Uniting Pet Professionals to Improve Animal Welfare
Over the past 30 years, we have seen great strides in the care and understanding of dogs. The Hierarchy of Dog Needs shown below is a comprehensive summary of the current understanding of our dog’s needs. Pet professionals are tasked with helping us achieve the best possible care for our pets. Every professional whether they are a store clerk, manufacturer of dog products, veterinarian, trainer, or groomer will have either a positive or detrimental impact on our dogs’ lives. One of the primary goals of Force Free Oregon is to provide a directory of trustworthy pet professionals who adhere to Force Free methodology and seek continued learning and professional development. We aim to provide one central place to find Force Free trainers, dog walkers, daycares, veterinarians, and groomers that reside in Oregon.
Every pet professional has the opportunity to help pets live happy and fulfilling lives.
We hope you will join us as we work towards a society where pets are cared for with
scientifically endorsed humane care.
American Animal Hospital Association Behavior Management Guidelines
The late Dr. Sophia Yin compiled a complete collection of educational resources for veterinarians, groomers, trainers, and owners. She created the premier resource for handling and restraint in the veterinary setting with as little stress as possible to the animals. https://lowstresshandling.com
Fear Free ® is an educational program that is continually growing and offering new online classes. It is a valuable resource for all pet professionals. https://fearfreepets.com
Dog Decoder is a fun app for learning body language and was produced by Jill Breitner https://www.dogdecoder.com/
Canine Play Behavior
Patricia McConnell on Daycares.
Website for Education for Dog Walkers
Hierarchy of Dog Needs
Kennel Club UK
Pet Professional Guild Position Statements
Open Letter to Veterinarians on Referrals to Training and Behavior Professionals
The Use of Shock in Animal Training
Dominance Theory in Animal Training
The Use of Choke and Prong Collars
Blogs Discussing the Dog Training Research
Bandura, A. (1965). Vicarious Processes: A Case of No-Trial Learning. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 2, 1–55. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0065-2601(08)60102-1
Bosch, G., Beerda, B., Hendriks, W. H., van der Poel, A. F. B., & Verstegen, M. W. A. (2007). Impact of nutrition on canine behaviour: current status and possible mechanisms. Nutrition Research Reviews, 20(2), 180–194. https://doi.org/10.1017/s095442240781331x
Burrows, K. E., Adams, C. L., & Millman, S. T. (2008). Factors Affecting Behavior and Welfare of Service Dogs for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 11(1), 42–62. https://doi.org/10.1080/10888700701555550
Dodman, N. H., Brown, D. C., & Serpell, J. A. (2018). Associations between owner personality and psychological status and the prevalence of canine behavior problems. PLOS ONE, 13(2), e0192846. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0192846
Dreschel, N. A. (2010). The effects of fear and anxiety on health and lifespan in pet dogs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 125(3–4), 157–162. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2010.04.003
Gazzano, A., Mariti, C., Alvares, S., Cozzi, A., Tognetti, R., & Sighieri, C. (2008). The prevention of undesirable behaviors in dogs: effectiveness of veterinary behaviorists’ advice given to puppy owners. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 3(3), 125–133. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2008.04.004
Guilherme Fernandes, J., Olsson, I. A. S., & Vieira de Castro, A. C. (2017). Do aversive-based training methods actually compromise dog welfare?: A literature review. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 196, 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2017.07.001
Hartley, C. A., & Phelps, E. A. (2009). Changing Fear: The Neurocircuitry of Emotion Regulation. Neuropsychopharmacology, 35(1), 136–146. https://doi.org/10.1038/npp.2009.121
Haug, L. I. (2008). Canine Aggression Toward Unfamiliar People and Dogs. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice, 38(5), 1023–1041. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cvsm.2008.04.005
Herron, M. E., Shofer, F. S., & Reisner, I. R. (2009). Survey of the use and outcome of confrontational and non-confrontational training methods in client-owned dogs showing undesired behaviors. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 117(1–2), 47–54. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2008.12.011
Jagoe, A., & Serpell, J. (1996). Owner characteristics and interactions and the prevalence of canine behaviour problems. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 47(1–2), 31–42. https://doi.org/10.1016/0168-1591(95)01008-4
Jenkins, E. K., DeChant, M. T., & Perry, E. B. (2018). When the Nose Doesn’t Know: Canine Olfactory Function Associated With Health, Management, and Potential Links to Microbiota. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 5. https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2018.00056
Kang, S., Vervliet, B., Engelhard, I. M., van Dis, E. A. M., & Hagenaars, M. A. (2018). Reduced return of threat expectancy after counterconditioning versus extinction. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 108, 78–84. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2018.06.009
Luescher, A. U., & Reisner, I. R. (2008). Canine Aggression Toward Familiar People: A New Look at an Old Problem. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice, 38(5), 1107–1130. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cvsm.2008.04.008
Overall, K. L. (2019). Evidence-based paradigm shifts in veterinary behavioral medicine. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 254(7), 798–807. https://doi.org/10.2460/javma.254.7.798
Pires, G. N., Tufik, S., & Andersen, M. L. (2012). Relationship between sleep deprivation and anxiety: experimental research perspective. Einstein (São Paulo), 10(4), 519–523. https://doi.org/10.1590/s1679-45082012000400022
Plaud, J. J. (2003). Pavlov and the Foundation of Behavior Therapy. The Spanish Journal of Psychology, 6(2), 147–154. https://doi.org/10.1017/s1138741600005291
Polo, G., Calderón, N., Clothier, S., & Garcia, R. de C. M. (2015). Understanding dog aggression: Epidemiologic aspects. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 10(6), 525–534. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2015.09.003
Premack, D. (1965). Reinforcement theory. In D. Levine (Ed.), Nebraska Symposium on Motivation. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 13, 189–282.
Premack, David. (1959). Toward empirical behavior laws: I. Positive reinforcement. Psychological Review, 66(4), 219–233. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0040891
Scarlett, J. M., Salman, M. D., New, J. G., & Kass, P. H. (2002). The role of veterinary practitioners in reducing dog and cat relinquishments and euthanasias. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 220(3), 306–311. https://doi.org/10.2460/javma.2002.220.306
Schulkey, R., & DePorter, T. (2017). Evaluation of the association between attendance at veterinary hospital-based puppy socialisation classes and long-term retention in the home. Retrieved November 22, 2019, from Cabi.org website: https://platform.cabi.org/animalscience/ebook/20173266089
Siracusa, C., Provoost, L., & Reisner, I. R. (2017). Dog- and owner-related risk factors for consideration of euthanasia or rehoming before a referral behavioral consultation and for euthanizing or rehoming the dog after the consultation. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 22, 46–56. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2017.09.007
Taylor, K., & Mills, D. (2007). The effect of the kennel environment on canine welfare: a critical review of experimental studies - The Lincoln Repository. Lincoln.Ac.Uk, 16. https://doi.org/http://eprints.lincoln.ac.uk/9056/1/kennel%20environment%20paper.pdf
Ziv, G. (2017). The effects of using aversive training methods in dogs—A review. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 19, 50–60. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2017.02.004
Aggression can be addressed using Force Free methods.
First, it must be understood that aggressive behaviors cannot be "fixed" or "cured"- they can be managed and treated. Additionally, aggressive behavior almost always stems from fear and distress. Addressing these underlying emotions is essential to any successful behavior modification plan.
A trainer knowledgeable and experienced with treating and managing aggression will use a scaffolded approach, starting with environmental management (keeping the dog away from known triggers; possibly muzzle training and other safety measures), building foundation skills related to calmness and communication, and then a careful process of desensitization and counterconditioning to known triggers, at the dog's pace, while keeping the dog below their overreactive stress threshold.
If your dog is exhibiting aggressive behaviors toward humans, other dogs, or other animals, please reach out to a qualified force free professional; aggressive behavior, especially toward humans, can be best addressed by a veterinary behavior professional and their team
Many of the behaviors that humans find to be problematic are normal dog behaviors, and sometimes they are behaviors for which dogs have been selectively bred, but they are being expressed out of context. Our responsibility as their guardians is to provide dogs with ways to practice natural behaviors in appropriate environments, and to teach dogs in a kind manner how to live in our society.
Ironically, many of the dogs described as needing a "firm hand" are extremely easy to train through principles of positive reinforcement, as they are eager to work and incredibly clever.
What about alert barking in the home and yard?
One of the reasons humans decided to keep dogs around is because they bark at intruders and tend to defend their territory.
However, some simple management can help decrease barking. You can remove access to the sight of people/ dogs/ squirrels by blocking window access while you are not present to train. A white noise machine, a crate, and baby gates can help keep your dog calmly away from their triggers as well. Ask a force free trainer for help with desensitizing your dog to the sights and sounds your neighborhood.
As for barking at visitors-this is a useful time to train an alternative behavior, which helps give your dog a job, helps them stay calm, and will never accidentally teach your dog that visitors are scary. One of our favorite alternative behaviors to train is "go to your mat" when the doorbell rings.
It is always helpful to bring a trainer in to provide advice tailored to your lifestyle and your dog.
Yes! We train our dogs to happily and voluntarily check in with us regularly, and to LOVE returning to us on cue. Recall is all about relationshiop, and what better way to build a solid relationship than through positive reinforcement?
Recall is an advanced behavior with high expectations. Always start training in a relatively boring environment, like inside your home, to teach the dog that the recall cue is an exciting game. Then move to the least distracting outdoor environment you have available, utilizing either a secure fence or a long line for safety. Reward every single recall, and contionually invest in this behavior throughout your dog's life.
Never let your dog off leash in leash-only areas, and leash your dog if you feel the environment is too distracting or dangerous.
Avoid accidentally punishing a recall. Make sure that the fun does not end when your dog comes back to you. If you recall your dog from playing with another dog, send your dog back to playing repeatedly after they recall. Never punish your dog if they are slow to come back to you. Punishment generally works on the last behavior your dog performed before the punishment was applied. So if they just came back to you, then you punished them for coming back!