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What Training Methods Do You Use?

Here at Dog Training of Tampa Bay (DTTB), we pride ourselves on having some of the most skilled and knowledgeable trainers in the world. Rest assured that regardless of the training method we use, our trainers are recognized experts in the dog training industry worldwide. With a track record spanning back to 1990, we have successfully trained pet dogs, sport dogs, and service dogs. Our achievements include being two-time world champions in the challenging dog sport of IGP and 16-time national champions.

Our trainers have extensive experience working in various roles, such as Animal Behaviorists at the San Francisco SPCA and guide dog instructors at Guide Dogs for the Blind Inc. in San Rafael. In fact, the owner of our company, Ivan Balabanov, is also the owner of the renowned school for dog trainers, Training Without Conflict, where trainers from around the world come to enhance their skills. Learn more about our accomplishments and credentials by reading the bios of each of our trainers: Ivan, Natalia, and Taylor Fay.

Now, let's address the question at hand: What training methods do we use?

We prioritize teaching your dog how to play and interact appropriately with family members and friends. We understand the importance of providing a solid foundation for puppies or young dogs to prevent future behavioral issues. Our trainers excel in basic training, ensuring that your dog receives the best possible start in life. By instilling good habits and manners from the beginning, we aim to foster a harmonious and well-adjusted relationship between your dog and the people around them.

At DTTB, we specialize in the use of positive reinforcement approaches, encompassing every differential reinforcement program and science-based behavior modification techniques. We firmly believe in the LIMA (Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive) approach. Throughout our extensive experience, we have come to recognize that there are instances when positive reinforcement alone may not achieve the dramatic changes your dog needs. Some positive reinforcement protocols may require significant time and experience from the owner, which may not always be feasible.

In such cases, we are fully capable of approaching behavior change differently by incorporating some form of aversives into our training. This is done with the intention of suppressing unwanted or dangerous behaviors that could potentially harm the dog or others. However, it's important to note that every training plan is presented to the owner before we commence training.

When it comes to achieving the necessary breakthroughs, we are not confined by any particular ideology.

The well-being of the dog in front of us takes top priority, and we design a customized plan of action that takes into consideration all factors for ultimate success. Our training approach is ethical and dog-friendly, and we may utilize electric collars in cases where we believe they can make a significant difference.

To provide an analogy, imagine a technician who only has screwdrivers in their toolbox. Their options for accomplishing tasks would be quite limited. Similarly, we do not align ourselves exclusively with any particular dog training camp. We are not strictly "Force-free" or "balanced," and we are not a business chain offering quick one or two-week training programs. We firmly believe that true behavioral impact takes time for old habits to dissipate and new ones to take root.

Due to our expertise, we want you to feel confident that here at Dog Training of Tampa Bay Inc. we approach our job with the utmost seriousness and will never compromise the well-being of your dog! It's important to acknowledge that there are always pros and cons to consider. Sometimes, the decisions we make in conjunction with the owner are based on long-term well-being and successful training or behavior modification. The benefits will always outweigh the costs.

Ivan kneels with a Malinois dog

At Dog Training of Tampa Bay, our aim is to provide effective, ethical, and comprehensive training that ensures the well-being and success of your dog.

We are dedicated to taking the necessary steps to achieve positive results while prioritizing the unique needs and circumstances of each individual dog.

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