Training Philosophy

A Wells Trained Dog teaches the art of Gentle Persuasion®, which supports the philosophy:

philosophyw-shadow Gentle Persuasion® stimulates the dog’s natural behaviors and drives and without the use of threats, dominance or punishment, gently persuades the dog to direct those drives toward the desired behavior. It is neither necessary nor desireable, and can be dangerous,  to ‘dominate’ your dog by pinning or ‘alpha’ rolling him!  This long outdated type of ‘training’ has caused many owners to be bitten by their own frightened dogs.

Gentle Persuasion proposes that reward and informative correction create enthusiastic cooperation while threats, punishment and the use of weapons like electric shock collars, create resentful obedience and, often, creative avoidance.

Gentle Persuasion takes into consideration each dog’s breed purpose, temperament and learning abilities and develops those abilities to their fullest.

To be a confident, happy member of his family, a dog must know more than the usual “Sit”, “Down”, “Stay”, “Come” and “Heel” cues. The Canine is a working species.    In a normal family situation, Canines have a variety of skills and jobs to perform to help the family survive and flourish. A domestic dog without a job becomes bored and  creates games and adventures to fill the empty time. These games often include re-landscaping your yard,  redesigning and rearranging your pillows etc.   When a dog has a feeling of confidence, well being and value, the undesirable behaviors in which insecure and bored dogs indulge are diminished or eliminated entirely.

Training a dog to perform simple tasks around the house keeps him out of ‘trouble’ and gives him a sense of value to the family.

Jobs as simple as a “go to your mat” and long “down-stay” with a chew toy; a retrieve of her lead or a ball or your slippers, (without chewing them, of course!); greeting your visitors calmly with a seated handshake rather than jumping all over them; waiting at the door rather than bolting out and knocking you over; ringing a bell to tell you that he must eliminate and then eliminating on cue; stopping at the curb rather than running into the street; untangling his lead when it is wrapped around his feet; rolling on his side to allow his veterinarian to examine him or his groomer to groom him, without being nipped etc. Jobs like these are taught at A Wells Trained Dog.

At A Wells Trained Dog, first, each dog’s parent is taught how to interpret her dog’s sophisticated body-language communications and to communicate back to the dog in the same language.   Next the parent is taught how to teach her human language to her dog.  Dogs must be gently taught the human language the same as human children are taught each word and phrase. Dogs are not born understanding human concepts and languages, yet most owners assume that their dogs understand their every word!  Then, when the dog does not understand, and therefore does not respond as the human wishes, the dog is very often punished for not responding correctly and is called “stubborn” or “stupid”.

It makes absolutely no sense to punish an untrained dog for acting like an untrained dog!

A Wells Trained Dog’s mission is to stop this undermining human lack of understanding, which results in the disgraceful number of dogs abused and/or abandoned for “bad” behavior.  Shelters are filled with dogs who, at one time, were adored pups of owners who did not take the time to train their pups the behaviors they wanted in their adult dogs, or used abusive techniques that actually shut dogs down.  Keep in mind that we humans are teaching our pups with every interaction with them from the moment the pups enter our lives.  The problem with allowing “cute” behavior, is that the parent is teaching the pup that this behavior is desirable.  When the pup grows into an adult dog, and the once-cute behaviors are now annoying, the adult dog becomes confused when he is now punished for the very behaviors for which he was rewarded as a “cute” pup.  The adult dog has no idea that he is no longer a cute little puppy and he expects the same response to his antics.   As his owner becomes less and less tolerant of the adult dog’s behaviors, the dog becomes less and less secure and tries harder to please the owner with the old, previously encouraged, behaviors.  This often results in the dog being relegated to the out of doors or garage.  When this does nothing to improve the dog’s behavior, (and in fact makes it worse), the final chapter in this unfortunate dog’s short life is a one way trip to the shelter or the street.  It is a sad, hard, cold fact that 75% of the dogs relinquished to shelters do not leave the shelters alive, and  90% of dogs abandoned to the streets do not live to see their next birthdays.  The primary cure for this is early, (8 weeks of age), training and responsible, reasonable expectations by humans when first considering taking a dog into their lives.   If a person does not have time for a dog, he should not adopt a dog!  There are many dogs in shelters who would love to be walked by people who love the companionship of dogs but do not have the time or financial resources to adopt one.