Ahimsa Dog Training, Seattle

What Does Ahimsa Mean?

Ahimsa, or sometimes, "Ahinsa," is a Buddhist and Hindu doctrine promoting non-violence toward all living beings.  Ahimsa encourages compassion for all life, human and non-human.  Gandhi had several great things to say about Ahimsa, including this definition, "Ahimsa means not to injure any creature by thought, word or deed, not even to the supposed advantage of this creature."

Thomas Edison wrote that Ahimsa "leads to the highest ethics which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages."

Another Gandhi quote: "Non-violence [Ahimsa] is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man." While he was speaking of the liberation of India, Ahimsa is required in many of our everyday pursuits, including dog training.

Violence produces only something resembling justice, but it distances people from the possibility of living justly, without violence.
- Leo Tolstoy

Gandhi also said this about Ahimsa: "Truth is my religion and Ahimsa is the only way of its realisation."

There are many ways to train a dog or puppy.  One traditional theory for training, which was quite popular in the military in WWII, is that we must "dominate" dogs to make them obey out of fear. At Ahimsa Dog Training, we prefer to use effective methods that are congruent with both modern science and our personal views on how humans should behave. 

Rather than punishing what we don't want, we prefer to find an incompatible behavior  and reinforce it. Then the dog builds a strong habit of doing what you want, instead of what you don't!

The idea of using Positive Reinforcement as the main method of instruction has taken root in the last few decades and is becoming one of the primary methods in modern dog training.  As Gandhi wrote, "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

For more on how "Ahimsa" relates to the training philosophy of Ahimsa Dog Training, please read our Philosophy page.


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925 NW 49th Street, Suite C, Seattle, Washington, 98107.  Phone: 206.364.4072    Fax: 206-866-6786   Email info@doggiezen.com

Located in Seattle
Phone: (206) 364-4072