Force Free Dog Training


A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel. Proverbs 12:10

Thanks For Looking!

There are as many ways to train a dog as there are to peel an onion.  My primary method of choice is touch free dog training.  The idea is to work with a dog to gain trust and good relationship so as to make him/her think they are making you give them what they want..... your love and affection or a treat or their dinner or to be let out. 

I approach dog training like I would approach employing workers in a job.  I help to figure out that which a dog most desires and use this as the currency to repay the dog for a job well done, not jumping, sitting politely, walking without pulling.  I want to create a relationship where a dog WANTS to work for me or their people not one that compels the dog to obey strictly through the fear of pain or unpleasantries.  It is no different than having our own employment either under a tyrant boss that makes you think that you are always within an inch of being fired or one that encourages and appreciates yet holds us accountable to always do better. 

Dog training has come so far since the 60s and 70s.  We have many greats to thank for this, Dr. Ian Dunbar, Karen Pryor, Patricia McConnell and many more.  This method is fast becoming the one that makes better faster, more reliable competitors in many dog sports, obedience, conformation, agility, French Ring etc.  This way the dog does most of the work not the people!  They learn to think for themselves!

Explanation of Touch Free Training!

The purpose of this type of dog training is to create an association in your dog’s mind, that the word  “Yes” (or click of a clicker) means he/she is getting a reward.  The “Yes” (or click) now becomes a conditioned reinforcer or “reward mark”, telling the dog…

a)you responded correctly

b)You are getting a reward.

c)The exercise is finished and you can relax

By doing so we create an association between the behavior the dog was exhibiting when it heard the “Yes” or click, and the sound of the “Yes” or click itself.   This is what is known as a MARK.  The mark quickly becomes associated with the reward and entices the dog to repeat the behavior in hopes of hearing the mark and receiving the reward.  The dog is now trying to train you to say “yes” or click the clicker by exhibiting behaviors that worked in the past.  We will install the “no reward mark” in the next exercise.

The marker and the treat are both tools for the purpose of creating a behavior.  Like any tool, the marker and the treat will not be necessary long-term.  It is much like the carpenter who builds tables.  Once the table is built, the carpenter puts the hammer and nails away.  They only come out again if the table needs to be repaired.  We will teach you how to eliminate the treats step-by-step, beginning next week.

Like any tool, the marker and treat are only effective if they are used properly.  Therefore, accurate timing is crucial.  Remember that the behavior the dog is exhibiting when it hears the click is reinforced.

Bottom Line: This method teaches your dog to think for himself!

These 3 are off leash and want to be heeling perfectly with me.  No harsh method needed!

No Force was used to teach Story to weave through my legs while we walk.  Only marker training.

A word about punishment:  Punishment is an important part of training but it does not have to be painful or scary.  Punishment should be used appropriately and only if it is instructional.

AVSAB (American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior) Position Statement on Punishment

AVSAB (American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior) Position Statement on Dominance

Learn how to train your dog like they train dolphins