Our Training Philosophy
There are so many labels out there for dog trainers that we find it hard to use short-hand descriptions for what we believe in. Both Megan and Victoria used different tools and techniques when we started training dogs, and our systems and beliefs have evolved as we have developed as trainers. We are always looking for effective and efficient ways of teaching or modifying behavior, so that we can enjoy our lives with our dogs to the fullest
We believe that dog training is about deepening your relationship with your dog. All good relationships are based on trust, mutual respect, and love. The purpose of dog training is to open the lines of communication between two different species to solidify the bond between you and your dog. Assessing, enriching and building upon this relationship is the keystone of Noco Unleashed’s training program.
These are our guiding principles:
Our beliefs are based in science. Our goal is for our methods to work on the widest range of dogs possible, and the best way to do that is to use evidence-based methods.
While we are not medical professionals, we are committed to the Hippocratic oath “first, do no harm”. We will not recommend methods that carry a risk of fallout (adverse side effects).
We prioritize positive emotional states for both dogs and humans. The first step in any training plan is always to ensure that the dog is experiencing neutral to positive emotions about the environment in which they are expected to work. If either dog or human are experiencing negative emotional states, we will aim to make adjustments to promote a more positive experience.
We are guided by the LIMA model, which stands for Least Invasive, Minimally Aversive. This model refers to the Humane Hierarchy, proposed by Susan G. Friedman, PhD, and in her own words, “The commitment to using the most positive, least intrusive, effective interventions allows us to think before we act, so that we make choices about the means by which we accomplish our behavior goals. In this way, we can be both effective and humane. This is the minimum standard of care we should stretch to meet on behalf of the welfare of learners and caregivers alike.”
We believe that communication is the cornerstone of all learning. We strive to be effective communicators with both people and dogs, and we teach people and their dogs to communicate with one another.