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Laurent Gabriel’s Dog Training Methods

Florida’s Best Dog Trainer, Laurent Gabriel, owner of Elite Professional Dog Training began dog training in 1990 working with renowned dog training experts. Today he’ll talk about his dog training methods.

99% Dog Training Success Rate

I’ve trained thousands of dogs and have a 99% Dog Training Success Rate. I interview owners to learn about the challenges and goals for dog training. All dogs are carefully evaluated before training or services begin.

I use reward-based training methods. I encourage play, I establish trust, and I bond with the dogs I train to ensure the dog is receptive to training and for the dog’s best performance.

Reward-Based Training And The Discovery Method

Let’s talk about my training process so that you understand how your dog will be trained. I use the discovery method for most dogs. And the reason why I say most dogs is because I like to teach a dog or make them think, so I use what motivates them, whether it be food, whether it be a ball, whether it be a toy.

Whatever motivates that dog, I’m going to use that to my advantage to show and get the behavior that I want them to do.

So if I want the dog to sit, the minute the dog sits, I give him the ball. When my hand goes up, they’ll already know what the heck is going on. I’ll raise it over their head, they look up, butt sits, and boom, they get the reward. That’s using the discovery method.

I Have To Prove A Dog Is Trained

Once the behavior is taught to a dog, I now have to prove a dog is trained to the owner. Because while some people train their dogs to do things for treats, that is not obedience training. That is training a dog to do tricks.

Training becomes a command when the dog has to do it when I tell them to. Not because they’re receiving something right after. I teach them to do things on command and then teach you how to handle your dog. How to tell your dog to do what you want.

If I’m out in public, and I tell a dog, “Sit,” we’re in training mode. I need the dog to listen to me, respond. After we get out of training mode, then we’ll go ahead and play. Because it has to be give and take. You don’t work for free. Why should your dog work for free? They have to get something that they value and like out of it.

Positive And Negative Reinforcement

So a lot of times clients ask, well, do you use all positive reinforcement? Do you use all negative reinforcement? Well, I use both positive and negative reinforcement.

Life isn’t all positives, so what makes you think all positive is going to work with your dog? Using all positives doesn’t work with humans.

Example: Push Them Out Of The Way

There are consequences to our actions. So there has to be some sort of reinforcement, and it’s simple: it could be moving them: sometimes I have to physically move them out of the way. I mean, like push them gently to help them understand what I want them to do.

A lot of times what I like to use, depending on the dog, I’ll use any type of collar, just as long as I can control them. I use a fur saver, or a pinch collar, or a prong collar. Sometimes I may have to use a choker. Sometimes I may have to use a slip lead. Sometimes I have to —  for my older or non-physical clients — sometimes use a gentle leader. But that’s the collar I like the least.

I Don’t Like Using The Gentle Leader

I like the gentle leader least because the whole point of using training tools is temporary. But a lot of times what happens is that many people become lazy and instead of relying on the training tool for a lifetime, they instead rely on the tool. Once you put that gentle leader on that dog, you’re always going to have to use a gentle leader. It’s just a fact of life. So I don’t like to use it.

Some people may have to use it because they get a dog that’s too big and too strong for them and they don’t want to use another method. Then it’s Okay. But they come off. And not only do they come off, but they can still yank a person off their feet.

And then once they use gentle leaders they become reliant on it forever. Dog training is wasted if you rely on the gentle leader because the dog knows that as soon as that collar is off, it’s free time, and ‘I don’t have to do anything. I can do whatever I want!’

So I like to use collars because I can have the dogs wear it around and I’ll be in open areas and I’ll play with the dog. I’ll do everything in that collar with the dog so it becomes the norm. And then I slowly start to take the collar off because we’ve gone through enough repetition so the dog can understand, “Okay, I know what’s expected.”

After Training Your Dog Respects You

All in all, the whole point of obedience training is to be able to communicate with your dog what you want it to do. When my training is done, your dog respects you and not only the collar but the training and the training process gets them there. So every technique has its use and its value. It just depends on how you use it.

If you’re struggling with your dog, if your dog is out of control, or if you’re ready to throw in the towel on your dog, don’t give up. Your dog would never give up on you. And you haven’t tried everything if you haven’t called Elite.

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