What's Our Training Philosophy? 

Hi, I'm Helen Prinold,  the owner of Dog Friendship in Guelph, Ontario, Though it may sound a bit like wishing for world peace, I'm really serious about making the world a better place, one dog at a time.

Dog training is all about forming a wonderful  bond with your dog - where your dog looks to you for information and cues on what to do and you provide them with cues (and rewards) for their great behaviour. 

This great relationship...a dog friendship... means you get a happy, well mannered, confident dog that is a joy to handle and be around. 

We use treats and life rewards - demo on YouTube  

  • Our goal a is to give the you, your dog's trainer, the tools to build communication, mutual respect, and trust between you and your dog.  
  • Dog Friendship will show you how to understand your dog, how to teach your dog to understand you, and how to fit training into your busy schedule.  We'll also help you build great relationships with your dog professionals - from the sitter to the veterinarian. 
  • We build relationships where dogs want to work with their people, and owners don't feel the need to use violence to accomplish their goals.  
  • Nothing that we teach will harm your dog or the relationship you have with your dog.  (And we promise you will always have veto power if you feel any trainer is doing something that will harm your dog in any way).  
  • Our methods are based on the scientific principles of learning theory and are both effective and humane.
  • Here's a quick version of some learning theory....if you reward a dog for doing something, they repeat the behavior -- if there is no reward, the behavior will go away.  
  • This is one of those things that sounds simple, and yet can be more complicated in practice.  
  • If you're looking for someone who is going to guarantee your dog's behavior 100% of the time then you need to call another number. 
  • We will guarantee improvement and that you'll get a solid training plan and clear path to where you need to be.
  • Our staff at Dog Friendship will evaluate how your dog lives in your family, come up with a plan of action to help your train and develop a happy and well-behaved dog, implement and revise that plan as needed and watch as things evolve. 
  • We'll discuss home life, health, diet, environment and your expectations.We will work very hard to help in anyway an experienced trainer can, including telling you the truth if it's time to make major and perhaps permanent changes and difficult decisions. 
  • Yes, we do use a lot of training treats, but whenever possible we use food that the dogs were going to eat anyway (kibble from their regular meal), or Life Rewards - permission to do things that they want to do, like go outside or walk quickly. 
  • "Speed" is a calorie free, 100% environmentally and dog-friendly treat - for example, sitting at an open door is rewarded with going out the door.  
  • We look for treats that are healthy for dogs and healthy for the planet, recognizing that sometimes we may need to use treats like liver or cheese balls for their "oh gosh" value.
  • At our main training sites, we don't use paper towels for the bulk of our "accident" cleaning.  We use environmentally friendly cleaning products - including the pet-safe enzyme-based cleaner that many vets use to sanitize their clinics,  
  • When we host dog training seminars, we feed healthy lunches, offering choices for special diets, made locally with products from Ontario.  
  • And we encourage trainers to bring their own mugs and carpool where possible.
  • We want to do our part to make the world a better place for ourselves and for future generations of trainers, kids and dogs.  
  • If you've got great ideas on how to do this for your fellow dog owners like us...please share them! 

We are actually training our dogs every instant that we are with them, but we don't often use that to our advantage.  If you don't pay attention to what you are teaching your dog, you could end up training your dog to jump on you, whine for attention, and run away when called!  What does a dog consider a reward or punishment?  As Suzanne Clothier has said, we need to ask the dog "how is this for you?" in order to figure that out.  Some dogs love rambunctious play and running and that makes a great reward.  Others prefer a cuddle or a treat.  It depends!

What does training your dog with Dog Friendship mean for you?  When we work together and your dog is capable of it (not ill or genetically damaged) we end up having a happy companion who pays attention, walks near you on or off the leash, sits when asked, and hangs out politely while you enjoy a chat with your human friends.  What does training mean to the dog?  It means your dog has an enjoyable, interesting life in a home where they understand their role and what they need to do to keep the good stuff coming!  And the good stuff is not always treats - you will not be bribing your dog with food - you'll be rewarding them with what they want...yes, sometimes that will be treats, and other times that will be a long walk, a chance to chase a ball or go for a run or a calming massage.

As members of the Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers (CAPPDT), we support and endorse using this Humane Hierarchy below when trying to modify dog behavior.  That is, when your dog is doing something that doesn't work as social behavior, I support working through an ordered process to be sure we've ruled out key causes of odd behaviour.  We help you distinguish between normal dog behaviour happening when it's not wanted, rude dog behaviour that needs a dog to relearn what's socially acceptable or abonormal dog behaviour problems like obsessive-compulsive disorder.  We can help show you levels one through four and develop a plan that works (before you ever think of getting to level 5)!