Force-free trainers do NOT use shock collars (e-collars/stim collars), prong collars, choke collars, nor any other type of coercion, fear, intimidation, or pain to "educate" an animal. Pain and coercion do not accelerate learning, but rather delay it, nor do they truly change behavior. Our training approach is positive, family-friendly, and rewards-based. This means that we reward the dog for performing the desired behavior, which clearly helps the dog see what is expected, and we redirect unwanted behavior. Positive does not mean permissive. It does mean that we teach, not threaten, with a fair approach so that dogs truly will enjoy learning and form a trusting bond with their owners.
American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB):
"It is vitally important that veterinarians be knowledgeable about the qualifications and behavior modification methodologies used by non-veterinarians to whom they refer clients. Non-veterinarians often play an integral role in the animal health care team. However, if outdated and inhumane methods are used by such individuals, they can cause irreversible harm to the patient and result in client injury.
American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB):
"Even in the relatively few cases where aggression is related to rank, applying animal social theory and mimicking how animals would respond can pose a problem. First, it can cause one to use punishment, which may suppress aggression without addressing problems, including those that mimick resource guarding, the use of punishment can directly exacerbate the problem by increasing the animal's fear or anxiety. (AVSAB 2007)
University of Pennsylvania:
"Nationwide, the number 1 reason dog owners take their pet to a veterinary behaviorist is to manage aggressive behavior," Meghan E. Herron, lead author of the study, said."Our study demonstrated that many confrontational training methods, whether staring down dogs, striking them, or intimidating them with physical manipulation, does little to correct improper behavior and can elicit aggressive responses." The study, published in the journal Applied Animal Behavior Science, also showed that using non-aversive or neutral training methods, such as exercise or rewards, elicited very few aggressive responses.