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     All training at T.O.P.S. Kennels, be it boarding and training, private lessons, or classes, is always conducted in the same manner. We believe that when the training is being conducted the whole family should work together with the dog or dogs. This will ensure that the dog is receiving the same signals form everyone in the family. If the dog is receiving different signals from each family member, the dog will not respond in a proper manner. So one of the most important goals of T.O.P.S. training staff is to have the dog and family work together in a sure and positive manner, which will produce a relaxed and enjoyable dog for the family.

     We at T.O.P.S. Kennels do not believe in using food to make a dog respond to training. We would like the dog to respond to the owner for who he is, not for what he has. Once the dog is working for the owner for this reason, you will see a very consistent, happy, working dog.

     We at T.O.P.S. Kennels also believe in starting dogs at a young age, 3 1/2 to 4 months old. When starting training with a dog at a young age, you are starting with a dog that has hardly had any time to create bad habits. This makes it easier for the dog and owner to work together. When starting a young dog in training, we believe in using the hands and the leash working together to place the dog into the command given. Once the dog has full understanding of what we are trying to do, then and only then will we begin to use only the leash for the training of the dog. At this point, the hands can become an instrument of praise. Hard leash corrections are rarely needed on a young dog. From the very first minute of training, the voice and hands are used for praise. This gives the dog a reason to respond in a positive manner. Starting training with the dog at a young age of 3 1/2 to 4 months old cuts your working time down by half, if not even more, compared to starting a dog at the age of 8 months to 1 year. Therefore, we believe in starting a dog at a very young age for best results.

     One of the most important beliefs to us at T.O.P.S. Kennels is that while training a dog, the leash should always be loose. This is a very important point to remember. The reason for having the leash loose is to give the feeling to the dog of being off leash. When you get to the later stages of training, which will be off leash, you will see the positive results you will have from always having worked your dog with a loose leash. So remember, the leash is used for correction, not control.

Final Goal

     Our final goal at T.O.P.S. is to work on having your dog be an enjoyable member of the family. One part of reaching the final goal is having a dog that has a very good obedience foundation. The second part is having a dog that is very well mannered. These two things go hand in hand. Having a dog that is obedience trained but who does not have an understanding of how to use the obedience in everyday life will not give you a completely enjoyable family dog. We would like to give you some examples of little things that mean a lot.

  1. How should your dog respond on a car ride?

  2. If you are taking your dog for a walk, and out of nowhere another dog comes running up and barking at your dog, how should your dog respond?        

  3. How should your dog react approaching any kind of doorway, be it a car or a building of some kind?   

  4. Let's say you are walking down the street with your dog and someone comes up to talk to you. How should your dog react?

     Now let's move to the house and think of some things like:                                           

   1. How the dog should respond when the family is sitting down to eat dinner.     

   2. How the dog should react when a visitor comes to the front door.

     These things seem like minor things, but they are very, very important. There are many more examples where obedience will play a big role in everyday living, and we hope T.O.P.S. Training Kennels can help. So T.O.P.S.' final goal is having the dog be an enjoyable member of the family, and having the family wake up every day looking forward to having their dog be there.

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