Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Join Me in Training Humane

by Carrie Boyko, CEB
© AllThingsDogBlog.comReady to Walk!
Over the years I've met dozens of dog trainers, most of whom were capable of training dogs quite well. That's all well and good, but training dogs is really about training their handlers. When the handler knows how to diligently, positively, and respectfully train their dog, generally success is imminent.

Most training methods have been about controlling a dog's movement via their neck. Even nose halters affect the neck when improperly used. Choke chains and prong collars, when used to correct too frequently or with too much force, can cause permanent damage to the necks and trachea of dogs, particularly smaller breeds with more delicate neck structures. 
Heel is So Easy Now!

I'll admit I've owned and tried all of these methods with various dogs of different energy levels and temperaments. Each time it was the same scenario; a store employee listened to my concerns and then handed me a product to use with my dog. A brief demonstration and off I went, trusting that I could now control my dog's behavior on a walk. I'm sure glad I finally discovered dog training classes that offered an education on how to use these tools properly, or I could have caused much more trouble than I already had.
Distractions Are Not
Disasters Now

Eventually I met a trainer that explained the pros and cons of each method with a more balanced attitude, one that was honest. His approach was safer but still less successful than I would have chosen. It was not until I met Alecia that I learned of the Walk in Sync system and its benefits. You can read more about the physiology of training tools here.
© AllThingsDogBlog.comGreat Walking Tool

Harnesses are a much healthier tool, both for our dogs' comfort and for their safely. But you may wonder how we can use this historically unsuccessful tool to train our dogs to walk in sync with us around the neighborhood or through a pet store. Part of the secret is a different location for the loop. The fit of your harness is extremely important too.

You see, on a traditional harness the loop is placed on the back, allowing the dog to use all of his weight to pull you forward. This position is perfect to train a dog to pull a sled, wagon, sleigh or other heavy load. But what happens when we're just trying to get Fido to walk beside us?
Jacque Responded Immediately :)

It's simple actually. So simple that it has eluded many of us for years. Train Humane Day was established by Alecia Evans, the inventor of the Walk in Sync system. She developed her system after discovering that dogs do not like to push against pressure with their chests. Who would have thought? 

Take that back loop and re-position it at the front and you've suddenly got a great way to train your dog without negative words, corrections that can be painful or dangerous, or the common problem of being drug along by a hyperactive pup. Train advocates tools that offer a better way to train more humanely.
© AllThingsDogBlog.comDelightful Walk

By using tools that do not cause pain, agitation, fear, anxiety and structural damage, we build a stronger bond with our dogs, one that will allow a mutual trust and respect.

So let's get on with what will happen on Train Humane Day, Thursday, September 27. 
  • Volunteers can join us to spread the word at shelters and other dog training facilities. We can all donate through the non profit that supports Train Humane Day via United Charitable Programs.
  • Watch 5 Minute Manners Makeovers with Alecia Evans live streaming at the link below.
  • Join "Train Humane Day" live in person at Ana Melara's Training with Grace facility in Lakewood, Colorado for all live events. For directions call (303) 238-3647.
  • OR, visit, and click LIVE ON LOCATION to watch the whole event live streaming. Scheduled events start at 5 PM Pacific, 6 PM Mountain, 7 PM Central, and 8 PM Eastern Time.
  • Enjoy a physiology lesson to learn what your dog's body can tell you about his behavior.
Just for fun to prime your enthusiasm, I'd like to share one of Alecia's videos that really hit home with me (and no, this is not Tanner!):

Finally, you may wish to check out my review of the Walk in Sync system. This review It will give you more detail and help you better understand how this specialized harness and leash will affect your dog walk. Enjoy!

Since Tanner and Jacque were introduced to the Walk in Sync system, their walking behaviors have come full circle. As a result of my thrill, we were asked to be Train Human Day Ambassadors. We were not paid to write about Train Humane Day and the opinions shared here are my own.


snoopy@snoopysdogblog said...

Hi Carrie,

Great before and after comparison in that video!!

I love my Walk in Sync harness too, see you later on the live feed - Mum and I are looking forward to seeing what we can learn :)

Wags to all

Your pal Snoopy :)

Just Toby said...

Hey There - You did an awesome job of explaining how those front clip harnesses work for peoples who may never have used them. My peoples have tried all sorts of things on me too, and they do still use a front clip in places where I am really excited, so I don't choke myself with my martingale. :-)

Carrie, with Tanner and Oliver said...

Hello @Just Toby: Fortunately Martingale collars are much safer than many, but kudos to your owner for using a front-clip harness in places where you are more active and excitable. Hope to see you again!

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