The Dog's Way Podcast: Dog Training for Real Life-logo

The Dog's Way Podcast: Dog Training for Real Life

Education Podcasts

The Dog's Way Podcast, with professional dog trainer Sean McDaniel, deals with practical dog obedience for real life situations. Sean gives you underlying theory and practical training assignments based in a more naturalistic dog training philosophy to help you solve the most common dog behavior issues. Sean shares his experience from over fifteen years of working with clients and their dogs, dealing with behavior modification, functional dog obedience issues and everyday dog training issues. In the “dog training podcasts”, Sean leaves you with homework assignments to help you begin practically dealing with your dog’s issues. Sean also, interviews leading dog issue experts in topics such as: your dog's diet, veterinary medicine, puppy raising, dog breeding and selecting the right dog for you.


Seattle, Washington


The Dog's Way Podcast, with professional dog trainer Sean McDaniel, deals with practical dog obedience for real life situations. Sean gives you underlying theory and practical training assignments based in a more naturalistic dog training philosophy to help you solve the most common dog behavior issues. Sean shares his experience from over fifteen years of working with clients and their dogs, dealing with behavior modification, functional dog obedience issues and everyday dog training issues. In the “dog training podcasts”, Sean leaves you with homework assignments to help you begin practically dealing with your dog’s issues. Sean also, interviews leading dog issue experts in topics such as: your dog's diet, veterinary medicine, puppy raising, dog breeding and selecting the right dog for you.







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Session 119: Which Training Collar is Right for You?

In this episode I talk about training collars. Are they right for you? And if so, what kind of training collar do you choose for your dog, and just as important... what kind to choose for your dog/owner combination? For those who may be opposed to the idea of a training collar, I still urge you to listen. After training hundreds of dogs I have some ideas to share that might help with your decision on the matter. Today's episode is sponsored by The Swiftest. Instead of doing all of the research yourself on what type of pet insurance to buy, consider clicking this link to rely on their extensive research. It's also a great way to support the show! The Minimum Collar for Training Martingale Collar: basic low level training collar. At a minimum I use a martingale collar like the one at this Amazon link (no plastic clasps, no chain loops) Here’s a link to find out more about this type of collar on Amazon. They also have them in most Pet stores. FYI – if you read the reviews of these collars, you’ll read some from people who left them on their dogs, while they were home alone all day, and they got the collar caught on things and choked themselves. So … don’t do that – problem solved. Note: make the size selection that is appropriate to your dog. Upgraded Training Collars Herm Sprenger Chain Collar: Medium level upgrade for more rambunctious dogs (again, more info on this at this link) Starmark Plastic Training Collar: Medium plus level of collar. (Note – these come with a redundant line slip collar that you use with this collar to guard against the possibility of an improperly fitted link coming apart and separating while you’re training – be sure to use this redundant safety collar when you’re using the Starmark collar.) Click here to view on Herm Sprenger Prong Collar: The highest level of leverage and the collar makes it easiest for you to manage your dog in training and on walks. We generally work our way out of this collar as a dog’s proficiency indicates that it’s not necessary anymore. Here is the metal collar link And an alternative Note: I often use a redundant slip collar (like the one indicated above as an alternative) when I use a prong collar. Because this training collar has separate movable pieces to it, there’s a possibility (usually human error) that sometimes results in the collar coming apart while training. The redundant slip collar assures you that you don’t lose your dog if this happens. Also, it’s worth stating that they have decided to name this slip collar a “dominant dog collar”? I’m not really sure why. It functions just as well for nondominant dogs that happen to have a training collar break and want to run across a busy road to play with another dog … guess they figured the name sounded cool? Full disclosure, this page contains affiliate links. We’ll make a few dollars if you purchase through the affiliate links. The Dog's Way Affiliate Program Additionally... we offer our online video course at If you'd like to refer others to it and make a few dollars at the same time, try our affiliate program! Affiliates Resources - The Dog's Way ( This process will be very straightforward if you are familiar with the Click Bank Affiliate platform. If you need help signing up with Click Bank and finding the course, there are a lot of videos on YouTube that will walk you through how to do it.


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Session 118: Use Transitional Rewards to Help Your Dog Settle

In this episode I talk about natural transitional rewards. Many may not have heard the term, but a lot of you may have used them in the training of your dog whether you realize it or not. If you want to do a real dive into the behavioral part of training, I encourage you to listen to my two episodes on conditioning - Session 73: Skinner's Four Quadrants Part One, and Session 74: Skinner's Four Quadrants Part Two. I'll talk about the conditioning baked into every day interactions with your dog (like the feeding ritual). The same thing goes for when we are preparing for a walk. Those rituals can be a good thing. But it's it's more than simply the obedience skill you're teaching - it's the nervous system state that is occurring during that sit/stay and from the moment that you give the command to "break free" or say "all done". I'll describe how those commands and practices get embedded in their head, and how that fixation needs to be inhibited in certain instances. Here are a couple of other instances where you might practically use this training; I'll talk about how sometimes we unintentionally signal to our dog when we reward certain types of gregarious responses is "I love it when you freak out and run around when I do this action!" Identifying those habits is a real eye-opener to what you might want to consider adjusting during these routines. Meet Our New Sponsor! By the way, a couple of things that I wanted to mention to you. First, we have a new sponsor of the podcast! It can be so frustrating trying to find the right insurance for your dog! My new sponsor, The Swiftest, can help you compare different types of policies and quotes for your pet to make sure you get the best value for your pet! Click here for the 6 Best Pet Insurance Plans Compared for 2023. (full disclosure – this is an affiliate link, and we’ll make a few bucks if you decide that the pet insurance that the folks at The Swiftest have recommended is right for you.) The Dog’s Way Affiliate Program Also, I sincerely appreciate all of those who have referred my video series to friends! Here’s how you can make some money by referring the Online Video course to folks: Affiliates Resources - The Dog's Way ( This process will be very straightforward if you are familiar with the Click Bank Affiliate platform. If you need help signing up with Click Bank and finding the course, there are a lot of videos on YouTube that will walk you through how to do that. If you need some assistance with the process, feel free to email me directly via the link below: Contact Page - The Dog's Way (


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Session 117: Teen Puppy Issues and Solutions

In this episode, I dive into the world of teen puppy training, and exploring the challenges and rewards of raising a well-behaved canine companion. Whether you're a new or experienced dog owner, join me as I discuss some tactics for a successful training journey. The Teenage Phase of Puppy Training During the teenage phase of puppy training, expect your dog to undergo significant changes in behavior and temperament. This phase usually occurs around 4 to 8 months of age and can be characterized by increased independence, occasional rebelliousness, and a surge in energy levels. Recognizing these changes is crucial, since it allows you to adjust your training approach and provide the guidance and structure your dog needs to mature into a well-rounded adult dog. By understanding that these behaviors are a natural part of their development, you can navigate this challenging period with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. Setting Expectations and Reinforcing Training Principles It's essential to set realistic expectations and reinforce the fundamental principles of teen puppy training. Remember that every dog is unique, and the training journey may have its ups and downs. Consistency is key: establish clear rules and boundaries from the beginning, and ensure everyone involved in your dog's life follows them consistently. Positive reinforcement, like rewards and praise, is a powerful tool for shaping desired behaviors and building a strong bond with your dog. Remember that training is an ongoing process. Be patient, stay committed, and enjoy the journey of watching your teen puppy grow into a well-behaved and happy adult dog.


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Session 116: How to Teach a Puppy to Stop Jumping Up

In this episode, I talk about using a modified version of the approach I talked about in session 115 so that you can train a puppy. Just like you'd teach your children differently than you would teach them as an adult, there are incremental parts of the process that apply differently to a puppy. As I mentioned with adult dogs, this is fundamental training that is typically one of the first lessons I teach in person. To review the session for adult dogs, check out session 115 here. The reality of training any social mammal is that it requires different approaches based on age. In all development, small progress markers for are clarified to help create a foundation of understanding for a younger brain. I talk about some of those concepts and how to apply it to training a puppy. Additionally, I'll point out the counterproductive approach to continuing to teach a dog as a puppy, the same way that it might seem odd to teach a teenager the way you'd teach a small child. I'll also cite some examples where you might apply a small version of some of those with older dogs in certain instances. We'll apply similar principles from session 115, where we use a two-step approach. For puppies, we use it to help with a first stage (away from humans) to remove them from a setting where the puppy may just absolutely lose their mind when approaching a person. Once they've understood that, a second step involves interaction with people. With a puppy, it's not phrases, but general noise making to draw their attention. I'll demonstrate techniques to enlist help of people you may encounter with your puppy, demonstrate the approach, and specific verbal markers to relay to your puppy during each stage of the process. This process can be fun and is a key fundamental part of the training process. Enjoy this episode, and go have fun with your dog! Sean


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Session 115: How to Stop Jumping

We're going to go through a protocol to help train your dog (over 7 months old) to stop jumping on you or others. I'll address the two key scenarios that come up regarding jumping. One scenario, where you live alone and they jump on you. And then another scenario where someone else comes up to visit and your dog jumps on them because they're excited to see them! I'll provide some setup for those of you who may be new to the podcast; the goal is to help you understand the step-by-step process that talks about the relationship, basic course skills, and then we deal with policies. Episodes two and three provide some great foundational lessons to understand the relationship between you and your dog. This is usually a first lesson I provide with in-person training for establishing the relationship between you and your dog - not in the sense of whether or not you care about your dog, but in the fundamental connection that you have. Do they have that type of relationship with you that means they understand the role you two have together in training and obedience? If those foundations need to be established, those two episodes will help. Thanks for listening!


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Session 114: A Follow Up to Questions and Criticism from the Previous Episode

Session 113 covered some training goals to teach a dog to stop certain behaviors, specifically barking and "counter conditioning". I was surprised to find that Session 113 brought on a record amount of feedback! I got a lot of positive response, but some criticism as well. In this episode I respond to some of that, including a letter from someone who suggested that they were a trainer, and took issue with some of the content in session 113. I wasn't sure where in the show they heard it, but one part in particular was regarding Patricia McConnell's teaching about counter conditioning, and that somewhere I suggested that they shouldn't use her method. It turns out that I didn't suggest that. I addressed that they had been coached to try that and it didn't work. Most of this advice is based on a few things; where in the training their dog is, their age, what approaches have been tried in the past and which have not. In some instances a tried and true approach doesn't work, and alternative methods should be applied. I'll review it from a psychological approach and explain the intent and hopefully clear up some confusion on the subject. I wanted to talk about another category of feedback I received that was that they tried it but had mixed results. This is what real training looks like in the execution stage. There are techniques and shifts in the approach with every type of dog and behavior. Trina was one of the people who responded and said that using the "tug upward" method to give negative feedback for barking. I asked her a few follow up questions to get a better sense of what she needed to eliminate confusion for her dog.


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Session 113: Avoid Mistakes When Teaching a Dog to Stop Barking

In this episode I'll cover some training goals to teach a dog to stop doing something. Barking is one of the key areas of focus, as well as a discussion on "counter conditioning". Some may ask if they should do the "lab oriented" counter conditioning or another technique. My approach involves assessing where your dog is on a spectrum, and I'll explain the range. It can also be useful to determine for other areas of training. Some may be driven by a defensive approach, a territorial approach, etc., and I'll talk about some of the areas to be careful about when trying to decide whether to put training methods in place. I'll also talk about the shy, scared side of the spectrum that has other challenges and training methods that should be applied. I will talk about using behavioral adjustment training or counter conditioning when it comes to these techniques as well. Imagine that scenario that causes the dog to bark and you provide some food to distract or adjust the behavior. You'll see them enjoy it in the moment. But what was the treat's connection to the behavior from the dog's perspective? Did you train them for next time, or did you distract them in the moment? Treat training isn't a bad thing but it is important to understand the differences and apply the right methods with this approach. I also clarify some confusion regarding episode 112 regarding a comment I made regarding shelter dogs.


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Session 112: Avoid Making Your Dog Too Crazy with Food Treats

In today's episode I'll go over some mistakes some people make in food treat training and how to avoid making your dog hyper when using food in training. I don't typically use food as my standard training method (which you've probably learned if you've listened to my podcast for a while). There are instances where it is helpful, and there are very different methods depending upon your dogs age, personality, and upbringing, etc. I'll talk about instances where I use food for training and areas for you to consider as well. I will answer a specific question from an email I received from Mitch, regarding specific mistakes of using food all the time. Assess whether it's actually an issue. I'll show you some things to look for. If you determine that it is a problem, experiment with some different techniques. I'll give a few things to try that I've used when training other trainers, including posture, demeanor, and more. I talk about "marker" training as an option, and will discuss downplaying treats as a reward as part of this. I will also talk about redirection, and the comparison and contrast of training methods to use depending on the type of challenge you face. Enjoy, and hopefully this helps!


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Session 111: Interview with Kellee Zenk of Dogs Decoded

Today I speak with Kellee Zenk, who has a very interesting origins that led her to dog training. She's the founder of Dogs Decoded, based in Minnesota. Kellee has a background in training bears and elephants! We discuss how she got started in that area and how it led to where she is today. Kellee got her start at private zoos in Minnesota and loved training bears and really enjoyed marker and clicker training. She talks about some early mistakes and talks about the full range of experiences. Kellee and I contrast the dynamic of dog trainers and how you develop better communication with the dog owners as you gain more experience. We also talk about our approach to "play" with dogs, and how to help owners create certain distinctions regarding when play time is on and off, and how to establish that relationship over time as the relationship is clarified. I ask Kellee about her method or philosophy and how it has evolved. Kellee talks about how she is not a "purely positive" trainer. She is very versed in Skinner's theory, which we've detailed in podcast episodes 73 (part 1) and 74 (part 2). We talk about bridging signals as part of verbal markers and get deeper into Skinner's four quadrants.


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Session 110: Melissa Stagnaro of American Retteungshunde Sport Association

On this episode I introduce Melissa Stagnaro, the Vice President of American Retteungshunde Sport Association. With the long name, it is commonly nicknamed "RH". They are an organization that does "sport" search and rescue. This is a great sport for your dog that is incredibly unique, and focuses on some pretty high-level activities for fun and exercise. We talk about the origins. FCI, (which is the International Dog Federation) partnered up with a newly formed group called the International Rescue Dog Organization. They ultimately created four levels of sport competition related to rescue. They focus on scents, urban disasters, earthquake simulations, footstep tracking, building collapses, and much more. We talk about what this looks like for people that want to join in, and Melissa discusses their interest in getting more people involved in existing events and establishing more clubs. There is an event going on in Washington state as well. For more information on that, click here. For more information visit


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Session 109: Interview with Elaine Rosen of Dog Lodge

On this episode I talk with Elaine Rosen, President and CEO of Dog Lodge, based in Texas. She also is the host of the podcast, Dog Lodge Radio. Dog Lodge is a great non-profit that deals with elderly and special needs dogs. It is essentially a senior dog retirement home and hospice care facility. They focus on providing a permanent home to dogs whose futures are particularly bleak. They concentrate primarily on dogs that may have come from shelters, rescues, and some private homes. Elaine and her business partner started the concept together after considering where the deficits existed in care for dogs and found that there were many rescues available but not a lot of help for senior animals. They found some land in Hempstead, Texas, and with a lot of support and dedication they have created quite an incredible organization. Elaine talks about the initial fear prior to getting started - would anyone besides them would care this much about senior dogs? She and her business partner quickly found out that there was a lot of support for the effort. The expense and work involved is intense; determining intake criteria, medical care needs and costs, and more. Sean and Elaine also talk about the owners of pets who are near the end of their frustration with their pets and are considering re-homing. One of the cornerstones for taking in animals is a determination of the quality of life that they can provide based on it's medical needs. If they cannot provide a high standard of care for the animal, they have no business taking it in. They help arrange foster homes as well. It really is an incredible non-profit organization. They started a podcast called Dog Lodge Radio: Animal Issues That Matter. It focuses on their organization, but also animals other than dogs - they find and share fascinating stories about various sanctuaries for different animals, including horses and elephants! To learn more, to reach out for help, or contribute to the organization, you can visit their website They are perpetually in need of contributions. You can visit their website and donate by clicking here, or visit their Facebook page here. They also accept in-kind donations. For information about that, contact them here.


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Session 108: Interview with Brad Bevill, Dallas Dog Behaviorist

On this episode, I sit down with Brad Bevill, who is an incredibly talented dog behavior expert. Brad's focus for dogs is teaching them to be in a follower mindset and balanced emotionally. Brad's focus for people is teaching them to be fair, and consistent leaders for their dogs, and to teach them how to fulfill their dog's lives more profoundly. Brad and I talk about how he discovered this passion of his, how he transitioned from the corporate world, and what his mission has been since 2013. Brad owns and operates Bevill Dog Behavior with his wife in Dallas, Texas, and operates multiple locations in the area. Brad's focus is on a broader approach to training, and one of his priorities is to help owners find a true connection with their dogs. Their mission is to educate humans, train dogs, and rebuild relationships. Brad's company can be found on the following platforms; page, here


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Session 107: Andi Brown Interview

Andi Brown is the author of The Whole Pet Diet, an interesting book on dog and cat nutrition. It's been a bit of a theme for the last few episodes. This is the end of that "mini-series" on nutrition for now, but I felt this story was a great way to round that all out. How She Started Andi's story about her interest in pet nutrition that set her on this course starts with a personal account from the 80's of her own cat who had a host of health issues. Told that it was simply a genetic disease that had no cure, she felt she had no options until she met a friend whose focus was nutrition and natural health. After some exploration and her friend preparing a recipe that contained chicken and vegetables, a four-day transformation of her cat occurred and revolutionized the way they thought about diet as a part of their pets' overall health. Andi talks about the standard for manufactured "pet" food, and some of the horrific discoveries she learned about them. She equates some of what the finalized product becomes (she calls it "vitaminized cardboard"). Part of her approach is something she calls "The 8-week challenge", and it outlines a direct approach to quality food as the core approach to your pet's better health. Resources You can find more information at Her book is available wherever books are sold. Click here to find it on Amazon. She features some great recipes on her website as well! Click here for options.


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Session 106: Interview with Integrated Veterinarian Dr. Gary Richter

Sean McDaniel interviews Dr. Gary Richter, a veterinarian from Oakland, California. Dr. Richter is an author and a designer of pet nutritional products and has a lot of interesting approaches to veterinary medicine as well as dog and cat nutrition. The Ultimate Pet Health Guide, written by Dr. Richter, was originally approached to focus on the health benefits of fresh, whole food nutrition, but as he wrote it, it soon went into some of the common health challenges that he sees with pets. He addresses those individually, and his suggestions for pet nutrition take on a lot of the same form as if you saw him for a visit in his practice in Oakland, CA. What is an "integrated" veterinarian? After a few years in practice, Dr. Richter started seeing limits for treatment for his patients. He was frustrated with not offering help beyond traditional limits. He began to explore more holistic approaches that were less traditional to treat chronic problems. Acupuncture, chiropractic, herbal therapy, and other treatment modalities became a part of his overall approach. Resources His website at Link to buy his book on Amazon Information to learn more about Gary and contact info for his practice at


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Session 105 - Integrated Dog Training Featuring Michael Wombacher

This new book by Michael Wombacher is an incredibly illustrated and interesting book that I felt warranted another conversation! Michael's book has just been released and we sat down to discuss it. Making a photo rich book that used the images as so much of the story was something he really wanted to do, but he talks about the intense challenges that come with it! It was over two and a half years in the making and has just been released. We go in depth about what "integrated dog training" means, and how it covers obedience training (not necessarily puppies). The book is available on Amazon by clicking here, or you can go to this cool Indie Bookstore Finder for an independent bookstore in your area. Sean and Michael talk about the book and the balanced method of training contained within. Michael also talks about different methods for the same command. This accounts for dogs of different breeds and sizes, etc. We talk about training equipment and the pros and cons as well as how to use it all. It's an incredible interview and body of work. It's absolutely worth checking out both!


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Session 104: The Essential Guide to Hiking with Dogs with Jen Sotolongo

Jen Sotolongo joins us on this episode to talk about her Adventure Dog Camps! What they're about, how she got started, and who the camp is designed for (dogs and humans). Sean and Jen discuss some of the unique things that many don't realize are essential for a dog to learn prior to going on an adventure like this. Jen shares some interesting stories about different types of challenges and wonderful learning and bonding opportunities exist with these adventures. Jen focuses on the following adventures with your dog; Jen's mission is for everyone to experience the joy of taking their dogs on adventures, and created the ultimate sleep-away camp style retreat! She talks about open this is for all skill levels, and a camp retreat that is coming up this September! To book a spot on the upcoming camp on September 19-22 in the Central Oregon area go to to learn more, or visit to go straight to the application!


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Session 103: Interview with Dog Trainer Michael Wombacher

Mike has trained dogs for over 25 years, including dogs of celebrities, and is an author and lecturer. He is the author of Good Dog, Happy Baby: Preparing Your Dog for the Arrival of Your Child, There's A Puppy In The House: Surviving the First Five Months, and has another coming soon. We discuss how he got started in the dog training business and what methods of training inspired him to explore more in the business. We talk about some key factors for people who are trying to find a good trainer. What to ask, what to look for, etc. We talk about how social media has changed the judgement for how trainers approach critical training scenarios such as how they respond to babies, and considering options for rehoming. We talk about recent belief in "purely positive" methods. Mike cites a few interesting examples and talks about misinformation regarding studies; whether it's a summary that over simplifies or flawed studies that then become spread as fact. It was a fascinating interview and you'll find lots of wisdom in his approach.


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Session 102: Interview with Dr. Lori Cesario

Dr. Lori Cesario is a leader in the field of veterinary oncology. We've spoken before, but you won't want to miss this follow up interview. It's packed full of useful tools - case studies for specific breeds, where to find the best solutions and preventative steps you can take to keep your dog's risk of getting cancer low. Lori talks about steps to take to gain a better understanding of some of the characteristics - where we live, how our dog compares in size to their breed, when and whether they were spayed or neutered. Dr. Cesario talks about the best ways to verify the claims made online - she talks about, a database for studies published in veterinary and human medicine. Resources The resource page she mentioned about breeds in the episode is located here. To visit Dr. Cesario's website, visit or click here. Her podcast can be found on multiple platforms. To find it on your favorite platform click here.


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Session 101: E-Collar Training Explored with Eric Letendre

We have a new conversation with Eric Letendre, a great trainer based in the Massachusetts area. Last time I spoke to Eric (in episode 66) he'd published his first book, The Deadly Dog Training Myth. There is so much conversation about remote training collars, but specifically a lot of misunderstandings about what they are for and what they can do. And it is important to note that a lot of understanding can be gained with this technology by understanding Skinner's Four Quadrants. I talked about this in podcast sessions 73 (part 1) and session 74 (part 2). Note that these will open in new tabs so you won't lose your place here. I ask Eric about some of the mistakes people make when it comes to choosing a collar. We talk about "lesser"/"cheaper" collar types. I tell a funny story about a client who had a very interesting experience and why he gave up on it. Misuse and misunderstanding are a very big factor when considering this training method. Eric talks about dog owners basic use methods; We'll talk about how it can be an incredibly good or bad tool to use depending on the type you use, and your understanding about the psychological approach that you take when training your dog with it. Imagine a dog's response when you get certain things out and the positive response you receive. When you bring out the remote training collar, what association do you imagine the dog having? After listening to this podcast, it won't surprise you to know that dogs (trained properly) have a positive response to an e-collar! Eric will talk about his philosophy about when the collar is applied during a real life training session and why that is. We talk a bit about each of our philosophies and the importance of that timing. Eric's YouTube Page The Deadly Dog Training Myth on Amazon


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Session 100: Pros and Cons of Food Treats and Corrections

On this, our 100th episode, I am going to give a consolidated answer to a question that comes up a lot. When and why I use food as a trainer, when and why I don't use food, and when and why I do or don't use corrections or dog collars. It's all connected, and it's time we dive in on this particular subject. So much of the confusion about this group of topics is that, like everything, for every trainer there is a different opinion. And it's easy to take one specific episode (of the previous 99) and think that I either am or am not a "food treat" trainer based on the topic at hand. Different situations dictate those circumstances and I will explain why. It's important to understand that one of the drawbacks (or at least an observation you should consider) is that the treats become "the point" for why they obey a command. For example; find an opportunity to evaluate the process when you do and another when you don't. Was their willingness to obey tempered when they saw that you did not actually have a treat for them? There are several ways to evaluate this - we'll talk about a lot of ways to determine the best way for you to train your dog in a way that works best for your situation.