Things Professional Trainers Never Say

Don’t expect to hear any of these comments from a professional animal trainer.

“I don’t feed the dolphins fish when they jump through the hoop, they should do it because they respect me.”

“We never use food to train our lions to stand for injections, that would only make them think they’ll get food every time they did it for us.”

“The seals at our facility do what we train them to do because they love us.”

“If we gave the pelicans food for letting us handle them they’d think they were dominant.”

“Using food to train elephants only spoils them.”

“We can’t be bothered always having food available for training.”

“I’d rather hurt or scare an animal to get them to do what I want instead of using food.”

You don’t have to look hard to find animals being trained to perform all kinds of useful and fun behaviors, using food. You can train your dog like a professional animal trainer. Use food.

This blog post is part of the #Train4Rewards blog party. Enjoy other interesting blogs at the Companion Animal Psychology Blog.

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7 comments so far

  1. Laurie Higgins on

    Love this! 🙂

  2. cybele on

    Brilliant post! If only there was a television network that would create a program showing clueless people what is possible with some patience and treats and learning to communicate instead of dictate with a steel fist. I have a feeling the people who call that “training” are acting out their own sense of powerlessness so they project onto their poor dogs, horses, cats, mice, etc. I wish you could land that much needed animal training show on network television. What a loss for animals at the mercy of unenlightened people. Thanks for all your posts. It certainly led me through a difficult time with my rescued (dumped at a dump) hound who had many, many, fearful issues and now is the star dog, trick performer at the state park we walk in twice a day!

  3. Boy I love this post: I use food ALL day to train our dogs – it could be easy like when I call them to the kitchen and they come while distracted, I feed them turkey. When I train my reactive dog, I feed him meatballs. Etc. It works! Thank you for posting this!

  4. lilyandardbeg on

    I love it! I’ll never understand why some people assume animals should work for free. The same people would definitely refuse to work if their bosses expected them to do their jobs without pay 😉

  5. 2 Punk Dogs on

    Our 2 nervous dogs weren’t very food motivated. We would get so excited when they were relaxed enough to eat a treat! People must have thought we were crazy. 🙂 Our new dog is a little shy but is very food motivated, which is AWESOME!

    • Debbie jacobs on

      It’s good to know our dogs feel safe enough to eat.


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