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Finding Trainers Part 3- Navigating through the Vocabulary 

by Zoe Van Craen

In both parts 1 and 2 of this blog series, I mentioned that balanced trainers sometimes pose as modern trainers by mentioning that they use “positive reinforcement”, are “science-based”, and avoiding obvious words that describe punishments. Instead of "punishment", they will use extremely tricky vocabulary and euphemisms to hide the fact that they still use aversive techniques. 

My goal in this final part is to break down the vocabulary and help you identify and analyze these words. 

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Finding Trainers Part 2- Questions for Transparency 

by Zoe Van Craen

In the first part of this series, we looked at common questions and criteria that one can ask to find a good dog trainer, and the pros and cons of each of those. 

Some of the dog trainer criteria mentioned in the last blog was to: 

  • Avoid trainers who make any reference to packs, alphas, and dominance 
  • Pick trainers that mention positive reinforcement, science-based training, and force-free methods 
  • Avoid trainers that do NOT mention positive reinforcement or other key words 
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Finding Trainers Part 1- Examining the "Criteria" 

by Zoé Van Craen

It’s not uncommon to see dog training blogs trying to help pet owners find a quality trainer (Montreal Dog Blog, Positively, Companion Animal Psychology, BCSPCA, etc). The advice they give typically includes a list of criteria or questions that you can ask a trainer to find out if they are qualified or not. 

But more often than not, I find that these lists can be lacking; not only is it possible for a good Force-Free trainer to not “qualify” by some of these standards, but sometimes…

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