Many dog trainers these days now use “positive” terms even if they are not hands-off, reward-based, gentle trainers. “Balanced” trainers use all four of the operant conditioning options (see our Positive Training page), therefore claiming that they are “positive trainers”.
Be careful of trainers who call themselves “positive” because they may be using positive punishment. Also, some classical conditioning techniques shown on TV (including “flooding” and aversive behavior training) are not suitable nor acceptable in a truly positive dog trainer’s toolbox. It’s becoming a word battle and a marketing scheme, but make sure trainers are telling the truth about their particular style of training. There is no magic; pain and fear is pain and fear.
Dog Trainer Credentials
Professional and peaceful dog trainers may have credentials from one of these reputable training schools or societies in the U.S.
- PMCT: Pat Miller Certified Trainer
Peaceable Paws’ mission is to foster harmony between the human and non-human animals of our world through dog training and animal behavior consultation services and seminars; consulting services for animal protection organizations; and writings that support and promote a philosophy of respect for life.
- PPG: Pet Professional Guild
The Pet Professional Guild is a membership organization representing pet industry professionals who are committed to results-based, science-based, force-free training and pet care. Pet Professional Guild Members understand “force-free” to mean: No Shock, No Pain, No Choke, No Fear, No Physical Force, and No Compulsion Based Methods are ever employed to train or care for a pet.
- CCPDT (CPDT): Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, the leading independent certifying organization for the dog training profession.
Please refer to our Positive Dog Trainers Directory for a list of U.S. trainers who are highly skilled and credentialed in this gentle, but effective method.