Preparation for class   Dogs should be healthy, free from parasites and well
rested. If allowed to exercise heavily or
take meals just before class, a dog may appear dull or disinterested in training. 

Food is a primary reinforcer. Since most dogs work readily for food and the delivery
of food rewards is fast and convenient for
the trainer, we begin training with food rewards. Prepare food treats for class in advance. Dogs lose interest when repeatedly given the same treat, bring a variety of
wet and dry treats.

What to bring
1) The dog should be wearing a flat leather
or  flat webbed nylon buckled collar.
2) Use a 4 to 6 foot leash that fits comfort-ably in your hand. Avoid heavy leashes or
leashes with large clips.
3) About 10 oz. of training treats; enough
to fill a sandwich bag..The treats should be comprised of a mixture of food items cut
into small pieces.
Suggestions : Low fat hot dogs, hard cheese, cooked chicken, beef or other meats, Cheerios cereal, dog kibble, broken up biscuits, dried liver treats or steamed
carrot pieces.
4) Bait bag. Use a small waist pack or
golf tee bag designed to clip on the belt.
5) Management Aids 
(to keep a dog occupied; optional for class ).
Sterilized marrow bone : Fill the opening with a mixture of canned dog food and
kibble, freeze.

Foundation Training at Pet Positive

Maintaining a dog's focused attention
Pet owners are first taught to recognise when a dog is truly paying attention and are then taught  to develop a strategy for keeping the dog involved during training sessions.
Consequences drive behavior
Pet owners are taught to identify which consequences are reinforcing to the dog's belief system *before* making attempts to shape new behavior or modify problematic behavior.
Reading canine body language
Covers the value in being able to anticipate what a dog will do. This supports the timely delivery of reinforcement (reward) when a dog does the right thing  or   the interruption of unwanted behavior so an alternate behavior can be reinforced.
When to add or remove reinforcement
Covers how to vary reinforcement. To strengthen behavior by making it less likely to extinguish, the rate and type of reinforcement should not be predictable to the dog.
Settle down
Pet owners are taught how to condition  self-control in place of hyperactive behavior.


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Information about the training facility & preparation tips for classes here

Pet Positive, Inc., a  Maine corporation, was established by Sherry Britton in 1998 .

In 2013, the business moved from its original Gorham location to the Cape Co-Op, at 541 Ocean House Road, in Cape Elizabeth. The new training room is a 30'X 50' bright, airy space, set up with thick rubber gym flooring,

Situated in a peaceful setting, with ample parking, the buildings at 541 Ocean House Road were the home of Jordan's Lawn and Garden for 41 years.

In addition to Pet Positive, the Cape Co-Op homes a gift shop, an antique shop, a wine store, an organic farmer, and a landscaper. We're close to Crescent Beach State Park, and within walking distance of beaches, and popular restaurants.




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The methods taught at Pet Positive are reward-based. We support the use of a clicker or other sound as bridging stimulus to indicate correct behavior.

Clicker training is based on the principals of operant conditioning or O.C.  Contributions to the discovery of O.C. were first made by psychologists Edward L.Thorndike, John Watson and B.F. Skinner.

Operant learning is the result of associations an animal makes during or immediately after behavior.. The animal (subject) operates on the environment. If the association is pleasant, the behavior will continue, if the association is unpleasant, the behavior will diminish.

As applied to training situations, operant training is used to alter the probability that a behavior will occur again by influencing the consequences an animal associates with the behavior.

Positive reinforcement is the mainstay consequence of "click and treat". We are capturing behavior by marking it with the click sound and then reinforcing that behavior by following the click with a reward.
Pet Positive, Inc., P.O. Box 6247, Cape Elizabeth, Maine 04107
sbritton@petpositive.net
207.741.2091