Some of the best qualities a dog owner can have include compassion, kindness, gentle affection, a reassuring attitude, a keen sense of observation, being calm and self-aware as well as having lots, and lots of patience. It also helps to be well-read, skeptical, organised and gently persistent when applying any training methods in order to do the least or possibly no harm to your dog as well as enjoying learning from each other and forming a loving relationship based on trust, education and feeling safe.

After having brought up two Chinooks, it's clear there are numerous training methods to employ and hundreds of people who claim to be good dog trainers. It really is a case of "The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know." (Albert Einstein)

 

As humans, we will probably never know exactly what a dog is thinking or the true meaning behind their behaviour because we are not dogs but what some people have tried to do is to study and observe their behaviour and sometimes test their cognitive abilities. The key point that is the cornerstone of modern dog training is that dog trainers strive to create a positive environment that elicits and reinforces wanted behaviours and redirects and ignores unwanted behaviours. In other words, we are 'setting them up for success'. The following dog trainers are people whose methods 'spoke' to me the most.

Veterinarian, animal behaviorist, and dog trainer, Dr. Ian Dunbar received his veterinary degree and a Special Honors degree in Physiology & Biochemistry from the Royal Veterinary College (London University) plus a doctorate in animal behavior from the Psychology Department at UC Berkeley, where he researched the development of social hierarchies and aggression in domestic dogs.

​Karen Pryor is an American author who specialized in behavioral psychology and marine mammal biology. She is a founder and proponent of clicker training.

Turid Rugaas is a Norwegian dog trainer who has identified some 30 calming signals to explain the communication of dogs.

Emily Larlham is a dog trainer who uses only Progressive Reinforcement Training, a type of training that involves no forms of physical or psychological intimidation.

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