Wits End Dog Training: helping you to help your dog be the best it can be

Wits End Dog Training, helping you to help your dog be the best it can be.

Wits End Dog Training | The Philosophy

The Philosophy behind Wits End Dog Training

The goal is to train each dog to have a thinking moment between stimulus and response during which they draw comparisons with experiences during training and evaluate the appropriate response.


If you are going to train dogs, make an effort to learn “dog”.

The language dogs use is mostly non-verbal. It is vital that your words, body language and behaviors are congruent and believable. Be consistent in everything you do, dogs get easily confused when the message and the direction change frequently. If your dog is about to learn, stay out of his way. Give the dog time and space to learn the lesson. Have courage, be persistent. Be gentle, still and calm. Be careful that what you are rewarding is the behavior you seek. Be careful that you bring the energy you seek.

"If you wish for calmness in your dog,
for a down-stay for example, be calm.
If you wish for playfulness,
for a recall, for example, bring spirit!"

Keep it simple, speak “Plain English”.
You are the adult in this relationship.
It is your responsibility to create an environment in which your dog can learn.

There is no such thing as teaching, only learning. Your dog is always learning, training is making sure it is learning what you want it to learn.

The most important step is step one, start training today. In dog training, slow is fast. Make it easy for your dog to do right and difficult to do wrong. A great trainer does not cause a dog to perform, a great trainer releases a dog from his confusion and allows the dog to want to perform.

"Your role is to open the window and let the learning
flood in like sunrise in the morning."

My goal is to train each dog to have a thinking moment between stimulus and response during which they draw comparisons with experiences during training and evaluate the appropriate response. Therefore the training program that I create must include a wide range of everyday situations to ensure that the dog is able to generalize a response in similar situations. Dogs do not generalize easily so it is literally impossible to train quickly to a high standard. Accept this and commit to take as long as you and your dog need to achieve your goals. There are no short cuts or quick fixes. Believe in the power of focus and consistency. Focus on the things that make the difference and work on them as hard as you can.

"Even bright intelligent humans go to school for twelve years!"

Non-violence, respect and trust are the cornerstones of great training and the foundation of a wonderful lifelong relationship with your dog.

When adrenaline is way up, learning is way down. When pressure, stress or anxiety is added to the equation, the learning frequently stops. When anger starts, learning stops. Therefore anger, aggression and violence have no place in dog training.

Everyone has the right to fail. You learned something and so did your dog.

A good trainer can see a dog talk, a great trainer seems telepathic, in both directions.
Watch your dog, listen to what you see. Observe, intently, with all your senses and learn from it. Be open to intuition. If your dog wants to argue, send it away, emotionally.

"A simple head turn and gaze avoidance can be
a very effective punishment, keep it short."

Everyone must be responsible for their own actions and the consequences.

There is no such thing as a bad dog. There are untrained dogs, poorly trained dogs, confused dogs, and frightened dogs. Most of them are that way because we failed them. We watched them and we did not see.

Be creative. There are a thousand ways you can tackle one issue or one problem, and it is always going to be different. One dog may not respond as well to something as would another, so please be sensitive to signs of progress or regress and constantly be prepared to change your approach.

"Pay attention!
Only stop what is not working,
do more of what is working!"

We need to accept responsibility for our actions and take responsibility for our dogs, they are not disposable. Do whatever it takes.




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