The dog is not the issue. We are!
People who trust a trainer with their dog want to know what method (s)he uses. Is it force-free? Domination based? Clicker training?
Each method has its adherent and critics. But here is the truth about the business of dog training: there is NO sure-fire way or a universal solution that works every time, as each dog is different, and circumstances vary. What works with one dog may be ineffective with another, even if their issues seem similar.
Training a dog often boils down to the good old trial-and-error approach.
We at Dog Training For Humans believe any training is valid as long as it is based on the natural behaviour of dogs as a species, produces measurable, long lasting results, and does not cause harm or distress to either the animal or the handler.
For those who wish to find out about the way we work, here's a list of the core principles of our philosophy of training dogs. See for yourself if we are on the same page.
We believe every dog is the product of its environment. There is no such a thing as a "bad dog" – these animals simply follow the way they had learned to behave. The character and actions of a dog mirror the personality and habits of its owner, thus any valid training should begin with examining what the owner does right, and not what the dog does wrong.
It's not getting the confusion out of the dog. It's getting the dog out of the confusion.
We do not "fix" problems. We believe every owner must train his/her own dog, based on the assumption that a strong bond exists between them. That is why we predominantly focus on teaching HUMANS new skills, instead of teaching dogs new tricks. We will not train your dog. You will train your dog.
We are not obedience trainers, and we are not dog behaviourists. We do not set out to make dogs to sit, lie down, heel or wait. The aim of our training programs is not obedient dogs, but responsible owners who are able to create a safe and stress-free relationship with their dog that is based on mutual respect, reliability and sharing the joy of life.
The constant need for giving commands and order the dog around to remain in control is usually a sign that something is wrong with the bond between man and his dog. Dogs are to follow humans not because they are forced to, but because they choose to.
We promote bond-based, back-to-basics, no-nonsense training techniques that avoid the use of abuse, intimidation, or actions that forces the animal into an obedience built-on-fear. A dog (or any animal, for that matter) must never be hit, smacked, kicked, threatened, or screamed at, as part of its training. Positive reinforcement always rules over punishment and force. We also learned over the years that the best way to train a dog is not through correction, but by showing a good example.
We strongly believe that most behaviour problems in dogs stem from sufficient exercise or boredom. Therefore instead of sophisticated training programs, we promote introducing regular exercise aligned with the needs of the breed and the limitations of the dog's owners. We specialise in training through fitness and exercise.
We believe the primary purpose of dog training is not to correct a behaviour, or to handle an emergency. A dog trainer is not the
go-to thing only when a dog snaps, or bites the neighbour’s puppy. Training should be present to prevent unwanted, undesirable behaviour. Training is a life-long enterprise that must become an integral part of a dogs’ weekly routine, regardless of its age or history.
Here's our motto: If you are persistent, you will get it. If you are consistent, your dog will get it.
The secret of success in dog training is based on the four Big Ps:
The Fourth Element is indispensable. For any dog training to be effective, it must be fun. If it’s no fun, it’s no good.
Experience shows, the best way to train dogs is off the lead. We prefer to conduct sessions and group classes with dogs that are free to roam and socialize. Most of our training is based on lead-free activities.
As a general rule, we steer away from the hocus-pocus gadgets of dog training, such as the clicker, the halter, “firework CDs”, shock collars, the “no-bark collar” or various anti-pulling devices.
The supreme test of learning is application: it only works if it works for you. Never accept anything you are told as “the ultimate truth”, even if voiced by Mr. or Mrs. Expert. If you agree with it, try it. If it works, apply it. If not, discard it. But never say "it doesn't work" until you genuinely put it into practice.
To paraphrase the great comedian, Groucho Marx: These are our principles, and if you don’t like them, we have a few more you won’t like either. But if you can agree with most of the above, there is a good chance we will get along just fine. :)