The Dog’s Way Video Training Course

A Different Approach to Dog Training Videos

Dog training online course

When I started the preparation process for making the video course, I watched tons of dog training videos to see what was out there (yes, there are just about literally “tons” of dog training videos out there). I noticed that almost all of them had a few things that I didn’t like.

In many of these “quick tip” type videos that I watched, the dog that the professional trainer demonstrated with seemed to “get it”, often though, the trainers didn’t really cover “why” they did what they did or what to do if it didn’t work out exactly as they showed you on the quick video. In short, many of these videos didn’t really give you the reality of what you might experience when you try the same thing with your dog. I wanted you to see people going through the process of taking their dog from untrained to trained. I wanted you to see the trial and error and adjustments that they had to make along the way, so that you get a better feel for what it might be like when you take your dog through that process.
This was important to me precisely because there’s so much information out there about dog training (and, as you might have realized by now, not all of it works for your dog). To help cut through all that, I’ve found it’s crucial to your understanding, and your long term results, for you to understand the “why” behind “what” you’re doing. To do that, I spend a good amount of time in our video course teaching you underlying principles and theory, so that you have a good foundation to carry you through the barrage of advice you’re getting from your friends, neighbors, (and virtually everyone you know that has a dog). By the way, this isn’t just to help you understand the material either; It’s really to help you create more consistency in your interactions with your dog. Dogs thrive on consistency, and if we keep “bouncing” all over the place trying different unrelated pieces of advice, sometimes, dogs can get confused and frustrated.
I totally get the food treat training notion, that’s how I was originally trained back in the 1990’s. I’m not here to knock that sort of training either. If that training works for you then great! Those techniques can be helpful for some dogs. There are even situations where I take advantage of the benefits of food in training (like with puppies for example). I’ve simply found that there are a whole bunch people and their dogs, (the majority in fact) who have tried food treat training and been frustrated with a lack of ‘real world’ results.
I wanted to you to see how I coach people to teach their dogs that they were “the leaders” without having to “come down on them like a ton of bricks”. Now, there are times with some dogs where you really do have to communicate, “Whoa! That’s totally out of bounds behavior!!” BUT the vast majority of the time we want to finesse the relationship (which is how dogs arrange the relationships with each other, by the way). When you watch dogs interact with other dogs at the park, they don’t run around and pin every dog to the ground with their teeth to show them “who’s boss”. Instead, they finesse the relationship to indicate that they want to be “in charge” (if that’s what they want). In the video course, we go through the three step process of relationship, skills and then policies to help you finesse your leadership, teach basic skills and then craft default rules that apply all the time.

For Dogs Over 7 Months Old

  • 12 video lessons

  • 15 downloadable and printable reminder cards to take with you on your walks and homework sessions as a reminder of key “Do’s” and “Do Not’s”

  • Bonus and problem solving video lessons on the “students-only” website
  • A downloadable and printable workbook that follows along with each lesson.

The Downloadable & Printable Workbook Includes

  • Specific homework assignments
  • A quick quiz on each section to solidify your theory learning
  • Detailed competency self-assessments to track your progress

The Dog’s Way Online Video Training Course $49.95

The Dog

Use the course online for three years.

Gain access right away to The Dog’s Way Video Training Course and start training today!

Once you have access to the Students Section you can:

  • Download the workbook
  • Download the reminder cards
  • Access the video training course right away online
  • Start training with your dog today!
PURCHASE ONLINE VIDEO COURSE $49.95

Frequently asked questions about the course and the style of training

It’s important for me that the course is a fit for you. Here are some questions that folks have emailed me that represent the bulk of questions that I get (and my responses to them). If your question isn’t answered here, feel free to email me.

  • Walking on a loose leash
  • Sitting
  • Staying
  • Walking next to you in a controlled way on a shortened leash
  • Leaving certain things alone on command (leave it)
  • Leaving other things alone ‘permanently’ with no command required
  • Coming when called
  • Staying in a down for 10 minutes and longer
  • Understanding temporary boundaries (stopping them from entering a room on command)
  • Understanding permanent boundaries (for example: never bolting out the front door again)
  • Staying quiet
  • Settling down
  • Meeting people
  • Meeting dogs

There are other specific scenarios and lessons that are covered in mini-lessons in the “student section” on the log-in part of the website. For example, there are mini-lessons on things like:

  • Getting your dog comfortable with bathing
  • Learning to trim your dog’s nails without having to wrestle them to the ground
  • Teaching your dog to accept brushing calmly
The length of time it takes is really based on your situation. Regardless of how long it takes you to get through the whole course, though, people who have bought the course have told me that they start experiencing changes in their dog’s behavior within the first few days of training. However, to answer your question about how long completing the course takes, I can give you some ball park ranges. During filming the folks that are in the video did everything in 5 weeks. I’ve had people tell me they’ve gone through the whole course in less time than that, but I’d guess that the average is that it may take you a little longer than 5 weeks to finish. Each section is competency-based and I give you assessment goals in the preamble to each lesson so you can track your progress. Also, if you have two or more dogs, it will take a little longer. (There’s a video mini-lesson that gives people in multiple-dog households some additional info on how to take your multiple dogs through the video course.)

The Online Video Course Includes:

  • Three years of access to the online course
  • 12 step-by-step video lessons
  • 15 downloadable and printable reminder cards to take with you on your walks and homework sessions as a reminder of key “Do’s and Don’ts”
  • Bonus and problem-solving video lessons on the “student’s section” of the website
  • Your downloadable and printable workbook to follow along with each lesson to make sure you’re getting all the info in each lesson.

The downloadable workbook includes

  • Specific homework assignments
  • A quick quiz in your downloadable and printable workbook on each section to solidify your theory learning
  • Detailed competency self-assessments to track your progress
Yes, we offer a 30-Day, Money-Back Guarantee. If you don’t like the course and you feel that you didn’t learn a lot from it, contact me sean@thedogsway.com and I’ll arrange for your refund.
The biggest variable in the answer to this question is how committed you are for the first few weeks of training. I always say that it’s a little like those before and after fitness results you see … the real ones … not the photoshopped ones! 😊 If you see someone that’s created great results in several weeks of an exercise or diet game-plan, one thing I can tell you is that they really got committed to the plan. If you’re changing anything, those first several weeks makes all the difference in your medium and long-term results. You have to provide some focus and effort to break through the inertia of your current performance level. The good news is that inertia works both ways. Once you have a few weeks of training under your belt, training gets easier and many of the new rules and skills you and your dog have learned become second nature.
Yes. While there are certainly breed-specific differences in many dogs, this course relies on the underlying commonalities in all domestic dogs to follow a leader and a desire to exist in an environment with consistent rules.

In short – no. It would probably be a better “sales pitch” to simply say, “hey, use this video course for every dog situation no matter what”. However, it’s sort of a pet peeve of mine (no pun intended) when someone watches a TV show, or reads a book (or watches a video course) and tries to rehabilitate a dog dealing with aggression issues. It’s not that much of the content and exercises aren’t potentially helpful and similar to how we go about working with clients in person in these situations. It’s really that some aggression issues are potentially very dangerous, and it’s my recommendation that anyone that has a dog that is exhibiting aggression should consult with a trained professional so that a behaviorist or trainer can assess your dog and determine what level of risk is associated with having people or other animals around a dog dealing with these issues.

One of the challenges with this determination is that the label “aggressive behavior” is fairly subjective. Also, there are many different scenarios in which aggression manifests so it’s sometimes hard to determine whether the “general label” of “aggressive dog” applies. This is also a challenge, I’ve found, because it’s often tough for people to label their own dog (who, after all, is frequently very nice to them) as aggressive. While there isn’t a “formula” that I can give you to assess this, I can give you a couple “rules of thumb” and dispel some inaccurate info that might help. The first myth, about the label “aggressive dog”, that I can tell you about, is that “aggressive dogs are dangerous all the time”. While there are dogs like this, this is almost never the case. Even for dogs that have killed other dogs, and bitten and injured people seriously, there are scenarios in which they display like “nice, friendly dogs”. So, many dogs that are “normal” 90% of the time can still display intense aggression towards particular people or animals (or types of people: ie: people with hats, backpacks, uniforms, men, children, etc.) Likewise, there are scenarios in which “normal” dogs who act nicely towards people, much of the time, can change their behavior dramatically in certain situations (like around feeding, particular toys, or on their home territory)So, keeping in mind the idea that “problem dogs” are not perpetually displaying “bad behavior” and may sometimes look very normal, I can give you a couple “rules of thumb” that may indicate that you’re dealing with an issue that you should see a professional about. If you’ve begun to change your behavior (i.e.: changing the time you walk your dog, putting your dog away out of concern for other people or pets ) even if your dog hasn’t caused harm yet, then you may be correct in assuming some potential danger and you should get your dog assessed. Likewise, if other people have started to change their behavior around your dog (i.e.: instructing their children to stay away from your dog, keeping a clear distance from you when you walk past them in the neighborhood etc. ) then they may be picking up some signals that your dog is communicating while interacting socially. As I wrote earlier, these aren’t “ironclad” rules for how to assess a dog but are good “indicators” of a potential issue. If you’re experiencing any of these scenarios, or you have any question about your dog’s temperament, I highly recommend that you get your dog assessed by a trained professional, rather than buy our video course, a book or watch a TV show, to try to rehabilitate your dog on your own.
For dogs over 7 months old, I don’t use food as a primary training tool. I use treats with puppies all the time and use food in some scenarios in training when it helps get the best result. The video course work is 98% without treats. My bias in training now (even though I originally was trained in food-treat training in the 1990s) is what I call a naturalistic bias in training. I’ve noticed over the years that dogs communicate pretty well with other dogs. The glib way I describe this notion is, “if your dog ran up in to the hills and found a real pack of dogs to live with they wouldn’t train your dog into the rules of their pack by flipping him food treats – they’d, instead, interact socially with him.” That’s sort of the notion with my training now. We start by clarifying that your dog needs to be in the “follower” role (that is, looking to you for how to interpret things, rather than just deciding for themselves how every scenario should be handled). Then we work on coaching basic skills (like attention span and learning to recover from stimulation in the environment, as well as some basic obedience skills) and then we work on default rules or policies that are in effect all the time ( like, don’t ever jump up, or pull on the leash or run out the front door)I found that when I was experimenting with food-treat training, dogs (at least the ones that had enough food motivation to be trained with food) frequently would do “behaviors” for food and get conditioned fairly well … unless they had a greater interest in something else. I found that for many dogs the food-based conditioning just didn’t produce solid enough real world results for my liking.By the way, if you’re still wanting to hear more about why I transitioned from “positive only” food-treat training to a more naturalistic training philosophy, I talk about that in Session 1 of The Dog’s Way Podcast here.
The reality is that balanced training with a leash is not inhumane at all. I’ve never seen a dog hurt in our training, and I’ve seen hundreds helped with consistent, balanced training that involves both positive and negative feedback to a dog. Could someone, if they are inconsistent, unfair and unbalanced, abuse a dog with a leash, or any other object or piece of equipment? Well … yes. I’ve seen people be cruel to dogs that aren’t wearing any training collar or leash at all, and I’ve seen people be completely fair and consistent using a prong collar. It usually has more to do with how you use any particular piece of equipment.This is certainly a very emotionally charged topic, and there have been many controversial statements made about dog training methods involving a balanced approach of using positive as well as negative feedback. I frequently hear “positive-only trainers” say things like, “you should never use negative feedback with your dog, and certainly don’t physically stop your dog from doing anything, because it’s abusive!” The thing that is confusing to me about this sort of statement is that well-socialized dogs don’t even follow that advice when interacting with each other. When dogs interact with each other, they use both positive and negative feedback all the time. Why would we remove half of the communication style that dogs healthily use with one another in order to train them?I think some of this controversy comes down to the wide variety of opinions about how to define certain words. For example, I’ve heard some trainers say that you shouldn’t even “look disapprovingly” at your dog because that constitutes “psychological abuse”. Without being presumptuous, I think I’d be safe in saying that’s probably not most people’s definition of “psychological abuse”. Likewise, I don’t think the vast majority of people would consider giving a quick, finessed “pop” on a leash to alert a dog to a mistake that they’ve made in training to be “abuse” either. I would simply say that I respectfully disagree with these sorts of definitions of “abuse”. I’m very happy to have people try anyone’s methodology of dog training. I don’t demand that everyone train dogs in the way that I do. Further, I’d recommend trying the positive-only approach and assess for yourself how effective you feel it is for you. I frequently say to my clients, “don’t take my word for it – assess the results for yourself.” The bottom line for me is that I’m a big fan of people thinking, and assessing, for themselves.

There are lots of “positive-only” trainers that label people that don’t train in exactly their method as “unscientific”. Often, it’s a form of public relations persuasion against trainers that they simply disagree with. You might also hear versions of this criticism towards balanced trainers (who use fair and consistent positive and negative feedback with dogs), as being “old fashioned”. These critiques are designed to depict “positive only” trainers as; good, smart, humane, scientific, and new. At the same time, they try to depict balanced trainers as: bad, dumb, inhumane, unscientific and old fashioned (and I almost forgot – abusive). It’s a clever way to frame the issue, to be sure. The only problem is that it’s not entirely accurate or factual.

I heard a lot of this sort of discussion early on in my career because I was originally trained in a “purely positive” method of dog training. I heard that there is only one way to train a dog, “Our way or the wrong way!” I noticed that, while the purely positive method worked for a very small number of dogs, most dogs just couldn’t become functional in real life situations with a purely positive method of training. When I began questioning some of the precepts of the “purely positive” method, I was met with all the fervor of someone pondering the idea that that maybe the earth actually revolved around the sun circa 1500’s Europe. Fortunately, for me, I was also volunteering in shelters helping to exercise and socialize dogs after hours. I noticed during social interactions among dogs that they used both positive and negative feedback with each other all the time. That’s when the light bulb went off for me. The strange thought in my head was, “I guess dogs never read the purely positive dog communications book … because that’s not how they do it?”

I think the implication when some trainers call others unscientific, or uneducated or abusive is that those “bad” trainers somehow don’t understand the benefits of “positive reinforcement”. I don’t know any trainers that reject the use of positive reinforcement in training. Balanced trainers use both positive and negative feedback in a full spectrum of communication with an eye on getting the functional result in everyday life.

To be clear, I’m a fan of people living their lives the way they want to live them, and If people want to train in a “purely positive” method, a “purely psychic” method or some other version of dog training, and they seem to get the results they’re looking for, I think that’s OK. All I can do is tell you about the conclusions I came to and why I ended up there.

So, maybe I can respond to the “unscientific” charge this way. Let’s do a quick quiz. Which type of trainer do you think is more unscientific?

As I’m sure many of you know, the scientific method is relatively straight forward and has been around for a few centuries now. It’s as follows:

  1. Have a theory about something
  2. Test that theory
  3. If that theory gets the result that you thought it would get, then great – Eureka!
  4. If that theory, when tested, does not get the result you predicted, then go back up to step number one and start the process again by revising your theory because you’ve now proved it lacking.

So, knowing that, which type of dog trainer is more “scientific” and which is more “unscientific”?

Dog Trainer A

A trainer that has a definite hardened theoretical ideology, and when faced with a lack of results, when trying to put those theories into practice, doesn’t re-examine their theories and assumptions, but instead expends a lot of energy casting aspersions at people who don’t rigidly follow their ideology.

Or;

Dog Trainer B

A trainer, who believes it’s OK for different people to train dogs differently, that has an open framework and uses many training techniques at their disposal. They run through the above mentioned “scientific method” testing process constantly with an eye on adjusting techniques and strategies until results are achieved with each dog.

I’ll let you decide which trainer seems more “scientific”. 😊

What the course is

What the course isn’t

Some people have sent in a lot of questions asking what the course is all about. In response, I did a couple of little videos telling you what’s is in the course and (maybe more importantly) what’s not in the course. Hope these help.

Also please note: the DVD Course mentioned in the above videos is no longer available. The course is completely online at this time.

Why Choose The Dog’s Way?

  • The program helps you establish a clear relationship with your dog so your dog naturally looks to you for how to do things.
  • The training doesn’t use food as a primary training tool, so you’re not stuck hoping the treat in your hand is more important than everything else your dog wants to do.
  • It provides a more naturalistic approach that taps into your dog’s desire to follow a leader rather than relying on treat rewards.
  • Because every dog is unique and starts at a different level of competence, The Dog’s Way teaches you how to figure out where to start training with your dog to make learning easy and natural.
  • You can watch real untrained people and their dogs progress through the lessons with Sean so you can learn from their mistakes and challenges.
  • You will learn to avoid common mistakes, such as inadvertently telling your dog that you want her to be the leader and encouraging the exact behaviors that you want your dog to stop.