What Is The Ardent Dog?
The Ardent Dog
Ardent: adjective; intensely devoted, eager, or enthusiastic; zealous
The Ardent Dog is a consultation and training service for owners of ardent or behaviorally challenged dogs. I offer advise and guidance in identifying and modifying unwanted behaviors in dogs. While I could train the “problem” dogs for you, that doesn’t help the situation that the dog will return to. I believe that by observing the home situations, identifying possible causes (including schedule, handling, medical and hierarchy), recommending possible changes, and guiding the family in learning basic canine behavior and training, families are better adapted to find ways of preventing unwanted behaviors in the future.
The Ardent Dog Philosophy
“No Gadgets, Gizmos, or Gimmicks: Dog Training for the Rest of Us.”
The foundations for The Ardent Dog were laid 15 years ago while working with shelter dogs. Frequently these dogs were hyper, untrained and poorly socialized dogs and labeled as aggressive by their former owners. With patience and practise, these unruly dogs were trained and quickly found new homes. If these shelter dogs were so easily trained and socialized, why did they end up in the shelter? It was simply miscommunication between two different species. The Ardent Dog was developed to teach dog owners to translate their dogs’ behaviors and to communicate effectively in ways that their dogs can understand.
The teachings of The Ardent Dog are based on a few basic principles:
- The Premack Principle” We’re more willing to do what we have to if we get to do what we like afterward
- We’re more willing to perform successfully if its fun
- Tired dogs are good dogs and good dogs have happy homes
The way of The Ardent Dog is not through domination and bullying methods but through understand of human and dog behaviors. The prevention of unwanted and the teaching of desired behaviors is done with positive reinforcement and fun. The methods are humane and positive but with clear boundaries. I teach using a marker method (similar to clicker training) with positive rewards (praise and treats/toys), negative punishment (loss of attention/reward) and a “hands-off” technique.
Dogs are not static creatures, they are constantly changing. There are no guarantees that the problems will not return if the situations are not altered to prevent them. Dogs also CANNOT be cured of an unwanted behavior. They are not sick. In addition to the effect of genetics and breed traits, unwanted behaviors are frequently created by environments and situations that reinforce or allow habits and/or reactions to develop. To halt these habits and reactions will need a change in the environment. This change is what I will guide.
In addition to behavior training, The Ardent Dog offers other forms of training, consultation and care services. This includes:
- Assistance with purchasing/adopting: I can guide you thru the steps of finding the right breed, breeder/shelter, help you to ask the right questions and situations, and help you determine which pet is best for you.
- Introducing new pets or preparing for infants/children into dog owning household
- Puppy care & “potty” training and consultation
- Puppy’s first “obedience” lessons
- Basic Household manners and training for any age
- Socialization and training in public settings, “Life Lessons”
- Behavior Consultation and modification
- Canine Good Citizen preparation
- Competition obedience instruction to open level
- Beginner basics for conformation ring handling
- Practice judging for Delta Society, CGC, AKC obedience, and 4-H tests and shows (utility level available, must provide own equipment for open and utility)
- All breeds and mixes welcome, instruction for adults and children
- House/dog sitting available for clients (including cat, bird, and livestock care and medications) Limited spaces available