The Benefits of Hiring a Great Dog Trainer Over Just a Good One

What Separates a Good Dog Trainer from a Great Dog Trainer?

When it comes to training your furry friend, you want to make sure you’re investing in the best possible trainer. While there are plenty of good trainers out there, what sets the great ones apart? In this blog, we’ll discuss the differences between a good dog trainer and a great dog trainer, highlighting some of the most well-known trainers in the industry, including Doggy Dan, Ian Dunbar, Will Atherton, and others.

The Importance of Pack Leadership and a Calm Demeanor

One of the key differences between a good trainer and a great trainer is their ability to establish pack leadership and maintain a calm demeanor. Great trainers understand the importance of being a strong and confident leader, as dogs are pack animals that naturally look to their leader for guidance and direction.

Doggy Dan, for example, emphasizes the importance of establishing pack leadership through a calm and assertive approach. Similarly, Ian Dunbar, a veterinarian and dog trainer, believes that dogs thrive under strong, fair leadership and advocates for positive reinforcement training methods. Will Atherton is known for his calm and gentle approach, which he believes is essential for building trust and respect with dogs.

Qualities of a Great Dog Trainer

Aside from pack leadership and a calm demeanor, great trainers possess a range of other qualities that set them apart from the rest. For example, they must be able to read and interpret a dog’s body language and communication, allowing them to understand the dog’s needs and respond appropriately. They also need to be patient, adaptable, and able to tailor their training methods to suit each individual dog’s personality and learning style.

Experience isn’t Everything

While experience is certainly valuable, it isn’t always an indicator of how good or poor a trainer is. A trainer with years of experience may still lack the necessary skills and qualities to be a great trainer, while a relatively new trainer may have a natural talent and connection with dogs that make them exceptional.

What to Look for in a Great Trainer

When looking for a great dog trainer, there are a few things to keep in mind. Look for trainers who prioritize positive reinforcement training methods, are knowledgeable about canine behavior, and have a calm and patient demeanor. You should also check their credentials and certifications, as well as read reviews and ask for recommendations.

Why Paying More May Be the Best Value

While it may be tempting to opt for a cheaper trainer, paying more for a great trainer is ultimately the best value. A great trainer will help you achieve faster and more effective results, saving you time, money, and stress in the long run.

In summary, a great dog trainer possesses qualities such as pack leadership, a calm demeanor, and the ability to read and interpret canine body language. While experience is important, it isn’t the only factor to consider when choosing a trainer. When looking for a great trainer, prioritize positive reinforcement methods, check their credentials and certifications, and be willing to invest in their expertise for the best results.

Patience Pays Off: The Importance and Benefits of Teaching Your Dog to Wait

Teaching your dog to “wait” is an invaluable skill that can help create a calm, well-behaved dog. Unlike “stay,” which is a command that tells your dog to remain in one position, “wait” is a command that tells your dog to pause and wait for further instruction.

One of the most common situations where you might use the “wait” command is when you’re about to open a door or gate. By teaching your dog to “wait,” you can prevent them from bolting out the door or gate and potentially getting lost or injured. Instead, your dog will learn to wait patiently until you give them the signal to proceed.

Another situation where the “wait” command can be useful is when you’re feeding your dog. By teaching your dog to wait before they start eating, you can help prevent them from becoming too excited and potentially choking on their food. This also teaches your dog impulse control, which can be helpful in other areas of their life.

Teaching your dog to “wait” can also help create a calmer dog overall. When your dog understands that they need to wait for your instruction before doing something, they will be less likely to become anxious or overexcited. This can help prevent problem behaviors like jumping, barking, or digging.

It’s important to note that “wait” and “stay” are not the same commands. “Stay” is a command that tells your dog to remain in one position until you release them. “Wait,” on the other hand, is a command that tells your dog to pause and wait for further instruction. For example, you might use the “stay” command when you want your dog to remain in one spot while you go to the store. But you might use the “wait” command when you’re about to cross a busy street and need your dog to pause until it’s safe to proceed.

To teach your dog to “wait,” start by having them sit or lie down in front of you. Then, hold up your hand like a stop sign and say “wait.” If your dog tries to move, gently block them with your hand and repeat the command. Once your dog has waited for a few seconds, reward them with a treat or praise. Repeat this process several times, gradually increasing the amount of time your dog needs to wait before being rewarded.

In conclusion, teaching your dog to “wait” is a valuable skill that can help create a calmer, more well-behaved dog. By using the “wait” command in situations where you need your dog to pause and wait for further instruction, you can prevent problem behaviors and promote impulse control. And by teaching your dog this skill, you can build a stronger bond and better communication with your furry friend.

The Best Dog Training Techniques To Stop Excessive Barking

How to Handle Excessive Barking with Gentle Methods

What’s the Problem?

Excessive barking is a common problem among dog owners. It can be caused by many factors, including boredom, anxiety, fear, or even pain. In most cases, excessive barking can be managed with proper training and understanding of the dog’s needs. The goal of such training is to teach the dog when it is appropriate to bark and when it should remain quiet. With patience and consistency, owners can help their dogs learn how to control their barking in order to prevent any disruptions or annoyances for both themselves and their neighbors.

Say “Thank You”

If you want to train your dog to bark less, it’s important to start with a low energy approach. I present to you two options. The first is the “Thank you” or “Make Nothing of it” method presented by Dan Abdelnoor (Doggy Dan).

This 3-step method is designed to help you achieve that. First, when your dog barks, simply say “thank you” in a calm voice. This will help your dog understand that barking is not the desired behavior. At the second set of barks, get up and take a look at what your dog is barking at. Once again, say “thank you” in a calm voice and then turn your back and walk away. If there is a 3rd set of barks then it’s time to isolate your dog for a few minutes. With patience and consistency, this 3-step method can help reduce excessive barking and make it easier for both of you to enjoy peaceful moments together.

Saying a simple “thank you” to your dog can go a long way in calming them down and showing them that you recognize their concern. This approach is often more effective than a high-energy response, as it helps to keep the situation low-key and prevents any further escalation.

Not only does saying “thank you” help to show your dog that their efforts are appreciated, but it also serves as an important reminder to stay calm in the face of challenging situations. By recognizing your dog’s concern and responding with gratitude, you can help them feel more secure and comfortable when they are feeling anxious or overwhelmed.

Using “Doggish”

The second method comes from Stanley Coren’s “How to Speak Dog”. First, move to your dog’s side, in a kneeling position. Place your left hand under the collar, at the back of the dog’s neck and pull gently upward. Fold your right hand over the top of the dog’s muzzle and press down. In a quiet, business-like, unemotional tone, you simply say “quiet”. Repeat as necessary. Depending on the breed, it may take anywhere from two to a couple of dozen repetitions to associate the cue “quiet” with an end to barking.


It is clear that excessive barking can be a nuisance, but with patience and consistency, it can be managed. Doggy Dan’s online dog training course provides owners with the tools they need to teach their dogs how to bark less and stay calm. Meanwhile, Stanley Coren’s book provides an in-depth look at how dogs learn and how owners can use this knowledge to train their dogs effectively. With the right guidance, patience and consistency, any dog owner can help their pet become a calmer and more obedient companion.

Should You Use Punishment for Dog Training?

close up photo of dog wearing sunglasses

Dog training is a critical part of being a responsible dog owner. But how should you go about it? Is punishment an appropriate method of getting your pup to behave the way you want them to? This is an ongoing debate between those who believe in positive reinforcement only and those who are willing to use punishment as needed. Let’s take a look at both sides of the argument.

The Argument for Positive Reinforcement Only

Zak George, among other dog trainers, has pushed for positive reinforcement-only methods for training dogs. His argument is that punishment techniques can be harmful to your pooch’s health and wellbeing. In fact, he claims that research confirms this claim. According to him, using rewards such as treats or praise instead of punishments will make your pup more likely to respond positively and build trust with you faster than punishing them would.

The Argument Against Positive Reinforcement Only

On the other hand, there are those who argue that we can’t definitively say that punishment is harmful based on current research. They cite studies which have shown no lasting harm resulting from punishment used in conjunction with positive reinforcement. They also point out that no matter what kind of training method you use, it’s important to never use physical force when disciplining your dog—that includes hitting or yelling at them. The goal is always to help your pup understand what they did wrong without causing any long-term damage or trauma to them.


At the end of the day, both sides have valid points when it comes to whether or not you should use punishment for dog training. If you’re still unsure about which approach is best for you and your pup, speak to a qualified trainer who can help guide you in the right direction depending on your individual needs and situation. Regardless of which route you choose, remember that patience and consistency are key when it comes to successful dog training—and don’t forget those treats!

My Dog is Smarter Than Yours!


Most people think that dogs are dumb and uninteresting, but they’re wrong. Dogs may not be able to pass the SAT or learn Spanish, but they have some amazing abilities that can really impress you. These include the fact that they can read your facial expressions and predict when their favorite people will come home. In addition to having a few tricks up their sleeves, dogs are also capable of learning commands quickly and obeying them on demand—and this isn’t just some silly trick for entertainment purposes! It turns out there’s more going on in Fido’s head than we ever realized before: there’s actually science behind why these furry friends seem so smart sometimes (and other times less so).

Pups’ intelligence levels can vary widely.

Intelligence is a spectrum. The more intelligent a dog is, the better he or she can learn–and it’s not just about obedience. Intelligence also determines how well your pup will react in unfamiliar situations, whether he or she can follow directions when distracted by other stimuli and whether or not you have to be constantly repeating yourself over time (or risk losing your patience).

There are countless ways that dogs show their intelligence–they’re all unique individuals with their own personalities! Some dogs may be more motivated than others; some might take longer than others to learn new tricks; but all of them have one thing in common: they want to please us more than anything else on earth.

A dog’s breed can affect its brainpower.

It’s no secret that dog breeds come in all shapes and sizes. Some are big, some are small; some have long hair while others sport shiny coats. But what you may not know is that the breed of a dog can also have an effect on its intelligence and trainability.

The smartest dog breeds are often determined by how well they can perform in certain tests, such as intelligence and agility. However, there’s more to a dog’s intelligence than just these physical qualities–there’s also the emotional component that plays into it as well! The smartest dogs are those who excel at problem-solving or have high levels of cognition and self-awareness.

There’s no such thing as dumb dogs, but there are breeds that tend to be smarter than others

Dogs are smart. They’re trainable, but they don’t all learn in the same way. Some breeds are more intelligent than others, while some are more trainable. And even within a breed there can be individual differences in intelligence and temperament that affect how well your dog learns new tricks or obeys commands from you (or anyone else).

Dog breeds differ widely in their ability to learn new things–and this includes tricks! Some dogs take easily to learning tricks like “sit” or “roll over,” while others need lots of patient repetition before they understand what you’re asking them to do. And if your dog is stubborn about learning new things? Don’t worry: That doesn’t mean she’s dumb; it just means she needs some extra encouragement along the way!

You might be able to build a stronger bond with a smart dog.

If you’re looking to build a stronger bond with your dog, a smart one may be the way to go. Research has shown that dogs with a high intelligence level are more likely to bond with their owners. In fact, some breeds are so intelligent that they can communicate with humans via body language and other methods.

A study by Stanley Coren showed that there was no correlation between breed size and intelligence; however, there was an inverse relationship between brain size (as measured by skull capacity) and intelligence within each breed group studied (i.e., larger brains were associated with lower intelligence).

How Do We Measure How Smart a Dog Is?

When it comes to the smartest breeds of dogs, there are several factors that go into measuring how smart a dog is. These include:

  • -The ability to learn and understand new things quickly
  • -How well it can follow directions
  • -The ability to solve problems on its own
  • -The amount of time it takes for them to get bored with a toy or activity

So let’s take a look at some of the smartest breeds out there and find out why they’re so smart!

The Smartest Breeds

1. Border Collie – This breed is known for being extremely intelligent and loyal to their owners. They also thrive on working with humans and can be trained to do almost anything, making them great working dogs as well as pets!

2. Poodle – These pups are known for being extremely intelligent but also somewhat difficult to train because they’re so independent-minded! These guys are great at learning tricks, especially if they have something motivating them like food or playtime—but they also make good family pets because they’re very playful!

3. German Shepherd – This breed excels at obedience training but also loves to be around people and make friends with other dogs. They’re incredibly affectionate but also protective, making them an excellent choice for families who want both a guard dog and an active companion!

3. Golden Retriever – Not only are these pups smart, they’re also incredibly friendly! Their sweet personalities make them a great fit for families with children or anyone who wants to spend lots of time playing with their pet every day!

5.  Doberman Pinschers are some of the smartest dogs in the world. In fact, they’re the 5th smartest dog breed for obedience & working intelligence. But even so, what makes them truly smart is their ability to gauge perceived threats in nearly any situation and environment. It’s why they’re the premiere guard dogs.

6. Labrador Retriever – The Lab is certainly a smart dog breed, but they are also gentle, courageous and easy to raise. They’re excellent family dogs and great around kids. Needless to say, Labs are the perfect companion dogs. No guessing why this “Jack of All Trades” has been an American favorite for decades.

**Note: I didn’t list the Shetland Sheepdog in the 6th position because it’s basically a small Collie who are great herders and amazing at showing off all of the great tricks they can do.


I should mention that thePapillons belongs near the top of that list, and I bet you have your own thoughts as well about which breed is the smartest. Let me know in the replies, below. In the meantime, remember this, the next time someone tries to tell you that their dog is smarter than yours, don’t get upset. Instead, tell them about all the amazing things your pup can do and how much he loves to learn!

What Does it Mean to be the Pack Leader?

And why does it matter?

Pack Leadership doesn’t mean you are controlling, dominating, abusive, or mean. It’s simply a term most of us can identify with to get the point across that in a family which includes dogs, there is someone in charge.

allpaws33 wrote a great article explaining some rules of Pack Leadership as well as discussing the science behind dog behavior.
Read the article, “Signs Your Dog Sees You as The Alpha”.