Our training philosophy is "Never give a command, unless you are able and willing to make it happen."

1. Dogs learn through positive repetition. Three things are essential to teaching or shaping a desired behavior: patience, consistency and timing. Having all three is optimal, but timing is key.

2. We teach through motivation. Puppies are guided, redirected, (but not corrected until they internalize a behavior) and allowed to offer behaviors as they figure out what is being asked of them. They are rewarded with praise, food, and toy, not corrected for being a puppy or getting a behavior wrong. We never correct a dog who does not understand a behavior, or one who is learning and offers another. For example, a dog is learning "platz," but does a beautiful sit instead. Everyone deserves a paycheck is they work. Dogs are no different. They should be rewarded for good behavior, but not bribed. The subtle difference is illustrated in this example: If I tell my daughter to go clean her room and I'll give her a cookie; that is a bribe. But if I tell my daughter to go clean her room and she does, I can say how proud I am of her and hand her a cupcake. That is a reward.

3. We do use corrections later in the training process. Leash corrections or the "No" command usually suffice. Once a dog is older and truly understands what is being asked, then and only then do we use corrections if a dog chooses not to comply. These corrections are usually leash corrections though some more biddable dogs may only require a firm, "No". We reinforce through appropriate corrections while still rewarding for correct behavior. Hesitant clients only be reminded that cars will correct their beloved pets all the more forcibly and only once. The training is also tested and we proof behaviors with distractions. We do this because a dog who gets bored and decides to sit is not the same as a dog who will sit regardless of his environment which is not limited by different locals, people of all kinds or other dogs.



Protection requires a clear, stable mind willing to protect when a command is given or the handler is threatened and able to switch drives: aggression, fight, defense, or prey. We look for active aggression, a dog who is willing/wants to engage the helper/decoy. We do not force dogs who are not eager or genetically predisposed into flight or fight behavior.


Arno hold and bark protection routine in Germany at the BSP representing the United States, 2012