Dogs in the Park
Where Dogs and their People Build Better Relationships!

Training Methods and Philosophy

Training methods and philosophy

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Methods and Philosophy

At Dogs in The Park we help you to develop a deep and meaningful relationship with your dog through thoughtful, humane training methods.  We work hard to make sure that all of our staff are well prepared to solve training puzzles with you as you work through the programs with your dogs.  What exactly does this mean?  

To begin with, all of our staff follow the Humane Hierarchy when choosing a method of training. The Humane Hierarchy is a tool used by trainers to determine what they need to do when addressing a training situation.  As an example, when we are teaching a dog to walk on a leash we have many options about how to do that and the option we choose might depend on the dog, the family and the situation we find ourselves within.  We need to make sure that the dog's needs are met before we ever start; is he too hungry or thirsty to work?  Then we must address that first!  If a dog is injured, we would not choose to teach him to walk on a loose leash until his injuries were treated.  We might choose to use a treat when the dog is in the correct position, or we could choose to stop and wait when he is in the wrong position.  There are lots of options and the option we choose will depend upon the situation that the student is working on.

If you are interested in more information about the Humane Hierarchy, you can learn more at

Most of the skills we teach will be taught using the clicker to mark the correct behaviour, but we may choose to use another way if that is most appropriate.  All of our training is founded on the idea that the dog must show excellent self control before we ask him to do anything.  We teach you to teach your dog to relax, and control his impulses in order to prepare to learn.

There are a few tools we do not permit in our classroom.  We do not permit choke chains and some harnesses that operate by creating pain to control your dog.  We do not generally permit electrical stimulation collars, although we do permit vibration collars for communicating with deaf dogs.  We do permit electrical collars with GPS units.   If you are in doubt about a piece of equipment, email us at for clarification.