The definition of force-free dog training is simple: dog training done without the use of force, coercion, or physical or mental intimidation. Sounds, like humane dog training, right? I like humane, and I’m guessing you do too.

I was on a consult, and the pawrent told me she had used a force-free dog trainer before. “Yeah, I have her card – let me go get it.” As she went to get her card, there it was in bold lettering at the top: “Force-free Dog Training” with the trainer’s name and phone number. Normally, I’d be totally down with that, as I think other positive reinforcement and force-free dog trainers are awesome. There was a slight issue though – as we were going through her dog’s issues, I asked how she has tried to deal with the barking. She told me that same “force-free” trainer said to use citronella spray to deter the barking.

[Cue screeching car sound]

You see, lovely, awesome, caring pet pawrent (I’m talking to you), there are many dog training tools that are definitely, completely, 100% NOT force-free.

Regardless of how I feel about any trainer’s dog training methods, there is something fundamentally wrong with saying you are one thing and doing another.

So, to clarify for you, if you are looking for a force-free dog training method, these tools and techniques would not be used:

  • Choke or prong collars
  • Citronella or shock collars (called e-collars these days)
  • Leash corrections (pops)
  • Hitting of any kind (no matter how “soft”)
  • Yelling or screaming
  • Using a squirt bottle, shake can, compressed air (pet corrector) or citronella spray
  • Alpha rolls or anything that tells you that you MUST dominate

If those tools and techniques did not answer why you would choose force-free dog training, then here’s where I buried the lede: IT WORKS!

Yep, for over 10 years, I’ve seen the merits of force-free dog training help thousands of dogs with separation anxiety, leash aggression, dog aggression, human aggression, resource guarding and the rest of the issues from A-Z.

The coolest part? Your relationship is kickass with your pup because you are understanding and respecting her, while always putting her in a position to succeed.

Do you have a story of how force-free dog training has helped your dog? Reach out to us and we would love to feature YOUR story!

If you have any questions of how force-free dog training can help your dog, drop us a line!

Cheers, Dave

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