Training Philosophy


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The Dog’s Perspective is an unique innovative approach to dog training based on dog evolutionary biology, not psychology. However, for those who apply psychology to dog training, The Dog’s Perspective is similar to a popular child-rearing method (Positive Discipline), introduced by Alfred Adler (1920) and developed by Jane Nelson (1981). However, dogs have the mental capacity of 2-year-old toddlers for life!

Based on Positive Discipline, there are no bad dogs, just good behaviors and bad behaviors. Our training philosophy is neither strict (The Wolf’s Perspective) nor permissive (The Human’s Perspective). Be kind, but set firm limits. If you guide dogs, not bribe dogs, you and your dogs will thrive.

Punishment, force or fear-training are NOT part of The Dog’s Perspective. Don’t make dogs “pay” for their mistakes. Encourage dogs, and everyone for that matter, to “learn” from their mistakes. We teach dogs and their human companions to work together as cooperative teams, in the tradition of more than 15,000 years of dog-human co-evolutionary history.

Our training methods are based on kindness, encouragement, mutual respect, cooperation, communication and dog-dog play behavior. The main tenets of The Dog’s Perspective include:

  • Dogs are Predators
    • Order Carnivora / Family Canidae
    • Predators naturally exhibit prey drives
  • Dog-Dog Communicate with Mouth/Teeth/Bites
    • Natural way to communicate
    • Types of Dog Bites
    • Types of Dog Play Bites
    • Different Bites for Different Pups
  • Co-evolution of Humans & Dogs 
    • Friendly & cooperative
    • 1st Domesticated Species
    • Handling, petting and massage therapy
    • NO Force / NO Fear / NO Punishments
    • Dog-Friendly & Human-Friendly
    • Petting & Praise
      • Dogs should love being handled and petted
      • Healthy and easy for everyone
      • Both initial and permanent rewards
    • Food Treats
      • Initial rewards only / NOT permanent rewards
      • NOT healthy long-term
      • Can be distraction
  • Mental capacity of dogs similar to 2-year-old human toddlers
    • Dogs are naturally reactive/mature humans are cerebral
    • Dogs live in the present/now
    • Dogs neither reflect on the past nor project into the future
  • Dogs naturally den
    • Crate = dog den
    • Fundamental in potty training
    • Dogs learn to self-soothe/relax/reduces anxiety
    • Crates provide safety, including travel in cars
  • Dogs “see” their world through their nose – Olfaction
    • Different levels of dog sniffs
    • Respect and manage the magnificent dog nose
  • Dog play is critical for their development
    • Dog-dog play behavior
    • Communication through play bites
    • Play is fun and relaxing
    • Socialization and observational learning
  • Importance of Observational Learning
    • Natural and easy
    • Monkey See, Monkey Do
    • Good and bad behaviors
    • Novice dogs learn faster working with trained dogs
    • Includes socialization and play
  • Importance of Associative Learning
    • Classical and Operant Conditioning
    • Reward and correction/punishment systems
    • Focus of psychology-based dog training
    • Slower and subordinate to Observational Learning
    • Positive Discipline for humans and dogs

Our gentle, guiding dog training techniques are practical, fun and successful. Our training goals are to make your dog dreams reality.

Dog Training Asheville - Dogs Perspective Chaos 1

Kathryn R. Gubista, PhD is an evolutionary biologist, college biology instructor, former zookeeper, author and certified professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA) with Lucky Dog Training Asheville and has over 30 years of dog training and human educating experience. The Dog’s Perspective is a training philosophy based on how dogs think.

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