Don't be afraid!

 Doing things differently starts with seeing things differently, challenging our perceptions, and re-examining our assumptions. 

By, Cameron Ford

Above all, be kind. Remember that dogs are dogs, not humans. They are not born with bad behaviors, they are born with NATURAL behaviors that are unique to their species and serve a purpose for them. Dogs have their own set of skills, and ways of communicating that are very different from humans and should be allowed, when appropriate, to be dogs. We are two different species trying to co-exist in a human-dominated world.


Dogs see the world first, through their noses, they greet and interact with us and, their own kind differently, they do not have verbal language, they communicate with their bodies in place of speech. They are dogs and, we should not, through ignorance, constantly rob them of their right to exist and function as they were meant to.


A dog's natural behaviors may seem annoying at times. If we find it so, then it is our responsibility and moral obligation as dog owners to find and, teach them alternatives for the ones we find disagreeable and, do it in the least intrusive way--using methods that do not cause pain, confusion, or fear or damage to their beautiful minds and our relationship with them.


Dogs are not machines. They are unique living, breathing animals that have their own set of desires and agendas that are relevant and meaningful to them. Regardless of whether we like it or not, a dog's natural behaviors serve a purpose among its own kind. Our classes go above and beyond obedience. They are about learning communication skills, co-existing with your dog, and having a harmonious relationship while walking beside a man's best friends. 


Here at the Canine Training Academy we are dedicated to bringing more joy and less frustration into the lives of the people and dogs who choose to learn from us.


Our curriculum is grounded in science-based, training methods to train dogs or modify unwanted or problematic behaviors. We are dedicated to teaching our clients training techniques that not only work to produce a dog that is a happy and willing participant in its training but also avoids the use of harsh or scary corrections, coercion, or dominance-based training practices. We help build life-long relationships between dogs and owners based on mutual respect and trust. In keeping with our level of education and training experience, it is our opinion that it is not necessary to use fear, so-called dominance or pack-leader methods, or harsh coercive methods to train our best friends.


Here are just a few reasons why we choose to train pet dogs the way we do.


There is always a cost associated with the use of extremely harsh or aversive training methods. Dominance-based (pack-leader) training methods that advocate choking, screaming kicking, hitting and pinning, or rolling dogs only serve to scare and intimidate and can create stress, distrust, fear, aggression, or severe avoidance issues at the hands of inexperienced owners and trainers. Using these types of methods can also poison cues (commands), may be dangerous and, in some cases, can cause aggressive behavior in your dog later down the road. Once fear is installed in a dog through harsh training methods or even by accident or misadventure it is almost impossible to completely reverse its effects. 


We are firm believers in helping you train your dog and understand its behaviors better by:

  • Creating an environment that provides optimal learning for you and your dog.

  • Communicating with, and coaching our clients on a level they can understand.

  • Teaching our clients a "marker system" technique. This type of training provides clarity for dogs that will last for life.

  • Utilizing training protocols that are grounded in the science of operant and classical conditioning. (This is scientific lingo for how animals actually learn things).

  • Teaching our clients how to install strong, fluent behavior without using harsh punishment-based training.

  • Working with clients to improve the overall training experience by educating them about how animals learn and how best to teach them. We believe this approach to training and behavior modification speeds up the learning process, provides clarity for dogs, eliminates fear, and decreases frustration and stress levels for both clients and dogs.

  • Educating clients about "why he does that" (normalizing the most common undesirable behaviors). 

  • Providing creative and humane solutions for common behavior problems.

  • Providing protocols for managing and enriching the lives of dogs and dog owners in general.

  • Helping our clients build a relationship with your dog that is not based on fear or avoidance.


​Our Promise to you and your dog.


​Although we cannot guarantee training results, we are dedicated to delivering easily understood training protocols based on the science of animal learning and helping you achieve training goals that are reasonable and within our ability and expertise. 


We don't use the following aversive training methods or gear in our pet dog classes. 

  • Dominance or pack-leader-type methods such as pinning, rolling, coercion, or scaring dogs. (Which can cause trauma, fear, stress, or aggression.) 

  • Harsh physical or verbal punishment.

  • Choke chains or pinch collars.


We do use:

  • Food, toys, praise, and smiles to motivate dogs. 

  • Clickers and verbal markers for clarity and communication during the training process.

  • The word "NO"

  • Leashes.

  • No-pull harnesses and gentle leaders for dogs that pull too hard during walks.

  • Leashes, long lines, boundary gates, crates, and muzzle training for management when necessary.

  • Management strategies to help clients manage problem behaviors.

  • Flat collars, martingale-style collars, harnesses, and in special cases, pinch collars. 

  • Science, patience, and professionalism to train dogs and clients. 


The use of e-collars is reserved for cases where dogs need strict off-leash management and require owners to attend specialized training classes.


Unfortunately, there are currently no standards or educational requirements that dog trainers must comply with to train dogs. ANYONE can say they are a dog trainer. When seeking out training for your best friend, we highly recommend that you take the time to ask questions first before choosing a trainer. Trainers should be transparent and upfront about the methods they are going to use to train your dog but, that is not always the case. Always ASK. Inquire about their experience and formal education and what types of training methods are going to be used before agreeing to any training program. Armed with information, you can make an informed choice about how you want your dog trained.

Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.

Benjamin Franklin