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A Highlight of Positive Trainers on the Internet

Happy New Years – Welcome to 2018!

We’re back from our break and hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and was able to spend it with family and friends! I thought we’d start this year off strong by highlighting some of the wonderful dog trainers on the internet. These are folks I look to in order to see all the amazing work positive trainers are doing in the community and how they utilize some of the latest techniques available to teach our “old dogs” new tricks!

Emily Larlham

First up, we have a lovely women named Emily Larlham. She focuses on behavior modification and utilizes clicker training to teach her dogs. She has a number of training video to help teach your dog new tricks utilizing many of the same methods Underdog’s does.

In this video, Emily teaches the “collar grab” a fantastic way to teach your dog to associate you grabbing his or her collar with something super awesome. That way if a situation arises and you need to quickly grab your dog’s collar, he or she won’t dart away or snap at you suddenly grabbing at them:

Kristin Crestejo

Kristin has a great selection of various videos on youtube. She got her start a lot like I did. In that she was very disappointed in the amount of abuse that was deemed “necessary” to train dogs. Older methods utilized jerks on the collar to force the dog to “obey” and do what you want them to do. Kristin, much like Underdog’s, uses natural motivators to help the dog’s make the correct choices and get the outcome you desire. You might remember her from our previous blog post on body language – and the sequel

John McGuigan

John is one of the more recent trainers that I’ve found. John is located in the UK and in addition to having an awesome accent, he does a lot to promote all the principles of a good dog trainer. From his website: “I promote a relationship with your dog which is based on mutual respect and trust. Your dog looks on you to provide everything it needs including consistent, appropriate training, a safe environment and emotional welfare. In return your dog will provide you with years of loyal companionship, will be safe and reliable to have around and will also be welcome in the wider community.”

One thing I really like about him is that he includes videos of some of his clients on youtube. This I think is very useful for newbie (and oldbie) dog trainers because they get to see real people make mistakes, get feedback and eventually do things correctly. I think it really goes to show that people and dogs aren’t alone in their issues. There are others out there with the same issues you have who struggle with the same things you do. And that sometimes can go a long way to getting you the motivation you need!

Here’s a great video on him working with one of his clients on reactivity (a very common behavior problem) –

I wish you all the best in 2018 and we thank you for joining us on our journey!



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Has Cesar Millan Benefited or Harm the Dog Training Community?

When I was in high school and, even into college, I was a huge fan of Cesar Millan. I read his books and watched his fairly popular TV show: “The Dog Whisperer.” Then I got my first puppy, 8 month old Esther. And I did what those books said. I followed his training methods.

For those who haven’t had a the honor of having a new, untrained, rambunctious puppy, oh boy are you in for a treat. With Cesar he talks about how you need to be a “Pack Leader” and believes that anytime your dog misbehaves the dog or puppy is challenging your authority and trying to take over.

This creates an interesting dichotomy in the relationship between you and your pet. If every mistake they make, like jumping up on you to welcome you home, you see as a challenge to your authority. They’re trying to be the boss and overthrow you, so you better put them back in their place.

Surprisingly I did this with Esther for almost 2.5 years. And she was just as crazy as she was when I first got her (silly Jack Russel Terriers!) Then I met an awesome lady named Lindsey who showed me what clicker training was and started me on my journey towards becoming a positive focused, forced free trainer.

The issue is, most people don’t have that revelation that I did. They see a professional who tells them they have to “alpha roll” their dog, or “tap” him with their foot, or yank up or down on the collar to show him who is boss. THIS HARMS DOGS. It harms the relationship you have with your dog. Plus it’s based on a misunderstanding of a no longer relevant dog theory (aka dominance theory) taught to you by a televised reality show host with no formal education or degree in dog psychology, behavior or learning theory.

While force methods can work, the statistics state your risk for injury increases astronomically & thus so does your dog’s risk of being euthanized for that behavior. Using force increases the dogs need to be fearful or aggressive towards others (peoples/dogs) to get away from or stop the pain from occurring.

If any “modern day dog trainers” still rely on these methods and use terms like “pack leader” or “dominant” realize they likely haven’t had any formal education, read modern day training or studied behavior in the last 20+ years. That is how long positive reinforcement training has been around. It’s not new, or cutting edge, it’s modern day dog training, scientific methods.

I hadn’t every thought how much popular shows like The Dog Whisper have set back the dog training world by revitalizing debunked, dangerous training methods. There’s an interesting short video on how Cesar has impacted the dog training community: (~10 minutes) and the full film can be located here: (~1 hr 10 minutes).