Family Dog Manners
Dog Training Services 
Michigan Based Dog Trainer
Wendy MacKenzie

Family Dog Manners is one of the few Training Businesses in the area that strictly uses Positive Reinforcement!  We have found that the majority of dogs work extremely well for food rewards; followed by praise, love, petting and other "real life" rewards to teach and motivate your dog. No need for verbal or physical corrections, outdated leadership / dominance (pack theories), raised voices, choke chains, prong collars, e-collars, shock collars, or fear. We believe an owner and their family companion should work as a team to form a strong bond! These techniques get far better results than other methods, and have a higher likelihood of lasting a lifetime; which means that your dog will be very happy during and after training. Our small and personal programs are not "typical obedience classes"; we provide an all inclusive behavior, obedience, manners, socialization and "Know How" - CLASS for your Family Dog.

Why "food "rewards" to teach your dog?:
Dogs are thinking, feeling, intelligent creatures. Though they are not little people in fur suits, like us they will do things that are fun and rewarding. Asking your dog to do something just because you said so is like your boss asking you to work for no pay. How motivated would you be to do it?  You could force your dog to comply or use aversive methods (prong collars etc.), but what would that do to your relationship? How would you feel about somebody who used force, yelled at you, or worse yet caused you pain in order for you to work? On the other hand, if you set up the game that your dog understands as "If I do what you want, you'll give me a treat," it's a relationship-building win-win situation. The dog is motivated to learn, and both of you can enjoy the training session. You love your dog, so why wouldn't you want to use a training "tool" that gets him excited and makes him happy?

​Why Positive Reinforcement Dog Training Works:
Positive Reinforcement dog training is a friendly, non-punitive method of teaching your dog to perform behaviors using motivators such as food, praise or other positive actions as a reward. Rewarding appropriate dog behavior makes that behavior more likely to occur in the future and is one of the most powerful tools you can use to shape or change your dog's actions. Family Dog Manners strongly advocates using positive reinforcement dog training as it not only teaches your dog what behaviors you desire (as well as those you don't) in a humane manner, but also because it creates stronger bonds between you and your dog. Proper Dog Communication should result in a dog’s eyes lighting with joy and enthusiasm, not smothering that light under the threat of violence, corrections or pain. Anyone can scare and intimidate dogs. It takes a better trainer, and a better human being, to be able to work with dogs and to get the same, or dare I say, even better results.

What we don't use:
Compulsion dog training: Physical or Verbal Corrections, Harsh Discipline, Choke Collars, Prong Collars, E-Collars, Shock Collar, Threatening or Fear Based Methods.  
Dominance Pack Theories: Dominance / Pack Leadership is a very outdated theory and is not necessary in this day and age with the use of Modern Positive Reinforcement Methods.  

Compulsion dog training or training based on fear, intimidation, physical punishment and corrections usually involves some level of discomfort/fear or even pain and is not recommended as it may cause your dog to bite in order to defend himself. These types of methods have also been proven to cause a dog to become anxious, fearful and even potentially aggressive. Punishment may also be associated with other stimuli, including people, present at the time of the punishment. For example, a dog that is punished for getting too close to another dog may become fearful or defensive around dogs. During compulsion dog training, your dog may comply in the beginning in order to avoid punishment or pain, but it likely won't last. You don't want to spend the next 14 years yelling, jerking their collar or constantly shocking him, do you?