What’s Your Favorite Resource for Dog Training and Behavior Advice?

July 29, 2011  

We asked our Facebook fans, “What’s your favorite resource (online or in real life) for dog training and behavior advice? How has it helped you and your dogs?”

Our fans searched out their favorite training and behavior advice from a wide variety of resources, from professional dog trainers in their communities to popular online websites and rescue forums. Many combine tips and techniques to come up with the best approach for their individual dogs. Thanks for sharing everyone!

(Photos by Melissa Lipani)

In the beginning, we watched a lot of dog shows like DogTown and Dog Whisperer, learning different techniques and ideas. From there, we used what they taught us at Petsmart’s “puppy school” to essentially create our own style. Now, everyone we know comes to us for advice!

~ Stephanie N. Rotondo

I have an awesome friend, who happens to be an awesome trainer, and she is always a phone call or Facebook message away (and also shares my love and passion for pit bulls.)

~ Hollie Thomas

I started out using Cesar Milan, but then I asked local pet stores if they knew any places for training. I did my research to find which was best for us. I took my pittie to training classes from puppy class to basic obedience, then CGC. Then I turned around and taught my Lab myself. I use the information that trainers at K9 Kindred Spirits in Vista, Ca taught me on a daily basis.

~ Erica R Yanes-Gonzalez

Peace, Love & Pit Bulls! ~ Heather McClain Howell

We love Dr. Sophia Yin’s site for information about dog behavior and Bad Rap‘s site for pit bull specific info. And in Monmouth County NJ, we’re very lucky to have several wonderful rewards based trainers right at our fingertips! Our members love to use Roseann and Elisa at Big Tail Waggin and Vyolet and Drayton at Urban Dawgs, both in Red Bank.

~ Monmouth County Under’dogs’

On the Spot Pet-sitting and Training in the Cleveland area. Krista is amazing with the bully breeds. She uses positive reinforcement training and it has worked its magic on my pit bull.

~ Hollie Thomas

Two local trainers in the Fort Bragg, CA area have been terrific resources: Julie Apostolu teaches a Canine Good Citizen class, as well as advanced obedience. I’ve taken several dogs through her class and she always has a good, positive idea on how to teach a dog something that they might be stuck on. Our other trainer, Alberta Cottrell teaches a low cost, weekly drop-in basic obedience class at the local Humane Society. All breeds, ages, issues and skills are welcome. Her help was invaluable with one of my fosters and his resource guarding.

~ Crissy Wilson Tadlock

My grandma! I read quite a bit and found some good tips from various sites but the best advice by far is from my grandmother.

~ Adria Sowell

I always turn to Cesar Milan – I adore The Dog Whisperer series and also his website. For me, Cesar is a dog god and my hero! I adore learning about dog psychology and it’s really helped me to understand my dogs better, and I believe they love me all the more for it.

~ Julia Mack

We love Laura from Paws and Claws in Edmonds, WA. She’s got 10 years of pittie experience and has done wonders with my mom’s maltipoo!

~ Robin Lemke

Truly Dog-Friendly is a great resource for finding humane trainers. Also, there is a fantastic group of folks on the rescue-a-bull forum who have tons of great tips on training.

~ Lilith Shireman

My girlfriend! ~ Tom Hamlett

I use many different resources, first I use past experiences with my previous dogs. Second I have a training facility next to my house called Partners Dog Training in Cave Creek, AZ that are very good with different problems. Third I do watch various dog shows, Dog Whisperer, etc… Each one has their uses and since every dog is different, I use the advice of all three and work with whichever one works on the problem I currently have.

~ Anita Elias

Behave-a-Bulls training classes through Treat ‘Em Right Rescue!

~ Jagger

I live in Texas, but I go to selfhelpdogtraining.com for advice. I stumbled across one of their videos while doing research for aggression rehab. I love those guys! If I ever have my dog protection-trained I’m going to have to take a trip to New York.

~ Lacy Madelene Grimes

We used Best Friends Dog Training in Littlestown, PA. She helped us with all our questions and she also loves bully breeds. She offers group classes, or private classes (which we did). She also writes weekly articles in our local newspaper. If we have any problems we talk to her.

~ Amber Wolf

I’ve found the BEST online resource & community is Pitbullforum.com. It’s a fantastic community of responsible pit bull owners sharing good advice, tips, etc. I also refer to sites like Dr. Sophia Yin’s for training tips, and Dr. Ian Dunbar is also a great resource. In general, I follow positive-based trainers and advice that teach the dog how to behave, rather than punish bad behavior.

~ Jennifer Leigh State

My local AKC club has helped me a lot. I am trying to get my boy trained and ready to get his Canine Good Citizen certification, so they have given me tips on training to get him started and prepared for their classes they offer. Great source and great pricing for classes too!

~ Cassy Lemon

As a trainer, I use Dogwise a lot to find new books on the subject. I was an apprentice with my mentor trainer for quite some time, and I am always asking her questions and opinions. I also like to tap into the huge network of positive trainers that I’ve associated myself with. Websites like Truly Dog-Friendly and APDT are great places to find trainers and advice. One of the things that people have to remember is that no two dogs are the same, so you have to always be willing to be flexible. Just like human education, there isn’t a one size fits all answer to dog training and behavior modification. Personally, all of my dogs are trained using marker training (ex: clicker training), and all of my guys have seriously flourished with it.

~ Ashley Scott

In Phoenix, we used Elizabeth at We Train Dogs and loved them!

~ Gretchen Jennings

Before I brought Juno home I watched shows like the Dog Whisperer and It’s Me or The Dog, I read Cesar’s Way, and How to Be A Pack Leader. I also had a puppy book. I used Cesar’s energy combined with Victoria Stilwell’s techniques and Juno is a well-balanced, well behaved, and happy dog!

~ Robine Yvonne France

We watched a ton of Dog Whisperer before adopting our beautiful pit. All that stuff about being a pack leader was so important. I also did some research online. Once we brought Bella home it was totally different. We don’t watch the show any more because I believe that a lot of his techniques are for dogs with dominate tendencies and our Bella really enjoys being a member of our pack not the leader. But exercise, discipline and then affection have always been the key to our happy calm home.

~ Tanaya Burnham-Delorey

I’m a huge fan of Pit Bull Rescue Central. I think they have the best advice about the breed.

~ ILove-A-Bull

We are incredibly fortunate that our trainer, Barbara De Groodt in CA, makes herself so accessible, in spite of her demanding schedule, and is very supportive of the pitties and of rescue in general. It so happens that she was also named 2010 Trainer of the Year at the Westminster Kennel Show in February. I would say her primary emphasis is on developing a trusting bond between dogs and their humans and respecting the partnership. I think we need to get to the point that we have enough knowledge that we can take a look at any training advice with a critical mind, since we know (or should know) our dogs better than anyone else. One size does not fit all, and that applies to training too, so I also enjoy checking out: Dog Star Daily and I also appreciate Turid Rugaas , but I don’t feel a need to agree with anyone 100% of the time.

~ Linda Shen

I like Karen Pryor (clicker training) and Victoria Stilwell. Positive reinforcement is the only training we use. Clicker training is amazing, the dogs learn so much faster and they are so much happier, you can actually see them thinking.

~ Tracy Baldwin

I’m a believer in Cesar’s methods. I suffer from PTSD and used his methods to train my bullmastiff service dog/side kick. I couldn’t ask for a better dog. His way has also helped me to recognize when I am getting frustrated or anxious and how much it would affect my dog. So it’s helped me become a more Zen version of myself, which means less stress. Less stress = less panic attacks.

~ Jamie Hurley

The Whole Dog Journal and Dog Spelled Forward are some of my favorite resources. Pat Miller has many articles on her website that address nearly every common behavior issue and I’ve shared them with many people. Kikodog on Youtube has some great videos, mostly centered on tricks.

~ Laura Cooke

Dog trainer Fernando Camacho, in NJ, has been a great support to our family. He has worked with me with both of our dogs, our latest family member is Zelda, a beautiful little pit rescue. Fernando has a pit bull and really gets it. He often sees me walking my dogs in the park and always gives me encouragement and advice. He tirelessly works to help people with their dogs and raise awareness and funds for rescue dogs and the people who work with them. He’s awesome!

~ Nancy Witters

I get my best advice from the rescue sites! The videos and how-tos are fantastic tools (i.e., your Community Questions, Bad Rap, Animal Farm, Peace, Love & Pit Bulls, PBRC, Our Pack). And yes, the actual classes I attend with my dogs are always outstanding. I don’t think you can every graduate from training – there’s always something different with each dog, which in turn makes you a better owner because you keep learning, better equipped for the next dog (own or foster)!

~ Tracey Thompson

For positive training techniques, I like the handouts from Animal Farm Foundation. I also check in with Bad Rap because they have unique, time-tested training lessons and videos. For very basic behavioral help, I like the Dumb Friends League . I also read the The Whole Dog Journal and Patricia McConnell’s books, like Feisty Fido. Most importantly, the resources I use are filled with techniques that can be modified or combined with other lessons, so I can help each individual dog succeed.

~ Jessica Dolce

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One Response to “What’s Your Favorite Resource for Dog Training and Behavior Advice?”
  1. Very nice post. Thank you so much.