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, together we can then 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.
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.
I want 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. A modern, and educated trainer will never need to use force or fear to train a dog and I want to make sure that the public knows that.
I can 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.
I want to explain to the public why it is not desirable to use punishment in training because of the fall out that this can cause, especially if the punishment is severe; for example hurting the dog physically or using fear to get him to comply. I want help people to understand why using punishment on what they perceive is an aggressive dog is liable in the long term, to make the behaviour worse and not better. In fact, using these methods on any dog may cause them to actually become defensive and aggressive.
There are dozens of scientific research papers and articles written by acknowledged animal behaviour experts including veterinary bodies and various animal centred organisations. All this research shows that using punishment to train dogs is damaging to a dog’s physical and mental wellbeing and the relationship between dog and owner. It also shows that using force free training is the most humane and effective way to train animals.