Humane Dog Training Position Statement

Humane Dog Training Position Statement

This statement reviews the current literature on the effects of training style on animal welfare, training effectiveness, and the dog-human relationship.  The statement includes an FAQ with questions from addressing behavior concerns to finding help and resources for more information.

Based on current scientific evidence, AVSAB recommends that only reward-based training methods are used for all dog training, including the treatment of behavior problems.

Evidence supports the use of reward based methods for all canine training. AVSAB promotes interactions with animals based on compassion, respect, and scientific evidence. Based on these factors, reward-based learning offers the most advantages and least harm to the learner’s welfare. Research supports the efficacy of reward-based training to address unwanted and challenging behaviors. There is no evidence that aversive training is necessary for dog training or behavior modification.

Reward-based techniques should be used for teaching common training skills as well as to address unwanted behaviors. The application of aversive methods – which, by definition, rely on application of force, pain, or emotional or physical discomfort – should not be used in canine training or for the treatment of behavioral disorders.

As the role of companion animals has evolved, their welfare and the relationships between humans and animals have become increasingly important. It is understood that animals are sentient and should be treated with respect and compassion.
Learning manners and skills can help animals to co-exist harmoniously with people in the home and in society. The techniques used to teach these manners and skills can strongly affect an animal’s future behavior and emotional wellbeing.

Read the full AVSAB Statement here: Humane Dog Training Position Statement