ARF's Position Statement on Training

ARF does not condone or support the use of aversive training methods (punishment, dominance or pack leader theory) or any aversive training tools. Training tools that should be avoided because they have been proven to increase fear and anxiety include, but are not limited to, shock collars (electric collars, e-collars), choke chains (chokers, training collars) and prong collars (pinch collars). We do not recommend that dog owners follow the dominance ideology used on popular television shows. The use of these training methods is proven to result in miscommunication between dog and owner and an increase in anxiety, stress and fear. ARF does not support any use of force, intimidation or physical manipulation in training as we see these methods as unethical, inefficient and ineffective.

ARF believes that dog friendly, reward based training methods (positive, positive reinforcement or clicker training) are the most efficient and effective. We are committed to modern, scientifically-based dog training as it promotes teamwork, mutual respect and a harmonious relationship between dogs and humans. ARF advocates these training methods because they focus on rewarding desired behaviors and discouraging undesirable behaviors using clear and consistent instructions and avoiding psychological and physical intimidation. We highly recommend that if people are experiencing difficulties with their dog they should seek out professional help from a qualified, professional trainer (CPDT-KA, Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed), behaviourist or veterinary behaviourist who will teach them how to modify the behaviours using positive methods.

Recommended Reading:
American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior - Position Statements
Association of Pet Dog Trainers Position Statement - Dominance and Dog Training
The Dominance Controversy and Cesar Millan, by Dr. Sophia Yin