To be honest, I don’t use force free dog trainers. I work with trainers who advocate for balanced training. But I love reading and following force free dog trainers.
Force Free Dog Trainers Challenge Me
It’s easy to let corrections be the answer any time your dog doesn’t comply, but more often than not, the right answer is patience or a change in your approach. Force free dog trainers use corrections, but not in the form of tools like prong collars and never as the first answer.
When you follow force free trainers, you see a different way of handling corrections. You also see an approach that starts with the assumption that your dog doesn’t understand what you’re asking.
To be clear, good balanced dog trainers do this too. It just isn’t always as obvious.
All good dog trainers break down an exercise to teach a dog each piece before putting it all together. All good dog trainers repeat simple exercises in multiple places before expecting a dog to understand in every situation.
This process just tends to be more clear with force free dog trainers who rarely use corrections. Force free dog training works if you have the time and commitment to make it work.
Following trainers who use force free methods challenges me to fully think through what I use for corrections and tools.
Force Free Dog Trainers Explain the Whys
Most force free trainers are on a mission to spread force free dog training or at least to spread more awareness of how to more humanely train our dogs. Given that, they frequently take the time to explain why they’re doing what they do.
Force free trainers are generally very generous with explaining the science behind what they’re doing. They usually make it a point to explain dog training terminology.
In my experience, balanced trainers will explain when asked, but they generally let the results speak for themselves.
My Favorite Force Free Trainer
My favorite force free dog trainer is Zak George. I follow him on YouTube and Instagram and love watching him train. I’m especially enjoying his current series and the previous series where he’s training rescues. (My favorite dogs!)
While he manages to stir the pot with his force free methods, I personally avoid the debates in the comments. Instead, I just enjoy his videos. He clearly loves the dogs he trains and believes in his methods. He explains everything he does in detail, which I love.
I’ve learned a lot from Zak’s videos and his books. I had a teacher once upon a time that said if you aren’t learning something from everyone you meet, you aren’t paying attention. The most important thing I learned from Zak? My bond with my dogs is my best training currency.
For now, I will continue working with the fabulous local balanced trainers, who have also taught me so much about how to train my dogs. But I will also continue to follow, to learn from, and to support Zak George’s Training Revolution.
I’m curious… What training methods do you use? Who are your favorite trainers?