Pupstart Family Dog Training

Training Philosophy

First, do no harm.

  • Never make an animal afraid of you.

  • Nothing done in the name of training should lead to confusion, physical discomfort, or undue stress for dogs or their humans.

Does your dog have The Five Freedoms?

  • Freedom from hunger and thirst - ready access to fresh water and an optimal diet to maintain health and vigor.

  • Freedom from discomfort - by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.

  • Freedom from pain, injury, or disease -  by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.

  • Freedom to express normal behavior - by providing sufficient space, proper facilities, exercise, mental stimulation, and companionship.

  • Freedom from fear and distress - by ensuring conditions, treatment, and training which avoid mental suffering.

Know your species.

  • English is your dog's second language.

  • There's no need to show physical dominance over your dog or emit some psychic "energy" to get your dog to "listen" to you.

  • Repeating commands over and over while raising your voice is not training.

  • Training alone cannot resolve undesirable behavior unless your dog's physical, social, and emotional needs are met.

Training is done with a dog, not to a dog.

  • Every client can and is happy to carry out the training plan.

  • You can train your dog through everyday interactions and brief, frequent training sessions. Your dog has already learned via daily interactions what "good things for dogs" vs. "yucky things for dogs" mean - and is acting accordingly - so you've already started training.

  • All techniques and tools used will be efficient and effective yet enjoyable for the dog and every member of its human family. Pupstart adheres to the LIMA principle for humans and dogs.

    • You'll learn about new equipment and techniques that work even better if you're using a chain or prong collar now.

    • Pupstart does not use or endorse vibrating collars or collars emitting electronic stimulation during training or behavior modification. (Electronic collar stimulation, sometimes called "corrections," is referred to as "just like a tap on the shoulder," "e-touch," "stim," "nic," or "static.") A dog cannot tell us in an obvious manner how it experiences these tools. Dog owners and even many dog trainers don't realize how these tools affect a dog because they are uneducated on how a dog manifests discomfort and stress. I have not met a pet dog trainer using e-collars who is educated on dog body language, normal canine behavior, or any up-to-date science on dogs as a species. 

      E-collars work because they cause mild to moderate physical discomfort. The tools and methods that employ avoidance of something unpleasant as a primary technique should be avoided. They are undesirable to help with fear, anxiety, and aggression. Too often, these tools increase a dog's discomfort with triggering situations. They can also cause a dog to attribute its surroundings to those unpleasant sensations rather than the undesirable behavior we want to change.

"Force has no place where there is need of skill." – Herodotus, Greek historian & traveler (484 BC - 430 BC)

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