Pet Gazette: Rewarding behavior 

ROC Animal Training and Behavior instructs dog owners in reward-based methods

click to enlarge Jessi Lane and dogs. - PROVIDED
  • provided
  • Jessi Lane and dogs.

Correcting your pet’s behavior with physical force is easy, but sometimes we are telling them no without teaching them correct behavior. Dog trainer and owner of ROC Animal Training and Behavior Jessi Lane recognizes this problem. 

“I saw the fearful and anxious dogs in clinic settings and also saw many dogs who were hyper, lacked manners and the owners just didn’t know how to handle them,” said Lane, who graduated from OSU-OKC in the Veterinary Technology program in 2010 and works with dogs in a veterinary setting.

As a graduation present, she bought herself a dog, now a 7-year-old Doberman named Jett Roc. She worked to avoid the behaviors she witnessed at clinics, and together, they competed in agility, barn hunt, lure coursing and trick dog competitions.

Lane graduated in 2014 as a certified training partner from Karen Pryor Academy of Animal Training & Behavior, and a year later, she started ROC Animal Training and Behavior. ROC stands for “Right On Click.” She also has a 12-year-old Australian Cattle Dog mix named Skout and a 2-year-old Doberman named Colt.

She started out using harsher training methods but soon learned it was not the most efficient way to work with animals. With harsh treatment, a dog’s behavior issues get worse.

“I saw that while [harsher training methods] did work and dogs learned, there was baggage to the training,” Lane said. “You have to know what motivates your dog and what your dog is saying in his or her body language.”

Lane puts the problems dog owners experience into two categories. The first problem is impulse control.

“These dogs are jumping on people, pulling on the leash, barking excessively, and the owners have little or no control over them,” Lane said.

The second common problem is fear and aggression, in which dogs are fearful or reactive to other dogs or people. That is where the Learn to Earn program comes into play.

“This is where the owner is the giver of all resources — food, play and attention — and if the dog wants something, they have to learn how to earn,” Lane said.

The best method for achieving this is with a clicker, a reward-based form of training.

“Clicker training is using a clicker to communicate with your dog that what they did at that exact second you clicked will be rewarded,” Lane said.

It is a repetitive technique to point out each time the dog does something right — hear the click, get a treat.

At ROC Animal Training & Behavior, Lane works to overcome behavior issues and create well-rounded dogs.

“I help with dogs who need to learn good manners, advanced dog and owners who are looking to continue learning with their dog and I work with reactive, fearful and aggressive dogs,” Lane said. “Classes are kept small to help your dog succeed. Private lessons are tailored to fit you and your dog to accomplish your training goals.”

Behavior consultation is $150 per a 90-minute session or $245 for an in-home session. Group classes are $35-$130, and ROC Animal Training and Behavior also offers private lessons for $40-$160.

Visit rocanimaltraining.com

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