Our Training Philosophy? Praise Dog!
Mission Statement: Ahimsa Dog Training strengthens the human and animal bond through positive training.
Dog training is all about forming a solid relationship with your dog. Teach him what you want but also learn what he needs from you to live a happy life.
The primary goal at Ahimsa Dog Training is to give you, your dog’s real trainer, the tools to build communication, mutual respect, and trust. Our trainers 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 chose the name Ahimsa because it means “compassion” and “non-violence.” Nothing that we teach will harm your dog or the relationship you have with her. (And you 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, although we are always willing to use other techniques, as long as they are both effective and humane. A study by University of Bristol’s School of Veterinary Science found that dogs trained with punishment and yelling were twice as likely to show aggression to strangers and three times as likely to show aggression to their owners.
Here’s a quick version of one of the ideas behind learning theory. If you reward your dog for doing something, she will repeat the behavior. If there is no reward, the behavior will go away. Simple, right? But we don’t always think about it. 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!
You can use treats, toys, and all of the fun things in life to get your dog to want to listen to you. But if you’re a good dog trainer, you aren’t bribing your dog and you don’t have to use treats forever. Eventually, you can reward your dog randomly and praise often, and the dog will still respond to the cue. The great thing is, once you understand the principles of learning theory, you can start applying them to a lot of different aspects of your life — like training your kids to clean their rooms.
What does training your dog mean for you? You end up having a happy companion who pays attention, walks near you on or off the leash, sits when you ask her to sit, and hangs out politely while you enjoy a mocha with your human friends. What does training mean to the dog? It means she has an enjoyable, interesting life in a home where she understands her role and what she needs to do to keep the good stuff coming!
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.
“Ahimsa means not to injure any creature by thought, word or deed, not even to the supposed advantage of this creature.”
“Truth is my religion and Ahimsa is the only way of its realization.
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.”