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Training Tips


How to Find a Good Dog Trainer

Training Methods & Principles

Puppy Training

General Training

Behaviour: Common Challenges

Behaviour: Reactivity

Canine Body Language

Children & Dogs

On the Intellectual Capacity of Animals

Mental Stimulation Games


Materials not produced by Cowichan Canine are used with permission.

How to Find a Good Dog Trainer

Alphabet Soup: What Does That Dog Training Certification Mean? (LINK)
by (LINK)

AVSAB Behavior Professionals Statement & How to Choose a Trainer (PDF)
A position statement published by the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) on their website,, which reviews the different types of individuals who can work with behavior issues and what the various qualifications mean, as well as a statement reviewing some methods a pet owner can use to help locate a quality trainer for their dog.

BC SPCA AnimalKind Accreditation Programme (LINK)
Dog training is unregulated in B.C., which means anyone can call themselves a dog trainer regardless of their education and experience. How can you know who to trust with your dog?
You can consult the AnimalKind list of
dog trainers who have the BC SPCA’s stamp of approval. AnimalKind accredited trainers follow BC SPCA’s evidence-based standards and will help you foster a positive relationship between you and your dog.
Finding the right trainer is an important task and will impact you and your dog for years to come. Choose carefully!

IAABC: International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (LINK)
- a search engine for trainers and behaviour consultants that have been certificed or accredited through the IAABC. The goals of the IAABC are to standardize and support the practice of animal behavior consulting, to provide quality, evidence-based education and peer and supervising mentoring, and to provide resources for pet owners needing advice. IAABC certifications are the most rigorous in the field, and assess people working in multiple species, with private clients and in shelters.

Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partners (LINK)
- a search engine for trainers that have been certified through the Karen Pryor Academy programme. KPA-certified trainers have completed an extensive educational program, and scored the highest marks on detailed assessments of their technical knowledge and hands-on skill teaching pet owners and training dogs. They have pledged to teach and train using force-free principles and techniques.

Training Methods & Principles

20 Problems with Punishment in Animal Training (LINK)
by Karolina Westlund PhD

AVSAB Position Statement on the Use of Dominance Theory in Behavior Modification of Animals (PDF)
by the
American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) (LINK)

AVSAB Position Statement on Humane Dog Training (PDF)
by the
American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) (LINK)

Clicker Training, What Is by Lili Chin (PDF)

Consent Behaviors for Veterinary Procedures, The Importance of (PDF)
- an article by Dr Natalie Rogers, published in the IAABC Journal

Corrections (PDF)
- why we now know that using corrections is no longer a good idea.

Dr L David Mech: "'ALPHA' Wolf?" (LINK TO VIDEO)
- Dr Mech talks about the terms "alpha" and "beta" wolves and why they are no longer scientifically accurate.

Fear Free (R) (LINK)
- an online education resource for both professionals and pet owners on how to prevent and alleviate fear, anxiety, and stress in pets.

Food - Its Use in Training (PDF)

Food, How to Use by Karen Pryor Academy (PDF)

If We Can Teach Wild Animals by Lili Chin (PDF)

If You’re Aggressive, Your Dog Will Be, Too (LINK)
This report, available on the University of Pennsylvania website, is a summary of a study that found that most aggressive animals trained with confrontational or aversive methods will continue to be aggressive unless training techniques are modified.

Mind Your Manners: Why Dog Training Methods Matter (West Coast Veterinarian magazine) (PDF)
- on pages 28-33 of this June 2022 issue, you will find this article by Nicole Fenwick MSc and Karen Van Haaften DVM DACVB. The West Coast Veterinarian magazine is the quarterly
magazine of the CVMA-SBCV Chapter.

The Three Steps of Behaviour Modification (PDF)

Training Reliable Behaviours (PDF)

Unwanted Behaviours, Responding to (PDF)

Puppy Training

AVSAB Position Statement On Puppy Socialization  (PDF)
by the
American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) (LINK)

House Training (PDF)

House Training Log (PDF)

Puppy Play Biting (PDF)

Puppy Training – A Matter Of Life & Death (PDF)
- For all puppy owners

Puppy Socialization by Lili Chin (PDF)

Puppy Socialization Checklist (PDF)
A checklist to help you make the most of your puppy’s socialization period

General Training

Crate Training (PDF)

Dog-Dog Meet & Greet (PDF)

Emergency Recall (PDF)

Emotional Cup by Lili Chin (PDF)

Eye Ointment: Teaching Your Dog to Cooperate with Eye Ointment Treatment (LINK TO VIDEO)

Giving Pills (PDF)

Grooming & Handling (PDF)

Nail Clipping (PDF)

New Adult Dog by Lili Chin (PDF)

Play Way by Amy Cook and Lili Chin (PDF)

Playing With Your Dog by Lili Chin (PDF)

Premack Principle by Lili Chin (PDF)

Rewards Examples (PDF)

Teaching Three Dogs to Sit Quietly Before Going Out (LINK TO VIDEO)

Trading (PDF)

Behaviour: Common Challenges

Behaviour Consultation, What is a? (LINK)

Chewing on Stuff (PDF)

Criticism Trap (PDF)
Excerpt from
"Behavioir Analysis for Effective Teaching" by Dr Julie Vargas, pp.49-50

Digging (PDF)

Door Reactions (PDF)

Excessive Attention-Seeking (PDF)

Fireworks (PDF)

Introduceing Dogs to Cats (LINK)

Jumping on Furniture (PDF)

Jumping on People (PDF)

Modifying behavior in patients that fear touch (LINK TO VIDEO)
dvm360 (LINK)

Poisoned Cue, Replacing a (LINK TO VIDEO)
Eileen Anderson (LINK)

Poop Eating (PDF)

Predatory Behaviour (PDF)

Puppy Play Biting (PDF)

Stealing Stuff (PDF)

Urination During Stress, Greetings or Excitement (PDF)

Urine Marking (PDF)

Behaviour: Reactivity

BAT Protocol: Help for Dog Aggression, Frustration, and Fear: Quick Intro to BAT 2.0 (LINK TO VIDEO)
Grisha Stewart (LINK)

Classical Conditioning by Lili Chin (PDF)

Compulsive Behaviour (PDF)

Cool Down (PDF)

Counter-Conditioning (PDF)

Counter-Conditioning Daily Routines (PDF)
By and Lili Chin

Counter-Conditioning: Jack Russell Terrier (JRT) Aggression When Blowing in Face (LINK TO VIDEO)
by Dr Sophia Yin DVM

Dogs Love Me: Protecting Your Dog From Well-Meaning Dog Lovers (LINK TO VIDEO)
4PawsUniversity (LINK)

Management for Reactive Dogs (PDF)

Medication (PDF)

Muzzle training (PDF)

Reactivity, What Is (PDF)

Safety Protocols (PDF)

Your Choice Affects Your Dog's Choice - A Case of Barking at Other Dogs (PDF)
by Miki Saito and Lili Chin

Canine Body Language

Body Language of Fear in Dogs (PDF)
Dr Sophia Yin DVM MS

Calming Signals – A Gallery (LINK)
- link to a collection of photos showing various use of calming signals, published on the Norwegian Canis website.

Calming Signals – The Art of Survival (LINK)
- link to an article by Turid Rugaas on the Norwegian Canis website, about how dogs use their unspoken language to signal emotions and intentions. We humans need to learn to understand this Dog Language so that we can have a good life together.

Does Your Dog REALLY Want to be Petted? (LINK TO VIDEO)
- link to a video by
Eileen Anderson, (LINK) a famous American dog trainer, showing what the very subtle calming signals look like.

Relaxed or Shut Down by Lili Chin (JPEG)
Eileen Anderson (LINK), illustrated by Lili Chin.

Social Tolerance by Lili Chin (PDF)

Space Etiquette by Lili Chin (PDF)

Stress Escalation Ladder (LINK)
By Turid Rugaas

Children & Dogs

Baby Safey (PDF)
by Family Paws Parent Education

Be A Tree (LINK)
The Be a TreeTM programme is an interactive presentation for children that teaches them how to read dogs' body language and be safer around dogs. The programm is administered by Doggone Safe, a non-profit organization dedicate to dog bite prevention through education, and dog bite victim support. The programme is available through Cowichan Canine free of charge to schools and community groups. Please contact us to find out more, or to book a presentation:

Christmas (PDF)
Safety tips for the holidays.

Grumble & Growl Zones (PDF)
by Family Paws Parent Education

Halloween Safety (PDF)
by Doggone Safe

Hide & Seek (PDF)
A game to play with your dog. Note that children and dogs must always be supervised when they are in the same room or environment.

How NOT to Greet a Dog (PDF)
by Dr Sophia Yin DVM MS

How to Kiss a Dog (LINK TO VIDEO)
by thefamilydog (LINK)

Keys to Supervising Dogs and Kids (PDF)
by Robin Bennett

Milestones (PDF)
by Family Paws Parent Education

Success Stations (PDF)
by Family Paws Parent Education

Supervision, Five Types (PDF)
by Family Paws Parent Education

Teresa’s Bad Rules (PDF)
List of dos and don’ts to promote child safety around dogs and prevent dog bites by Doggone Safe

Toddler Safety (PDF)
by Family Paws Parent Education


On the Intellectual Capacity of Animals

Alex the Genius Parrot (LINK TO VIDEO)

Kenneth Ramirez- Dog Counting Research Project Teaser (LINK TO VIDEO)

Learning to speak: A dog communicates with buttons (LINK TO VIDEO)


Mental Stimulation Games

Nina Ottosson Puzzle Games (LINK TO VIDEO)

Proud Dog Mom: “DIY Snuffle Mat Dog Toy” (LINK TO VIDEO)

Rumble Viral: “Genius dog figures out bottle puzzle for treats” (LINK TO VIDEO)

Sarah Walsh: Brain Games for Dogs – DIY Puzzle Toys (LINK TO VIDEO)



Crash-test Video of the MIM VarioCage Kennel (LINK TO VIDEO)
- Distributor: 4x4 North America (LINK)

Crash-test: Do dog harnesses keep your dog safe in a car crash? (LINK TO VIDEO)
By CBC Marketplace

Gentle Leader: Jean Donaldson gets conditioned emotional response while fitting (LINK TO VIDEO)
- How to get your dog to accept the Gentle Leader head collar

Hello Friendly Dogs by Lili Chin (PDF)
with Folding Instructions (PDF)
- A handout that you can print and carry with you when you walk your elderly or reactive dog that does not appreciate other dogs in his face, to give to owners of over-enthusiastic dogs.




What's New?
What Clients Are Saying:

Hello Cowichan Canine Team! My Kooikerhondje, Buddy, and I have just completed the beginner Foundation training course. The whole process has been fantastic. Buddy is a very smart (of course) and overenthusiastic pup. My goal with him was to nip problems in the bud (pardon the pun:) to start on a path to a positive and calm relationship. We had the privilege of learning under Jody, Karen and Lisbeth in Prep school. All had different styles but their methods were consistent, positive, sound and they work! Buddy and I then moved on to Beginner Foundation under Stephanie's tutelage. Her guidance was patient, kind and empathetic. I was the slower learner, but Stephanie showed me what Buddy was capable of and gave me the knowledge,tools and insight to meet my goals. The facility is top-class, well-equipped, spotless and safe. Learning at Cowichan Canine was the most enriching investment I could have made and I hope to continue in various activities in the future. Thank you all!

Gill Johansen & Buddy
Duncan, BC

Dear Lisbeth, Those of us who are devoted dog owners are fortunate to have this gem of a facility here in the Cowichan Valley. These qualified, experienced, good humored and kind-hearted ladies have been so helpful to this “experienced” lifelong dog family with hell puppy Radar. New insights and practices prove you can teach these old dogs’ new tricks. And a program so reasonably priced too. It’s not that often these days you get such value for your dollar. Really. These last couple of months have been fun watching our little land shark morph into a loving and disciplined member of our family. We have so much respect for Karen, who worked with us in our Foundation training, with her amazing lengthy qualifications and down to earth sense of humor. She’s such a fantastic teacher! Our little grad Radar will now enter into her graduate studies - Scent Detection. Such Fun! Thank You

John, Joanna, Rosie and Radar Blaszczyk
Duncan, BC

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Group Classes, Private or Semi-private in-home training Lessons and confidential
Behaviour Consultations in the Cowichan Valley area, on southern Vancouver Island, servicing Chemainus, Cobble Hill, Cowichan, Cowichan Bay, Crofton, Duncan, Glenora, Ladysmith, Lake Cowichan, Malahat, Maple Bay, Mill Bay, Saltair, Saltspring Island, Shawnigan Lake, Vancouver Island and Youbou.
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