My philosophy is clear and simple:
Strictly No Pain, No Force, No Fear, Science Based,
Trust & Bond Building Training & Behavior Modification
I've made my share of mistakes when working with dogs and like all smart organisms, I've learned from my mistakes, have sought to do better and now I do better. My philosophy is not based on "old science", old anecdotes, old beliefs or human ego. Instead, they're based on science, the most up to date science of the canine brain, the most up to date science of the canine species, the most up to date science of canine emotion and physicality. Scientists, academic qualified and skilled animal behaviorists, ethologists, zoologists, veterinarians, etc. have and are exploring further who and what our dogs are, how they operate and successfully survive and thrive in their world as well as ours. Technology is allowing us to discover more, observe more, explore more and the simple fact is that we and our dogs are very much alike. Their brain and ours are structurally the same, operate the same, react to emotion the same and the behaviors as a result of emotion are the same. Animals on the whole survive and thrive through mutual cooperation. Unfortunately, humans not so much.
Humans, as a species, when presented with an unwanted or undesired behavior, are more apt to immediately punish or "discipline". The simple fact is that in order to "discipline" or punish, all you have to do is inflict pain. Aversive methods like choker, prong (pinch) and shock collars (e-collars, stim collars), leash corrections, water bottles, shaker cans, hollering, screaming, alpha rolls, hitting, kicking, hanging, helicoptering, etc. all work because they inflict discomfort or pain in order to stop the unwanted behavior. That's how dogs, and other animals, are 'broken' of a behavior. The only thing those methods teach a dog is to fear the response to the behavior and the person inflicting it; it doesn't teach the dog a behavior we'd like instead. Simple fact- suppression of a behavior only means that the behavior will manifest itself in some other way.
Which is why it's imperative, a must that we teach without pain, force or fear. Which leads us right into the biggest obstacle to any successful attempt to teach: communication. Dogs are GREAT communicators but it's up to us to learn their language so that we can have the best possible partnership with our dogs. Like I said earlier, dogs can effectively communicate with almost all other species except us- WE are the variable that gets in the way. In order to teach, you'll have to be able to effectively communicate. Since we don't communicate the same way, you have to learn a new language in order to teach. You then have to effectively use that new language in a skillful, positive way to teach your dog what you desire.
I choose to teach. Making teaching, fun, safe, and rewarding has been proven in numerous peer-reviewed, scientific studies to be the most effective, most reliable, longest lasting method and positively enhances the human-canine bond.
The Inner Dog LLC