Welfare in Dog Training

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The aim of this web-site is to provide the media and members of the public with more information about the behaviour of dogs, the possible consequences of using aversive training techniques, and where to go for appropriate advice on training and behaviour issues.

Some theories about the way in which dogs behave, and the kinds of techniques needed to alter behaviour, are almost ‘cultural’ in Western societies, and it can be difficult for people to change the way they think about dogs. However the scientific understanding of dog behaviour has moved forward a great deal in the past 20 years.

Many of the theories on which training and behaviour modification approaches were based in the past have been superseded by more modern approaches. Information on this web-site explains why using training techniques that rely on inducing pain and fear in dogs, based on the belief that dogs try to assert ‘dominance’ or achieve ‘status’, is a concept that is no longer regarded as a useful way of understanding dogs, but which is also potentially harmful.

We also explain the current approach to understanding social behaviour in dogs, and introduce how undesired behaviour such as aggression can develop. The reasons why the use of training based on punishment can potentially create behaviour problems and affect the welfare of dogs is presented. On this website, you will also find advice about how to identify a suitable trainer or behaviourist.

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