At Pet Coach, we strongly believe in using scientifically-backed approaches based on learning science, while advocating for ethical and reward-based training practices that adhere to the “Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive” (LIMA) paradigm (Friedman, 2010). We prioritise the welfare of the dogs to ensure low-stress training for both the pet and owner. We strive to establish positive, fulfilling relationships with dogs by understanding their behaviour and ethology.
We avoid tools or training methods that inflict severe emotional distress or physical harm to dogs. Examples of such tools/methods include electric shock and prong collars, or physical punishment. These punitive methods often result in defensive retaliation and can severely damage the human-animal bond. Furthermore, using these techniques may harm the animal psychologically and/or physically in the long term, and also decrease the efficiency of training, thus becoming counter-productive in reducing unwanted behaviours (China et al., 2020; Ziv, 2017).
Instead of intrusive methods, our consultants harness creative problem solving and skillful training techniques to address behavioural problems. Training is always carried out humanely, using positive reinforcement techniques to reward desirable behaviour while extinguishing undesirable behaviours by removing the original reinforcers and teaching the animal alternative ways of responding. Positive reinforcement, as opposed to aversive training practices, is associated with an improvement in the ability to learn and better performance and behaviour overall (Rooney & Cowan, 2011).