Initiative for force-free dog training

The aim of the Initiative for Force-free Dog Training is to make available to a wide audience a science-based, ethical and empathetic way of living and working with dogs, above all during their training. The Initiative for Force-free Dog Training is a combined effort (see position paper and code of conduct) by qualified professionals, whose methods correspond to current scientific knowledge (696 people to date, 25.08.2023), together with international organisations such as the Swiss Veterinary Society for Behavioural Medicine, The Pet Profesional Guild, The Pet Dog Trainers of Europe, Foundation for the Animal in Law (Stiftung für das Tier im Recht) to name but a few.



Our aims in detail:

  • To sensitise the public to the use of force in training, and to the way dogs are treated in daily life: to recognise where force begins, what forms it takes and why it should never be used - even, and most particularly, in cases involving behavioural issues.
  • To spread knowledge about the methods used by trainers, such as well-known TV trainers, in their broadcasts and videos. The intention is to enable individuals to make informed decisions, based on facts, about choosing to support this treatment of dogs or not (such as not buying tickets to events or purchasing publications.)
  • To lobby the authorities in countries where several aversive tools are forbidden by law (e.g. Switzerland, Germany and Austria) to prohibit such trainers’ public shows, as they patently violate these laws as is clear from the content of the videos. 

Introduction to the initiative for force-free dog training


January 2023

A behavioral vet about aversive dog training

August 2022

A great speech about dog science

October 2021

A good new video about Millan's training methods

6. February 2021

Letter to Netflix regarding new Series about dog training, of course we did not get an answer.

Letter to Netflix
Netflix Letter.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 145.0 KB

August 2020

New Study: Exposure of controlled challenges increases stress resilience in dog puppies

August 2019

New Study about the relationship between training methods and dog-owner attachment

More Studies on the page Canine Science

January 2019

Have a look at this great summary of canine science literature on dog training methods

By the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Author IJ. Makowska, M.Sc, Ph.D.

Review of dog training methods: learning ability, welfare and current standards
Author IJ. Makowska, M.Sc, Ph.D.
British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Adobe Acrobat Document 1.4 MB

April 2018

Have a look at this interesting study

Why don't use more people positive reinforcement to train dogs?

March 2018

Well done UK! Shock Collars - the sale and use will be banned soon

Press Release