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Frequently Asked Questions
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Yes. Robin offers both board and train programs both through her That’s My Dog! training facility and privately.
For further information please visit this page.
Yes. You can send your dog for a board and train program or travel to Dubuque, IA to stay for a few days of private coaching. You might also consider attending the Dog Camp. This 3 day training workshop that is geared specifically to the needs of pet owners.
I offer long distance coaching through phone, Zoom and e-mail consultations. Coaching works best for owners that have done some training with their dog and understand basics, but continue to struggle with a particular issue or desire a bit of fine tuning. Dog owners should first fill out an evaluation form providing information about their dog and goals for training. After reviewing the information I will reach out to schedule a time for a coaching session.
My desire to learn more about remote collars began in the late nineties. After a few years of training professionally I found that many of my clients still struggled with having a truly reliable recall.
Unless the surrounding environment had minimal distractions or was adequately fenced, many dog owners were reluctant to trust their dog off leash. This lead to my investigating more options, including the use of a remote collar. Initially I was hesitant to try e-collars. I had heard all the stories about the tool being inhumane and cruel. But I pressed on investigating.
After gaining some education and putting my new knowledge into practice, I began to discover the versatility of this tool. I found that e-collars were not a tool of last resort nor where they painful or harmful to the dog. In fact, I discovered just the opposite! The tactile cueing system made possible by knowledgeable e-collar use was actually less stressful than other methodologies. Plus, the results were faster to achieve and more easily replicated by pet owners.
Of course. Positive reinforcement is one quadrant out of 4 in operant conditioning. Operant and classical conditioning are part of any good dog training system. It is imperative that dogs are rewarded for behavior we want them to repeat, but reliable training goes well beyond that simple concept.
Because many nuisance behaviors are self-reinforcing for a dog, using only positive reinforcement to the exclusion of all other tools or training techniques is often ineffective and occasionally dangerous.
I believe the most well-adjusted and reliable dogs are raised with a balanced approach. I help people to better understand their dog’s behavior and assist in creating a more harmonious lifestyle through use of a wide variety of tools and techniques. The ultimate goal is to create a stronger relationship with your dog that will be based on mutual respect and cooperation.
Robin has been mentoring and instructing other professionals since 2002. She does one to one shadow programs through her facility, That’s My Dog! Inc in Dubuque, Iowa. She also travels conducting workshops and staff training for professional trainers. For information please email Robin@RobinMacFarlane.com
The tagline for this site has multiple meanings. I wanted to maintain some connection to the Dubuque training company I started in 1998. “That’s My Dog!” was started with the intention of helping local dog owners find solutions to behavior problems. As time progressed and it became a corporation, the marketing began to surround my dog at that time, a Belgian Malinois named Hero. He was inspiration for much of the TMD marketing but more than that he was named in reference to the firemen and paramedics who attended to me and got me out of the wreckage of the accident that changed my life direction and mission in 1997.
Hero was a very significant part of our family. You can read a bit about him here https://robinmacfarlane.com/a-heros-story and the lessons he taught.
So as I thought about the mission of this site, I thought about him and it lead me to a core belief of having courage and faith in the face of difficult times. It is not always an easy path to train a dog or resolve challenging behavior problems. Often times there is conflicting information given and at times others may even work against you insisting they know best. But significant change can happen when we are armed with knowledge and commitment.
My goal is to be a valuable coach on this journey with your canine friend, so that you can be Your dog’s Hero.
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