Our Training

The Greater St. Louis Training Club uses positive, force-free methods in all levels of classes.

You may have heard a lot about “positive reinforcement” or reward-based training.  The goal of our training is not just to produce a well-behaved, obedient dog, but also to develop the kind of communication that builds a trusting, respectful relationship and leads to a dog who is a polite, loving, and actively participating member of your family.

We incorporate a special marker, usually a “clicker,” to increase the rate of learning for your dog. These methods are based in the science of learning theory, and have been used successfully with all kinds of animals, from whales, dolphins and chimpanzees to dogs and humans.

And our technique is endorsed by the veterinary community as well.  Local vet Stephen A. Brammeier, D.V.M., of Kingsbury Animal Hospital, has this to say:  “Kingsbury Animal Hospital supports and endorses the Greater St. Louis Training Club and it’s mission to enhance the human-canine bond through public education and awareness of force-free training, methods and techniques, as well as their training and behavior services for the public.”

So why use positive, force-free training?

  • It‘s fun.
  • It’s easy for people and dogs of all ages and abilities to learn.
  • It’s based in science, so we know it works!
  • It’s the clearest form of communication between you and your dog.  That builds a connection and trust!
  • It focuses on teaching the behaviors we want, rather than punishing the behaviors we don’t want.  When we focus on punishing behaviors we don’t want, we can accidentally undermine trust and confuse the dog.
  • It results in a dog who enjoys learning!
  • We help dogs avoid making mistakes by focusing on preventing the behaviors we do not like. We all learn better when we feel confident and excited rather than when we are worried about making a mistake.

Need more information on the science behind this revolutionary technique?  Visit AVSAB, the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, for position statements and articles.