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Our Position on Canine Training

AWLFC believes that reward based training methods (positive reinforcement or clicker training) are the most efficient and effective to train your dog.

We are committed to modern, scientifically-based dog training that promotes teamwork, mutual respect and a harmonious relationship between dog and human.

AWLFC advocates these training methods because they focus on rewarding desired behaviors and discouraging undesirable behaviors using clear and consistent instructions and avoiding psychological and physical intimidation. We highly recommend that owners experiencing difficulties with their dog seek professional help from a qualified, professional trainer, behaviorist or veterinary behaviorist who will teach how to modify the behaviors using positive methods. We recommend a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) or a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP).

AWLFC opposes the use of aversive training methods and tools.

These methods involve punishment dominance or pack leader theory. Aversive training tools should be avoided because they have been proven to increase fear and anxiety. These adverse training tools include, but are not limited to:

• shock collars (electric collars, e-collars)

• choke chains (chokers, training collars)

• prong collars (pinch collars)

Dominance ideology, used on popular television shows, should also not be used as a training method. The use of this training method is proven to result in miscommunication between dog and owner and increases anxiety, stress and fear. AWLFC opposes any use of force, intimidation or physical manipulation in dog training as we see these methods as unethical, inefficient and ineffective.

Suggested Readings

• American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior – Position Statements

• Association of Pet Dog Trainers Position Statement – Dominance and Dog Training

• The Dominance Controversy and Cesar Millan, by Dr. Sophia Yin



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