Seirios K9 Academy specialize in dog training & rehabilitation
My name is Chris Papakostas, owner and head trainer of Seirios K9 Academy. We specialize in dog training and rehabilitation. Many, have sought my expertise including lawyers in litigation trials. My clientele ranges across North America. It includes Quebec and Ontario law enforcement members, famous sports personalities, the affluent, CEO’s, and of course the general public. I’m also the hands-on training instructor for the Montreal Dog Trainer’s Network.
A few years back, I was involved in an unfortunate incident with my dog Wicca, which resulted in her being put to sleep. My dog had literally saved my life six months prior… Wicca had one issue that became apparent that one time, that one incident. When I started looking for “help”, I called several training schools. Most didn’t know how to help, others didn’t want to help, and several said nothing could be done besides proscribed medication. Needless to say I felt helpless.A few of the dog trainers claimed to have 15 even 20 years experience in the field. Without so much as an evaluation, these so called professionals still advised on what training and method of training they though would be best suited for my dog and I.
The whole ordeal spurred me into a new career path. I was introduced to Master Dog Trainer Harry Kalajian from the Montreal Dog Trainer’s Network. Harry, who I consider my mentor, helped me develop this special gift of understanding and working with dogs.With an increasing focus on ethology, I’ve learnt to think outside the box, which allows me to develop my own style, my unique way of teaching dogs and most importantly dog owners.
Over the years, I’ve noticed a common issue most dog owners are experiencing with their dogs and it’s most apparent with bigger dogs. And all has to do with how people perceive dog training.
Does this sound familiar:“My dog is a sweetheart, Rover listens but when we are outside he ignores me and anything I say when he sees something/someone…” or “my dog doesn’t need training, look at her she’s so tiny ”.
Big or small, young or old, all dogs should be trained!
Most people believe that dog training is just for those that are misbehaving or the “wild one” and the biggest misconception about dog training is that people think it’s only about making Rover sit or lay down. What if I told you that obedience training (sit, down, stay, etc.) is the easiest part of dog training? All we do is associate a word to the appropriate action. Obedience training and dog training is not exactly the same. Dog training is about various subjects of training which obedience is a big part of. Obedience training is very important it shouldn’t be sought as a “trick”. The purpose of obedience training is to make Rover understand he has to obey commands and that you are the leader.This will teach Rover to do as told not when or if he wants but when asked, no matter what circumstances are. Just like kids, why do we teach them to listen and to be respectful, especially out in public!
Now the most asked question:
How do I get my dog to listen, more so in the presence of distractions?
Regardless of the “method” used, learning is the same for all dogs. The process of learning has different stages with respect of the age. How and what is taught in accordance of the dog’s age.A puppy less than 5 months old is learning to learn, basically starting to understand the fundamentals, the mechanics. Just like in kindergarten. It’s when you start building the confidence, creating a relationship.At this age training should have a positive association. From the age of 5 months until 7-8 months old, the training changes a little. Do you remember grade school (elementary)? This is when the dog should start learning the concept of consequences, what is allowed and what isn’t allowed.This will teach the dog how to “think before acting”. After the age of 8 months you can start working on a higher level like off-leash training, agility or other. Despite of what some trainers would say consequences does not mean being abusive.A negative consequence is applying leash pressure, not allowing something or not giving something. It’s associating a discomfort to the word NO, that little something you will use to enforce the word NO.
There are no shortcuts, no magic potion or any sprinkles that will make a dog listen and behave. Training a dog is a work in progress; it takes persistence, consistency, repetition and patience. Training, practicing isn’t something you only do during “class” or stop doing once the dog learns or when training program ends. You have to continuously practice throughout the dog’s life.
Have you heard these lines before:“your dog is un-trainable”, “your dog is too stubborn to train” or even “your dog is dumb, he’ll never learn” and my favourite one “your dog is anxious, you have to medicate her”. These are classic excuses given by inexperienced trainers… don’t listen to them!
I always say: Dogs learn the same things, how they learn is different
What does Science Based dog training really mean: The training is based on a study of a dog, it’s behaviours, and how it learns. Not someone’s methodology.Trainers who claim that there is only one specific method to train and to modify or “fix” a behavioural problem, sorry to say with all due respect, it’s the biggest lie in the dog-training world.This is a big factor as to why a lot of people are experiencing difficulties with training and finally give up. It is impossible that ALL dogs learn the same way. Each individual dog has a different character, personality, etc.