I see my mission as Woofers as two-fold; to help my clients using the knowledge and skills I have learned over the years and to spread the word about science based, force free training to as many people as possible.
My mission is to help my clients better understand their dogs’ behaviour by together, looking at the reasons for it, and helping the client understand why it’s happening. Once we have a clearer view of the cause of their dog’s issues, then together we can help the dog by changing the dog’s emotional responses and therefore the behaviour.
I have found that generally, my clients have been dealing with their dog’s behaviour issues for a long time before they have sought professional help. During that time, they and their dog can have built up a lot of stress and anxiety which affects both of them. A client's anxiety in response to their dog's behaviour, can in turn affect that dog and the way it behaves. Let me say quite categorically that the client's anxiety is in no way any fault of their own. I've been there and done that with a dog long before I was a trainer. I understand the anxiety of walking a dog who lunges and barks at objects, dogs and people. The responses we give when we are stressed are automatic and for the most part, we cannot control them, just as the dog cannot control his stress responses. So I never want my clients to think that their dog's behaviour is their fault.
I also see my job as empowering my clients with knowledge and techniques to remedy their dog’s problem behaviour, thereby releasing them and their dog from the anxiety and stress they have been living with and helping to make life with their dog a calmer and a more pleasant experience.
My wish is to convey the message that force free training (also known as positive training) is humane, kind and ethical and will not damage dogs physically or mentally in the way that punishment-based methods can do. It is my belief that it is the method that anyone who trains dogs should be using. It's a simple fact that a modern, educated trainer will never need to use force or fear to train a dog. I feel it's important that people know why it isn't desirable to use punishment because of the fall-out that this can cause, especially when the punishment during training involves hurting the dog physically or using fear to get him to comply. I also want to help people understand why using those methods on what they may think is an aggressive dog is liable in the long term, to make the behaviour/aggression worse and not better. In fact, using these methods on any dog no matter what the behaviour issue, may actually cause them to become defensive and aggressive and that means you've got a whole new lot of behaviour problems to deal with.
I spread this message using Woofers Facebook page and my website. I run several dog-related Facebook groups on which I try to educate whenever I can. Myself and other positive trainers just want to get the message out to dog owners that they don't need to use harsh methods to train their dogs, no matter what they are told.