Our philosophy & approach to dog and puppy training

We focus on building a bond with your dog before the real work begins by respecting your dog and ‘talking’ to them in ‘dog speak’ to earn their trust.

Voted Best Dog Trainer by Readers Choice,
three years in a row 2020-2022.


Our training and education approach is built on a foundation of three essential elements for success:

Our training and education approach is built on a foundation of three essential elements for success:

1. Consider the whole dog:

We respect all dogs as living, sentient beings. We understand how dogs think and how dogs ‘talk’ or connect to one another. Education builds self-confidence in dogs and in people. We educate dogs in a way that enables them to live harmoniously and with a sense of purpose in a human home environment. We tap into your dog’s ‘need for knowing’ and desire to serve by building skills and competencies layer by layer, until the foundation for compliance is solid. At ODT, we incorporate leadership, structure and clarity into each day at school and into each training session, to provide what your dog needs to thrive, not just survive.

 2. ‘Talking Dog’:

If your dog could talk, it would say: “Lend me your eyes, I can change what you see!” (Behesha Doan, founder, This Able Veteran Academy, 2019). At ODT, our approach opens your eyes to what you cannot see with your dog. Once you learn how your dog sees the world, you will connect in a way that naturally earns your dog’s trust, respect and confidence. A dog that trusts you is willing to learn from you and work for you. A dog who trusts and respects human leadership will more readily accept human rules and boundaries that are part of daily life. Our relationship first approach builds mutual trust and respect with your dog and is the most critical part of our program. We do not short-cut relationship building with your dog by jumping prematurely into the mechanics of obedience training. Our relationship first approach enables our team to easily connect with your dog in its language. Once we are ‘in your dog’s head’, the results are rapid. In real life, this phase is practiced every single day at school and continues as part of an owner’s daily life with their dog.

3. Leadership:

Dogs are social animals that thrive in a balanced pack where leadership is clear and structure is consistent. Rules, boundaries and limitations are a basic requirement of daily life that enable dogs and humans to co-exist in harmony. For some dogs, this transition can be very challenging as they learn the world is not about them and they do not need to be, nor are they allowed or emotionally equipped to be in charge. Leadership skills and proper energy are a core part of our private training with you. Living with your dog as a leader who is consistent and trustworthy will build and refine your relationship with your four-legged companions beyond anything you dreamed imaginable. At ODT, we understand that use of training tools plays an important role in your training success for your dog. You will learn that success with your dog is more about how to be the benevolent leader for your dog rather than about what training tools to use. At ODT, you will learn how to build a loving and respectful bond with your dog to create a companion that you can love for life.

​Ontario Dog Trainer Training and Education Philosophy

At Ontario Dog Trainer, we love dogs and we always love to learn more about dogs and how they think.

Our training focuses on first establishing a relationship of trust and respect with each of our doggy students in a way that enhances a dog’s desire to learn with us. While we may use a variety of training tools to help us work with dogs, the choice of and use of training tools are secondary to our success. Without the trust of the dog and its motivation to learn, the tool is meaningless. If your dog doesn’t trust you, learning can’t occur. If your dog doesn’t respect you, learning will not occur. Once the dog understands what is expected, and is motivated to learn, behaviour can be refined and transformed to any degree desired and the tool that is most appropriate for the dog and for the owner’s skill set, can be provided. At Ontario Dog Trainer we are committed to create a happy dog and a confident owner by focusing on the relationship first to build confidence, create a balanced state of mind and ultimately transform behaviour – of dogs and their humans! At Ontario Dog Trainer, we improve canine behaviour and solve problems that others say are impossible to fix.

Our Commitment to You – Growing and Getting Better Everyday with Continuous Learning and Education

At Ontario Dog Trainer, our goal is to seek out and to provide the best possible source of learning and education for you and for your dog. To be great teachers, we are committed to being great students. To grow our knowledge, and enhance our professional skills to better serve the needs of you and your dog, we seek and provide mentorship, attend, host and present seminars and training courses and attend conferences.

Our team members actively participate in every workshop that is hosted at Ontario Dog Trainer. Karen and other team members invest in their own personal and professional growth to always be relevant and well informed professionals.

Please contact us for any questions regarding our philosophy and approach.

About Ontario Dog Trainer

At Ontario Dog Trainer we focus on building a bond with your dog before the real work begins.

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