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TRAINING PHILOSOPHY

Regardless of what type of dog you have (whatever its breed, size, history, or temperament), the Dog Savvy goal is to teach you how to open your dog’s mind to learning by teaching it to want to listen. Dog Savvy means:

  • Listening to and responding to your dog’s needs, both physical and mental
  • Respecting your dog as an individual
  • Being a fair and consistent leader
  • Accepting what your dog has to teach you
  • Training from the heart

A good dog starts with a healthy dog. Many years of hands on experience have taught Dog Savvy founder Anne Wolff Nichols that health is a fundamental of successful training. Behavior problems and training blocks are sometimes a result of underlying health or nutrition issues. It is useless to try to train away behaviors that have their basis in a lack of wellness. Teaching owners to optimize their dogs’ health through assessment, diet, and appropriate care is the core principal of Dog Savvy. Good training builds on good health.

Every dog is an individual with unique needs. Cookie cutter training approaches work fine for some dogs, but will fall short for most others. Any truly successful training method needs to be able to accommodate individuality in the dog and the handler. Rather than teaching a set of behaviors, Dog Savvy teaches you and your dog a set of skills that allow you both to continue to learn and work together in any setting.

Dog Savvy begins with the premise that people need to learn to communicate with their dogs. This seems pretty basic, but in truth many of the problems people experience with their dogs occur because owners have never learned to teach (as opposed to force) behaviors, and dogs have never been taught to think in training. A dog that has been taught how to think becomes a partner in the training process. When humans and dogs learn to listen to each other, training accelerates and becomes a joy to both partners.

Dog Savvy is a “positive” training approach, but its methodology differs fundamentally from other reward-based training programs. Through 30 years of practical training experience, Anne has learned that both harsh physical force or the use of food as a bribe or lure can have the same negative effects on the relationship between dog and owner. Rather than fostering understanding and communication, both of these techniques create barriers to real learning.

The use of food in training differs vastly among dog trainers, and it’s important to understand that you can’t simply replace corrections with food. More often than not the way food rewards are typically used in training creates dogs that respond to food rather than to their owners. These dogs are not thinking and learning, they are merely reacting to the presence of food. And their owners are not teaching and leading, they are bartering for a one time response.

Dog Savvy uses food very differently from the majority of trainers and this unique approach creates a dog that is eager to learn and work. Dogs trained with Dog Savvy will turn away from food to accomplish the requested task and will ask their owners, “What next?” This method will help you gain control and understanding of your dog as your dog learns to look to you (not the food) as a trusted leader. With Dog Savvy your dog will want to learn and you will gain the skills to continue teaching your dog throughout its life.

Dog Savvy can provide you with the foundation for a fulfilling relationship and a well-trained dog whatever your training goals. People and dogs who train with Dog Savvy are more motivated, relaxed, and happy. People are thrilled to have control over their dogs while also developing a positive relationship. Best of all results happen quickly and they last. Get Dog Savvy!

Read what others have to say about training with Dog Savvy.

Or, see Anne in action.


Over 30 years of dog training experience Veterinarian recommended
awn@becomedogsavvy.com 612-968-5209