Proud to be “Cookie Trainers”

There is lots of talk out there about best practices for training dogs. Mandy Kennedy, with Unleashed Dog Training & Behavior Center, has seen and done most of it.

“When I started training dogs 15 years ago, there was only one way to do it…put a choke chain on the dog, teach him new behaviors, exert your dominance through force and then praise him when he complied, usually out of fear.”

But now, there is so much new evidence and research to support other methods of behavior modification and training. Why do so many trainers still rely on those out of date, ineffective and often dangerous training techniques?

Since relocating from the Bay Area less than a year ago, Unleashed is shocked to see how few trainers are actually implementing a positive approach to training. In the Bay Area pet owners are hard pressed to find a trainer still implementing the old school, compulsive style of training, yet here in the Greater Sacramento Area, it is the norm. There is even a term, “cookie trainer,” that is supposed to be a derogatory phrase apparently used to describe trainers who subscribe to a more humane, and effective approach. Well, Unleashed Dog Training & Behavior Center is proud to be labeled “cookie trainers!” The simple fact that we educate owners to control essential resources and ask their dogs to earn motivators is the first step to improving the relationship between dogs and their owners. Positive does not mean permissive. Just ask yourself this as an owner, do I want my dog behaving because she wants to earn something positive (not always food) or because she is afraid of the consequence of what might happen if she doesn’t comply? With the recent popularity of the TV Show, The Dog Whisperer, many owners are gravitating to local trainers who tout their relationship with Cesar Milan’s methods. This show does make for great TV, but is physical force the best way to establish leadership? Check out this article written by Lisa Mullinax with 4 Paws University in Sacramento…

In the end, Unleashed wants dog owners to know there are options out there for training your dog. You can get compliant, well-mannered and appropriate behavior without using force and without using food forever! But, are you willing to praise, throw a stick, give a belly rub or just a quick verbal “Good girl” forever when your dog chooses to make good decisions?” Because that’s what it’s going to take
Unleash your dog’s potential!!!

Time is running out to register for positive reinforcement classes with Unleashed. Classes are a convenient drive from Folsom, Rancho Cordova, Cameron Park, Shingle Springs and Placerville. They are scheduled to start Thursday, May 7th at Lakehills Church in El Dorado Hills (near Target). Contact us at or (916)605-9778 to register.

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