Many of the dogs that are in need of S.A.F.E. School For Dogs have BIG feelings that get them into BIG trouble! At School we teach dogs what TO do at our school since many dogs have only been told what NOT to do in their life, leading to a lot of big feelings like anxiety and fear.
Our focus is on helping a dog change how they feel and perceive the world
We believe in focusing on the dog's emotional state to create long lasting change rather than focusing solely on obedience commands like sit, down and stay. Most importantly, we follow a grade school style of learning. Each dog is carefully placed in an environment where they can develop skills for where they're at because stressed dogs don't learn, they react using their survival brain. We make sure to put them in situations they're ready for and capable of. This allows the dog to flourish, learn and feel confident doing things well and within their ability. When dogs are able to learn a whole set of skills it builds resiliency, optimism, emotional flexibility, confidence and teaches them to relax so that they can learn how to make better choices navigating the world with their people.
In the online course we teach these skills through learning theory and how to identify when to best use exercises such as giving dogs treats, pets, praise, using spatial pressure, leash pressure, create space for dogs and advocating for them with a squirt bottle, using spaces or access to play time for offering behaviors headed in the right emotional direction (even if it's not perfect). We follow the rule that tools should help empower the DOG rather than just the owner. We show you how to use tools to enhance your communication skills rather than suppress the dogs and just stop behaviors.
If you have more questions about the methods we use please reach out here as we're happy to answer any question about methods and tools.