Training Philosophy

Modern dog training based on proven scientific methods continue to show that Reward Based Training gets consistent results. Dog's are more likely to repeat behaviors they find rewarding. A relationship built upon a dog's eagerness is more rewarding that one built upon fear. The use of positive reinforcement methods when teaching your dog has been universally endorsed by the behavioral scientific community at large as the most effective, long-lasting, humane and safest method in dog training. Moreover, I am kind and tolerant when training dogs. It is who I am in life, not just when I am training dogs... kind, tolerant and compassionate.


Criteria, structure and rules are important for consistency of performance in dog training. I start off from puppy hood setting up my dogs for success.  They happily come when called; they automatically sit for anything they want (‘say please’); they have good manners.  My training philosophy involves rewarding good behavior and teaching self-control. All animals make choices constantly; choice based training teaches the dog that making the right choice is very rewarding. The wrong choice 
gets nothing, but an opportunity to try again. I guide a dog into making the right choices. These methods are at the core of positive reinforcement training.  I help my students see training from the dog's perspective.

I have more than 30 years experience in applied canine behavior science. I understand how dog's think, learn and communicate. I am experienced in canine cognition, using Classical and Operant Conditioning to train dogs. I use methods that have been scientifically proven and peered reviewed. I motivate dogs to learn to earn. I am a Certified Professional Trainer who is always on a quest for furthering my education so that I can be the most effective trainer possible. I do not use choke, prong or shock collars. The most respected and successful trainers are able to effect change without the use of force. Learning is infinite.

My philosophy in sports is that dogs are always right and I train from the dog's perspective. In order for dogs to have true independent obstacle performance, the dog has to feel that it has your permission to do them. If we are frequently telling our dog's no or correcting them, we are chipping away at their confidence for playing the game.  As their teammates, we have to foster at atmosphere in training that makes the dog feel they are at Doggie Disney World. I want my dogs to be in the best mood and have a great attitude for playing this game with me. And yes, this is back to science. Associations that we cultivate for our dogs with agility or any other sport, have to be positive, fun and exciting.  The result will be a very confident dog that will give you everything they got! 

Laura Bussing