Meet the best trainer in the world, YOU!

That's right, you are the best person to train your own dog and the Bright Animals training system is all about helping you become a better trainer for your own dog.

How it works

The system is built around lessons and homework as we work with you and your dog as a team.

Depending on your individual goals, training might require a single session, a few sessions or become an ongoing process.

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You can see the excitement in the eyes of a dog when trained using a reward based system.
You can see the excitement in the eyes of a dog when trained using a reward based system.

Smarter training for your dog

The Bright Animals method prime goal is creating a positive bond between you and your dog.  A dog should be motivated to respond and not doing so out of fear. Unlike traditional training that focuses on the use of coercion and punishment, our method produces a happier and most importantly smarter dog.

Avoid traditional techniques that involve pain Traditional training relies on the use of choke chains, prong collars and electronic collars (or e collars for short). These tools can be dangerous because the constant jerking of the leash and the resulting pain can put the dog in a state of anxiety that can quickly render a dog unpredictable. Physiological dangers include

  • Esophagus damage
  • Leg paralysis
  • Tracheal damage
  • Fainting
  • Intervertabral disc protrusion
  • Skin lesions
  • Neck injury
As its name suggests, a choke chain is used to inflict pain by constricting the neck.
As its name suggests, a choke chain is used to inflict pain by constricting the neck.
An e-collar is used to deliver painful electric stimulation to the neck area.
An e-collar is used to deliver painful electric stimulation to the neck area.
A prong collar is used to inflict pain by constricting the neck and by pinching the skin.
A prong collar is used to inflict pain by constricting the neck and by pinching the skin.

From a behavioral perspective Studies have shown that dogs trained using electronic collars show more signs of anxiety compared to dogs that have not received electric stimulation. These signs of stress include yawning more frequently, head turning, a stiff body posture as well as avoiding social interaction. These facts are disturbing when considering the fact that dogs are social animals that crave interaction with humans and other dogs. The behavioral problems often result from the fact that anything and anyone present in the environment can be associated to the pain or discomfort caused by the choke chain, prong collar or electric stimuli. Imagine for a second a dog walking down the street with his human. He sees a kid across the street and starts pulling to go play with him. The human not knowing any better, applies what he learned from a traditional trainer and jerks the leash. The dog feels the discomfort around his neck and stops pulling. Victory you might think? Well think again! This situation is very common and the outcome might seem great at first sight however the real problem lies in the fact that sometimes, a dog might quickly associate the sight of the kid, or the interest in the kid to pain! This will cause the dog to start disliking kids. Over time, this might also result in aggression or excessive shyness. Biting without warning To make things worse, traditional trainers often misinterpret a dog's fear aggression as dominance related. The often ask the human to punish the dog (again by jerking the leash) every time he barks). For a dog that has already associated the environment to anxiety or pain, this makes things really worse. Choke chains in that sense can destroy the relationship a dog has with people and other animals he meets. There are 2 direct effects to punishing a fear aggressive dog

  1. It confirms the association and makes the dog even more fearful.
  2. It teaches the dog that barking or lunging will result in pain.

Since dogs do not like confrontations, they are genetically programmed to send warnings (barking, lunging) before engaging in a real fight. This helps them avoid injury which might prevent them from hunting. When a dog is punished when barking out of fear, this warning system goes again and this results in a dog that bites without warning.

choke_chained_by_blhphotography
It is often said that choke chains and prongs are used for aggressive dogs. Truth is however that it is the choke chain or prong that turns an otherwise balanced dog into a fearful, aggressive and confused animal. (Photo by blhphotography)

The alternative? A proper approach would consist in teaching the dog not to pull rather than not liking the person or situation in front of him. How is it done? Let's take a very similar example! Most people teach their dogs to sit for a treat. An untrained dog would normally want to jump up and grab the treat off your hand. Yet, with very little training, any person can teach a dog to sit in order to get the treat. The dog learns that it is useless to jump and that the easier and fastest way to get to the treat is to sit! Similarly, if training a dog to sit for a treat is possible, it is equally possible to teach a dog to walk nicely in order to get to play with strangers, to sit for attention etc...  It is all about teaching the dog what he should do instead of teaching him what he should not do! It is all about the art of saying yes. Think about it!