About DogRelations NYC

At DogRelations, I focus on reward-based techniques that give your dog the opportunity to voluntarily choose the behaviors you’d like to see.

DogCognition research has taught us that dogs respond really incredibly well to pointing and eye movements as well as strategic placement and timing of rewards/reinforcements.

By allowing dogs to figure out on their own what is being communicated not only builds their self-confidence but motivates them hugely because they actually learn how to control desired outcomes for themselves. Learning which behaviors bring a reinforcing consequence to the dog really is what “training” is all about: Allowing them to understand what you as human guardians are trying to communicate. Since 2009, Dog Relations NYC has helped more than 1500 dogs and their guardians form a more rewarding and special bond!

Science and experience has proven that rewarded (or reinforced) behaviors increase in frequency. Some behaviors your dog innately offers like jumping up, using their mouths to experiment and explore might not be what we humans might consider “proper”. However dogs will gladly be redirected to offer polite behaviors when we highly reward and reinforce them for the behaviors we decide are appropriate in the circumstance.

Really, is there anything more rewarding than having
clear and loving communication with your puppy?

Get to know Dog Relations owner,

Elisabeth Weiss

I grew up in Vienna immersed in classical music. I loved dogs but was not allowed to have a dog because my mother didn’t want the extra work which she was sure would eventually fall on her. But I loved dogs!

In fact, I have two favorite memories, one a wirehaired dachshund named Grendi who bit me in the face..I don’t remember why but I still loved him anyway and my violin teacher’s poodle named Bibolette. Bibolette always wanted to listen to the lessons but she was always removed from the room.

I spent years perfecting my skills as a musician and soon after, I moved to the United States. I finally decided to get a dog. I was “afraid” the dog would keep me from practicing but I sort of made a pact with myself that I wouldn’t let that happen.

As it turned out my violin teacher moved to France and, as I was preparing for a special recital, I went to Burgundy to play for him and get his critique. In the small hotel I stayed in, there was the cutest hairy black dog I have ever seen in my life. She was a small Briard named Penelope and she “worked” in the reception area. Penelope changed my life!

So this was really when I got into dogs. I got my first dog Daphne, a Briard. From then on I have always taken classes and rejoiced in teaching my dogs. I found teaching dogs more interesting than teaching humans to play the violin, but I didn’t really pay attention to those feelings. However, I did become fascinated with the teaching process and breaking down the technical challenges of acquiring more technique and tools for my students to play more and more difficult pieces of music. My violin teacher had a very analytical eye and ear and so instead of saying stuff like: this needs to be more expressive he would give specific instructions like: place your bow closer to the bridge, or move it faster, or lift your fourth finger higher when you cross that string. It helped invariably.

I love teaching dogs to choose good behaviors.

I decided to make dog training my main interest and focus because I loved dogs and because it tickles me endlessly to communicate with them. I apprenticed with a dog trainer for three years and read, studied, took classes and became quite fascinated with behavior science and learning theory.

This brings me back to Briards. A friend of mine lived in the same building that Laurie Anderson has her studio and she called me one day and told me that Lolabelle was very sick and could I come over and see if I could help. It was all rather vague but I decided to go and see what it was all about. Lolabelle had just had part of her liver removed. She had been diagnosed with insulinoma, a rare form of pancreatic cancer causing her to have diabetic seizures. She had not long to live. After talking to Laurie for a while and not being a vet, I mentioned that I had taught my dogs to play keyboards.

I explained to her about enrichment activities, that teaching a dog to touch objects and interact with the environment is a most endorphin-producing, satisfying activity for them. As soon as I said “keyboard” though, Laurie’s eyes lit up and she pulled out one of her many keyboards and asked me to start teaching Lola! Lola loved it and an hour or so later I got a call from Lou Reed who said he wanted me to come every day. And that is how it all started..

Dog Relations advocates science-based and force-free learning opportunities and experiences. Learn how to teach your dog basic skills in a fun and rewarding way!

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