Podcast Transcript

It seems that everyone out there has their own idea of how to train a dog, and most of us know that smacking and shock collars are not good methods. However, commonly held beliefs on how dogs’ minds work can actually be counterproductive and inaccurate to training and welfare.

Nicole and Jez discuss positive reinforcement training methods, and why some popular ideas on dog psychology are inaccurate


Browne, C., Starkey, N., Foster, T. and McEwan, J., 2017. Examination of the Accuracy and Applicability of Information in Popular Books on Dog Training. Society & Animals, 25(5), pp.411-435.

Deldalle, S. and Gaunet, F., 2014. Effects of 2 training methods on stress-related behaviors of the dog (Canis familiaris) and on the dog–owner relationship. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 9(2), pp.58-65.

Makowska IJ. 2018. Review of dog training methods: welfare, learning ability, and current standards. BC SPCA. Vancouver, Canada

Todd, Z., 2018. Barriers to the adoption of humane dog training methods. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 25, pp.28-34.

van Kerkhove, W., 2004. A Fresh Look at the Wolf-Pack Theory of Companion-Animal Dog Social Behavior. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 7(4), pp.279-285.

Vieira de Castro, A., Fuchs, D., Morello, G., Pastur, S., de Sousa, L. and Olsson, I., 2020. Does training method matter? Evidence for the negative impact of aversive-based methods on companion dog welfare. PLOS ONE, 15(12), p.e0225023.

Outro music by Matt Charleston

About the hosts

Dr Nicole Su and Jez Watts

Dr Nicole Su is a veterinarian, Jez Watts is a comedian-biotechnologist, and together they discuss commonly misunderstood topics in the pet and vet world. They live with three rabbits that are their children.