Training the dog you have. Easier said than done, which I was reminded this week when I was out training with a few friends. One asked if the method they were using to train their dog was the best method, I responded with “there are 50 million ways to skin a cat.” This is the truth really, you get 4 dog trainers in a room and they can all agree the 5th one is wrong( I saw this on the back of a T-shirt once and man is it true). The thing I love about training dogs is that, if one method does not work, there are other options out there for you to try. I also love that when you are training your dogs, you get out of it what you put in… not like human relationships where you might give it your all and see no results, in my experience in working with dogs, the more I put in the more results I get. But, back to the question… we all want to train our dogs the right way and how confusing can it be when all you want is a straight answer. Is this the best method to train my dog? I think it all depends on the desired end result, your training preference and of course your dog. You have shaping, capturing, luring etc. So simple answer there is no “best” way to train your dog. There are 50 million tools you can use and methods. What it comes down to is what works best for you and for your dog. Pick a path and stick with it. Consistency is key in dog training. It is not fair to let your dog do something one day and punish it the next for doing the thing you allowed, maybe even reinforced, the next. Unfortunately, there is not a standard in dog training. Nor is there a central dog trainer certification. There are a few different entities which offer dog trainer certifications, but they are always based on what they think the core competencies a dog trainer should have, so the moral there is, pick your trainer wisely. And for people that like to point out there is a wrong way to train your dog, of course there is. I would never use a shock collar on my dog, amongst a few other available “tools”, but I do not have enough time nor do I want to get into that. Happy Training!