dog.
After easing my mind about these reservations, I booked Penny for the 14-Day Advanced Board and Train program. Once we arrived, I met one of the dog trainers, Mikaela, who gave us a tour of the facility. I was impressed. From the outdoor spaces where the dogs can roam to the spacious kennels, I knew Penny would be in good hands.
Dog Training—It’s for Humans Too!
Throughout the next several days, I received fun updates, including texts and pictures of all the progress Penny was making in such a short amount of time. I felt completely in the loop on Penny’s training journey, which had not been the case with other facilities. I could see that DGA wanted my dog to succeed just as much as I did. From coffee shops to plant nurseries, they practiced training with her in different and realistic environments. It looked like they were having such a good time. I even felt a little jealous!
Then, it was time for our first drop-in visit. I met up with both Penny and one of the trainers at a nearby park, where we practiced off-leash walking, recall, walking on a leash without a struggle, and more. The trainer showed me how they worked with her and the different training methods. I also learned a thing or two about the different tools and how to use them. Seeing the program’s impact on her in just the first week was incredible. Before I knew it, the 14-day program flew by, and it was time for Penny to come home.
From beginning to end, DGA made the process convenient and seamless. They dropped Penny off at my house and walked me through everything they had worked on again and how to continue her training at home and on the road. Her behavior noticeably improved, and she truly had a complete transformation. Another plus—I was also able to keep the training tools! I felt more confident than ever in Penny, and I knew our upcoming adventures across the states would be a blast.
Overall, my experience with DGA exceeded my expectations. It was clear the team genuinely cared for my pup, which left me feeling very grateful that I stumbled upon their website in the first place. I now understand how to communicate with Penny better and am happy to share that she is doing fantastic on our road trip! I would highly recommend any dog owner reach out to DGA to see which dog training is best for their pup.