Canine Behavior & Training

Behavior continues to be one of the most common reasons dogs are re-homed and/or euthanized by shelters in the United States. Many behavior problems are preventable with proactive training and early intervention. Please consider behavior wellness to be a vital part of your dog’s overall health. If a new puppy or dog is joining your family, if you are experiencing a behavior problem with your dog, or if you just want to learn more, please explore all the resources we have to recommend. Click here for Help with Problem Behaviors.

New puppy? Click here!

How to Get Started

1. Read a book from our Behavior Book List

2. Attend a training class or hire a behavior professional for a private session

3. Visit recommended positive reinforcement websites for free articles and videos

Why Positive Methods

Over the last 20 years, scientific research has shown that positive, humane methods work, and there is no longer any justification for using force and punishment in dog training.  Pet owners, veterinarians, zoo and aquarium professionals have discovered they can effectively train dogs, cats, horses, giraffes, seals, elephants, octopi, and chickens without force or fear. Good training techniques are fun and improve the communication between you and your dog. If you have previously tried positive reinforcement training with your dog and not found success, please contact us or one of our recommended trainers for help trouble-shooting.

Despite the popularity of dominance-based and coercive training on TV, recent studies have shown that antagonistic techniques actually impede learning and incite aggression. See links below for more information and articles:

AVSAB Position Statements on Dominance and Punishment in training

WE’RE POSITIVE: How we know that training with lots of positive reinforcement is best

New Study Finds Popular “Alpha Dog” Training Techniques Can Cause More Harm than Good

Confrontational Techniques Elicit Aggression

Video of Dr. L David Mech, the scientist who coined the term "alpha"

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