News Menu

Embracing a Kinder Approach to Dog Training

In my journey of caring for and understanding dogs, I’ve continuously been inspired to move away from outdated training methods and towards more enlightened, science-based practices. I was actually kind of turned off by training, as I failed to see any joy and playfulness in it, at best rote learning. Luckily, a change came, a revolution in our understanding of animal behavior, inspired by our understanding of child care.

H.G. Wells' "The Island of Doctor Moreau" presents a chilling narrative where animals, transformed into quasi-human forms through painful experiments, are subjected to a harsh set of rules—The Law. In the 1996 film adaptation, a poignant scene depicts a creature painfully 'corrected' by an electric shock collar, reminiscent of the all-too-real methods still used in dog training today.

It deeply concerns us that aversive training techniques—utilizing tools such as shock collars, prong collars, and choke collars—are still prevalent. The scientific community has widely recognized the harm these methods can cause, making their continued use both unethical and unnecessary.

Significant advancements have taken place in our understanding of dogs’ behavior and their emotions . Dogs are not mere creatures to be programmed but sentient beings deserving of respect and empathy. Their training should reflect the same nurturing we would provide to our own children, helping them to adapt and thrive alongside us.

Authors like Kathy Callahan and Kim Brophy have been hugely inspirational for me. Kathy Callahan, in her book "Welcoming Your Puppy from Planet Dog," beautifully describes puppies as beings from another world, thrust into ours, highlighting our responsibility to accommodate and nurture them accordingly.

Kim Brophy's work in "Meet Your Dog" challenges us to rethink how we keep dogs in our modern world. Merely providing food and shelter isn't enough. We must consider their entire environment, genetics, and the uniqueness of each dog.

Brophy's L.E.G.S. model emphasizes Learning, Environment, Genetics, and Self, recognizing that not all behavioral issues can be resolved through training alone. Sometimes, we must modify the environment or acknowledge genetic predispositions.

Both advocate for a holistic approach that respects each dog's unique needs and predispositions.

At A Walk in the Park, we reject quick-fix solutions that rely on intimidation or discomfort. Our approach is grounded in positive reinforcement, focusing on the overall well-being of our canine clients. We strive to create a training environment that is free from fear, offering programs that encourage dogs to engage at their own comfort level, and turning training into a fun, enriching experience for both dogs and their owners.

If you're ready to experience a revolutionary approach to dog training that prioritizes the emotional and physical health of your pets, we invite you to reach out. Learn more about our training options and join a community dedicated to compassionate care.

For further details or to discuss how we can assist with your dog's training needs, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

With respect and commitment,

Dirk Broersma, CPACO, Fear Free Certified


Click To Learn More About: Welcoming Your Puppy From Planet Dog

Welcoming Your Puppy


Click To Learn More About: Meet Your Dog

Meet Your Dog