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Jo-Rosie and +R Myths

Today’s episode is the last in a four-part series featuring animal behavior specialist and dog trainer Jo-Rosie Haffenden.

While Jo-Rosie believes in having a “pyramid of learning” when it comes to working with any dog, and that it should all start with positive reinforcement, she warns against putting too much focus on one training method or philosophy at the expense of others.

She says that confining oneself to a label limits your potential as a handler, especially considering the reality that different dogs (including those of the same breed) require different tools and approaches.

Jo-Rosie also discusses how to reconcile your ethical paradigm with your training methodology as well as her thoughts on punishment. Our hosts give their thoughts on force-free training and why competence does not necessarily mean not using force.

Instead, they believe that it is important to base your philosophy on a “continuum” that you navigate based on your particular dog’s personality and needs.

Key Topics:

  • Why begin all training with positive reinforcement (01:23)

  • Looking past your trainer labels and avoiding overemphasis on one tool or method (06:33)

  • Ethical considerations around certain training approaches (18:12)

  • Why using force isn’t a sign of incompetency (26:57)

  • The importance of regularly asking yourself why you adhere to a specific method or philosophy (34:52)

  • Being fair with your animals, and being a force-free trainer (37:20)

  • Punishing your dog (45:29)

  • Training on a continuum (55:57)


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