Force Free Dog Training? I Don’t Get It


The world of dog training is changing drastically. Training instructors are flocking to what is called “force free” training – using no corrections physical or verbal.

HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE????? I know many people are wondering. Some people with dogs try it and then slip back into correcting the bad behaviour. There is a need to clarify the method in the most simple terms as possible so people with dogs can absorb it and begin using the methods.

How to Train A Dog Without Corrections – Force Free:

Anything you can train a dog to do with correction based training can be done just as well with force free training. FACT. Anyone who tells you that it can’t be done is pulling your leg. It can be done and IS being done. The catch is, is that training your dog without corrections requires you to change your way of thinking. This is fortunate or unfortunate depending on how you see it. Truly some people will have trouble understanding this method.

How To Change Your Way Of Thinking – the basics:

1. Instead of telling the dog what he is doing wrong, you will only be telling him what he has done right or correct.

The dog is never wrong. He is always right based on the information that you are giving him. Retrain your mind to understand that a dog never knows what you want until you teach him what it is that you want. Simply, you will be rewarding the correct behaviour and ignoring the wrong one. YOU determine what is correct or incorrect. Your dog is ALWAYS being “good” because YOU are the only one who knows what is correct until you teach the dog. Teaching or training is done by repetition. This takes time and effort.

2. Speak less. Train more.

Humans talk, but the less you talk the less chance you have of using your voice to yell at or verbally reprimand the dog. Since your dog is learning, you will only be able to reward his correct actions (you can’t rightly correct a dog for doing something wrong if he doesn’t understand what you want). It will take a effort on your part to not say anything or get upset because your dog is not comprehending what you are trying to teach.

3. Resist the urge to get angry.

If you get angry it is only because you fear something. This is basic psychology. It is not because your dog is doing something wrong or not “listening” to you. You fear that you are a bad dog trainer, that you will never be able to have a well behaved dog, that your friends will laugh at you for being “soft”etc.

4.  You need to tell the dog what he has done right, but you will need to PREVENT the behaviours you DON’t want.

5. BELIEVE. This method works. Stick to it.

Using a method of teaching where the learner is rewarded for doing something you want instead of doing something you don’t want produces a less stressed more positive outlook and works just as well as correction based methods. There are gazillions of people around the world who are proving this daily. Do some research on the net to learn more.

For professional training instructors: I would  be interested to read what other force free trainers could write about directions for changing over to FF methods in simplest terms possible and the fewest words possible so people can wrap their minds around this method. Please write up a simple force free training explanation for those who don’t get it. Post your write up as a reply. Thanks

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