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? Private session or group class?
Each method has its adherent and critics. The truth is, there is no sure-fire way or a universal solution that works every time. Each dog is different, and circumstances vary. What works with one dog may be ineffective with another even though the issues are 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
A) based on the natural behaviour of dogs as a species,
B) produces measurable, long lasting results, and
C) does not cause any distress to the animal.
Here's a list of the core principles of our philosophy:
We believe every dog is the product of its environment. There is no such a thing as a "bad dog" – man's best friends 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 we do 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 dog 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 or dog whisperers. We do not aim to make dogs sit, heel, lie down or wait. The purpose of our training programs is not obedient dogs, but responsible owners who are able to create a safe and stress-free environment for with their dogs, and a relationship based on reliability and sharing the joy of life.
The constant need for giving commands and order a dog around to remain in control is sure a sign that something is wrong with the bond between man and his dog.
We promote 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 submission. We believe a dog (or any animal, for that matter) must never be hit, smacked, kicked, threatened or punished as part of its training.
We strongly believe that most behaviour problems in dogs stem from lack of exercise and/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 handler). We specialise in training through fitness and exercise.
We believe the primary purpose of dog training is not to correct a behaviour, or to cope with 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 the weekly routine of a dog - regardless of its age, breed or history, just like grooming or going for a walk.
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 Ps:
Patience (Be cool!)
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 clicker, halter leads, “firework CDs”, shock collars, “Intelligent Automatic Bark Collar" and "talking collars" (yes, there is such a thing).
We believe the core of dog training is that dogs "behave right" because they choose to, and not because they are forced or tricked to follow commands.
The supreme test of learning is application. If it works for you, do it. If not, discard it. But never say "it doesn't work" before 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. :)