• Dog Training Philosophy

  • Kindness. Compassion. Communication.

    Go Dog Go! is committed to using positive training techniques to help dogs and their people develop joyous relationships based on trust.  We believe training should be fun and enjoyable for all involved, and our goal is never to develop subservience or suppress behaviour.  We don't want to scare our canine partners into compliance. Instead, our goal is to develop dogs who balance enthusiasm with self control by using a rewarding play based approach that really makes dogs think of training and obedience as fun interaction with us. 

    Through a positive training approach, we develop dogs whose greatest joy is to do the right thing, rather than just doing the right thing because they are afraid to make a mistake. By building a solid foundation for a loving, trusting and respectful relationship, we develop our dog’s motivation to be our willing partner and we wind up with a dog who is attentive and enthusiastic.   We are rewarded with top quality results that can only be achieved when dog and handler are truly members of a team that is dedicated to achieving a common goal.     

    In any relationship, communication must go both ways. When we are teaching a dog, we must always be aware that we are communicating with a member of a foreign species who has no way of knowing what we want, or anything else about our human culture or social rules.  Dogs use facial expressions and body language to communicate with us very clearly (when we are able to read their language).  Training is a breeze when everyone understands one another.  We want our students to enjoy a lifetime of joyful experiences with their canine companions, so we endeavour to teach our human students how to understand their dogs, and how to communicate with them in a way that dogs can understand.

    We know there are other ways to train dogs, but positive reinforcement is the easiest, most effective and most humane way to teach any desired behaviour.  If your dog does something you want and you give him a treat or other reward, he learns to repeat that behaviour. You simply can’t get as fast, reliable or as joyful a result any other way.  We all want a dog who is confident, secure, and eager to please. Training happens in every interaction with your dog, not just in the 20 minutes per day you spend in dedicated training  A strong dog/handler bond is key to effective dog training.  

    If at any time, the dog does not do what we are trying to teach him, we must acknowledge that we are not effectively communicating with him.  This might be because our communications strategy is flawed, or because the dog is distracted by something. Always set the dog up for success and then reward it.  Celebrate because you have just effectively communicated with, and achieved teamwork with a member of a foreign species who had no way of knowing what you wanted him to do.   That is quite an accomplishment!



    Positive Training Includes:        

    • training by rewarding desirable behaviours
    • rewards of treats, toys, praise, and play
    • marker, clicker training, luring, capturing, and shaping
    • discipline through time outs, removal of attention or something else the dog likes
    • understanding the dog is a sentient being
    • a lot of laughter
    • being on the dog’s team

    Positive Training Does NOT Include:   

    • violence, intimidation, domination behaviours, frightening, teasing, significant stress
    • force based techniques/force physical manipulation, compulsion/coercion based techniques (do it or else I will correct you)
    • unrealistic training goals
    • expecting the dog to intrinsically understand what we want of him
    • pitting dog against human
    • frustration or anger

    As a CCPDT-KA certified member we are bound to using humane training as set out in their guidelines.  We train according to the humane hierarchy and while positive punishment fits within this protocol, we never have to go there. That's the joy of training using positive methods and clear communication.  Learning should be a happy place.

    "If you make me cook spaghetti for you with a gun... you put a gun here and say 'if you don't cook spaghetti for me, I will kill you.'
    ...For sure you will have spaghetti. For sure. But the quality is different when we are best friends and you say 'I really want you to cook spaghetti because it's my favourite dinner and we will enjoy spaghetti together with a good bottle of red wine.' This is the difference."