9 Quotes that Inspire Us to Train Dogs Positively

1. Zak George

Reach deeper during training and find a way to connect with your dog from the heart, not a leash and a collar
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Zak George is a well known positive trainer. His interactive Facebook page is full of good advice to people who are looking for ways to teach their dogs. This quote was said in reference to Cesar Millan’s methods, which many find cruel (though he has begun to move toward more positive training.) Training is meant to connect you to your dog, rather than treat them as an object.

2. Pat Miller

Positive training works
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Pat is one of the first trainers that I heard of when I went into positive dog training. Her work has changed the face of dog training. She is what is called a “crossover” trainer – someone who used to train their dog with force and has now converted to positive training. Her point is, why use corrections and force when positive training works just as well and is more fun? Why indeed.

3. Ian Dunbar

If you have these three things you don't need a shock collar
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Dr. Dunbar is one of the greatest positive dog trainers of all time. He is semi-retired now, but he still does seminars and writes for DogStarDaily. He has written many fantastic books and taught many his positive methods that are based on dog psychology and behavior theory. He is a VMD and has a PHD in animal behavior. There is hardly anyone more qualified to make such a statement.

4. Victoria Stilwell

Teaching Dogs What to Do
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Victoria is the creator of Positively, a dog training curriculum that is very thorough in addressing positive training. She is well-known for her TV series It’s Me or the Dog. This quote from her points out the con of traditional training, which is we keep punishing the dog until they do what we want, and then we stop bothering them, instead of leading the dog and then rewarding them for doing what we taught them.

5. Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz

You will maintain the spirit of that dog
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Dawn sadly passed away in 2011, but her lifelong work in positive dog training has left a great impact on the dog training world. She even trained President Obama’s dog Bo before he went to live in the White House. We love this quote from her. There is definitely no need to break your dog’s spirit to train them.

6. Pat Miller

It's not worth destroying trust for points and trophies
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Pat Miller is just full of great nuggets of wisdom. This quote is from her book The Power of Positive Dog Training, and she shows this quote along with a picture of her dog. She explains in the book she came to this realization after Josie, the dog she was training for obedience with traditional training, tucked her tail and hid when Pat got out the dumbbells for obedience exercises.

7. Training Positive

In Awe
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Training Positive is a blog with some great articles on training dogs positively. I loved this quote from one of the articles and feel that it really sums up why positive training is so rewarding. We want to bond with our dogs, and we want our dogs to bond with us.

8. Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)

Verbal Praise
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This quote stood out to me in their article on positive dog training because many times people think they’re going to have to carry around treats for the rest of their lives if they want their dog to behave, but the truth is that once a habit is learned, a dog will perform it without treats. This is not an excuse for not using positive training.

9. Patricia McConnell

Positive reinforcement
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Patricia is another dog trainer that has written some great books on positive training and has really influenced positive trainers. Her books were some that I was advised to read when I was first learning how to train dogs. I love this quote because it reminds us that we need to be aware of what our dog considers a reward – not what we think is a reward for the dog.


I think my very favorite quotes are probably Zak George’s quote and Dawn’s. They just kind of sum up how I feel about dog training. Which of these quotes is your favorite?