What about Force Free Dog Training?

What is Force Free Training?

 Force Free Dog Training means not using force or punishment to train a dog. Force and corporal punishment can be defined as pulling or controlling cables using verbal or physical punishment. To make matters worse, you can even ring your dog’s collar or make a noise or electric shock to your dog. So-called “training collars” and choker chains are also punishment for dogs. As these collars tighten, your dog will develop fear and panic as it interferes with normal breathing. When thinking about how to train your dog, you think of anything that causes pain, discomfort, or fear in your dog.

One of the biggest misconceptions is that force free dog training does not mean you cannot, and should not, correct your dog when it misbehaves. It does mean that you are working to help your dog learn an appropriate behavior using reinforcement instead of an alpha (master/slave) relationship.

More About Force-Free Training

Force-free, or Positive Reinforcement (PR), training is focused on providing your dog something that is reinforcing or desirable, like a treat or praise, immediately when the desired behavior occurs

The result is an increased likelihood of the dog doing that behavior again in the future

Why use or not use Force-Free Training

Why useWhy Do not Use
You and the dog learn togetherFear to overwhelm and bully a dog
You are both accountable for your actions and reactionsPain to cause a dog to shut down emotionally
Training is a lifestyleAnger to break your dog’s trust
The dog is allowed to say ‘no please’
Bribery (only) to make working with a dog easier
It is based on respect, humane expectations, and relationship
Quick fix methods that does not correct the behavior

Why is force free training more effective than other methods?

Imagine this, your dog is happy, free of fear, force, pain or discomfort, relaxed and enjoying training. All of those things mean your dog trusts you and you have a fantastic lifelong connection that will grow stronger over time. Combine this with food, toys or affection as a reward and your dog is definitely more likely to want to do the behaviour you are asking. Most importantly they will do the behaviour because they genuinely want to. Not because they are worried about the consequences if they don’t.

Force-Free Dog Training at Home

Force-Free Dog Training at Home

If you guessed positive reinforcement, then you’re right! Positive reinforcement is the core concept of force-free dog training. When using positive reinforcement techniques, your dog will learn to connect a positive action with a reward or praise.

Negative punishment also applies to force-free training. This is the process of correcting unwanted behaviour in a force-free manner.

An example would be when your dog jumps at you to get your attention. Force-free correcting would involve you turning your back to your dog and ignoring him. This tells him that his behaviour will not get him the attention or reward that he is looking for.

Applying this training style at home is easier than you think. You may already be using force-free dog training methods, and you just don’t know it.

Simple tasks like treat training are a great way to teach your dog good behaviour. Start small, and work up to more challenging behaviours. Here are some simple lessons you can start with to help you build a trusting bond with your dog:

1. Basic Treat Training

puppy training methods

This is the foundation of most training. Simple one-word commands can be used in many situations, and can help to keep your dog safe and attentive to your commands.

Start with easy commands like sit, stay, or paw. Reward quickly for each successful attempt. Once your dog is confident demonstrating these commands, you can start to apply them to new situations.

For example, using the sit command when guests come over will be challenging for excited dogs, but it will help to keep them calm and prevent behaviors like jumping. In time, that behaviour will become second nature, and your dog will start new interactions with this action.

Make sure that you continue to praise for this behavior well after it is learned. A simple good dog or a pat on the head will let them know that they are doing the right thing.

To make treat training fun, you have to have fun treats. Find your dog’s favorite in The Best Training Treats for Dogs.

2. Good Walking Behavior


Teaching your dog to walk beside or at least very close will give you more control over your dog’s safety. This is called loose-leash walking.

Whether you are at a dog park, on a walk, or in a pet store, you can keep your dog safer if they are close to you and paying attention to your movement.

Directing them by not letting them, lead is a great way to teach this. Force free best dog training methods for loose-leash walking use both positive reinforcement and negative punishment.

When your dog pulls, stop and casually walk in a different direction. By taking away their control over the direction of the walk (P-), and then reinforcing and rewarding when they turn to follow you (R+), you are telling your dog that following your movements and directions is correct.

For more tips on good walking behavior, check out How to Stop Your Dog From Pulling on Leash.

3. Homecoming

It’s very common for dogs to be excited when you come home. Teaching them to stay calm until you are ready to give attention can be tricky, but with some repetition, not impossible.

Using the P- technique, ignore your dog. He may jump, bark, roll or do anything to get your attention. Don’t look at him, speak to him, or pet him.

Once he calms himself, cites, or otherwise stops the unwanted behavior, then you can reward him. For some dogs this can be a minute or two, for others, it could be an hour. By not reacting to them, and only rewarding the good behaviors, your dog will learn that calm, quiet behavior is correct.

Initiative for force-free dog training

The aim of the Initiative for Force-free Dog Training is to make available to a wide audience a science-based, ethical and empathetic way of living and working with dogs, above all during their training. The Initiative for Force-free Dog Training is a combined effort (see position paper and code of conduct) by qualified professionals, whose methods correspond to current scientific knowledge (548 people to date, 16.2.2022), together with international organisations such as the Swiss Veterinary Society for Behavioural Medicine, The Pet Profesional Guild, The Pet Dog Trainers of Europe, Foundation for the Animal in Law (Stiftung für das Tier im Recht) to name but a few.

Why is force free dog training better for you and your dog?

This is because dogs do what feels good and what works for them. When training your dog you can use this to your advantage by making a positive association with the behaviours you want, and ignoring or redirecting undesirable behaviours.

Our dogs are our family, so none of us would ever chose to make our dog feel fearful or worried or in any discomfort. The good news is, that’s where force free dog training can help you.

Imagine you’re a dog! I ask you to sit and when you do, I give you your most favourite food or toy in the world. Are you going to sit when I ask you again? OF COURSE, YOU ARE!!!
Force free training re-enforces good behavior using the things that your dog loves the most. These tend to be Food, Toys and affection!
Force free trainers will use a food lure to shape and train the behavior first. Once your dog understands what they have to do the food lure becomes a verbal or hand signal cue and the food follows after a marker word like ‘good’. It’s as easy as that!

What is Fear Free Training Program?

Completion of the Fear Free Animal Trainer Program allows trainers to work with veterinary teams to prevent and alleviate anxiety, fear and stress and to improve the animal’s emotional well-being during veterinary and home care. This certification program is designed to provide qualified animal trainers with the knowledge and tools necessary to initiate Animal Fearless techniques with the implementation of Animal Fearless techniques to their veterinary hospital clients through the classrooms. in the clinical training of puppies and kittens and in daily training. pets.

Is your dog’s vet experience fear free? Or is he dog afraid at the vet? Does the thought of taking your dog to the vet stress you out too? Do you wish your dog couldfear free be calm and relaxed when being examined by the vet? Does your dog struggle at the groomer or not like it when you brush him? Does your dog have nervous energy and just too excited at the vet or the groomer? We can help you!

Fear Free Program

Pepper’s Paws Head Trainer Deb Murray specializes in working with fearful dogs and is a Certified Fear Free Animal Trainer . Deb’s techniques and training protocols can help dogs relax and feel more comfortable at the vet. We can teach your dog to accept (and even enjoy!) handling by the vet staff. Imagine your dog being happy get on the scale to be weighed, and even participate in their own care. You and your dog don’t have to be stressed out at the vet! Let us help your dog learn to love going to the vet!Our goal is to teach you how to reduce your dog’s, anxiety, and stress – at the vet and in life in general.

Force free dog training videos

Here you can learn about Force free dog tranning.


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