Apparently, it’s impossible to train dogs completely without force?
Dictionary Definition of force: “coercion or compulsion, especially with the use or threat of violence.”
I stand by my force-free stance, and I make a promise to you as my client or potential future client.
As a force-free behaviour consultant, I promise:
- I will explain fully what I propose to do with your dog and why, and I will invite you to ask questions.
- I will always try to find the most cost-effective way possible to set you and your dog up for a lifetime of harmonious living.
- I will always do my best to be friendly and approachable so that you feel comfortable and unafraid of judgement.
- Your dog’s physical and emotional wellbeing will be my top priority when working out any behaviour modification protocol or training programme for you.
- I will never coerce your dog into participating in any form of behaviour modification.
- I will encourage your dog to make the choice we want using non-threatening and rewarding motivators.
- I will work hard to keep your dog under threshold and keep him/her as stress-free as possible.
- I will work hard to keep the process as comfortable and stress-free as possible for you as the owner, handler and trainer of your own dog.
- I will treat your dog as an individual and your situation as unique – one size does not fit all.
- I will never do anything with your dog that I wouldn’t do with my own dogs, and I will consider your dog to be as much a vital part of your family as my dogs are mine.
- I will never bully your dog using threatening or violent behaviour.
- I will never put a choke, prong or e-collar around your dog’s neck or recommend you do so.
- I will continue to follow up my education by attending workshops, seminars, conferences and courses so as to add to my ‘training toolbox’ and bring you the very best service I can.
- No dog will ever be ‘just a dog’ to me.
This is what it means to be Force-Free. Restraining a dog using a lead, crate training a dog, or withholding reinforcement (negative punishment*) does not mean we are not Force-Free.
It is real life; management, restraint and sometimes, a small amount of negative punishment* are necessary. Bullying a dog using tools designed to intimidate and cause discomfort is never necessary.
*Negative punishment: The removal of something the dog finds rewarding in order to reduce the likelihood of a behaviour reoccurring.