There are already a huge number of dog training websites and blogs in the UK and beyond.
And I have thought hard about the pros and cons of adding to these.
Many, if not most existing dog training websites are aimed at recruiting new clients for a particular dog trainer, and at promoting that trainer’s own unique style.
The sheer diversity of approaches and techniques accessible to us online is fascinating, and a great resource for those that have a clear idea of what they are looking for.
But for those just starting out, or struggling with their first dog or puppy, it can be very difficult to know where to begin.
The questions and comments I receive on my gundog website, and especially here on The Labrador Site demonstrate just how much confusion still exists amongst new dog owners about how to train their dogs.
There is confusion over which methods are the best, which techniques actually work, and most of all, confusion about the dog training process itself.
We have celebrities like Victoria Stillwell telling us that positive training is best, celebrities like Cesar Milan telling us we need to dominate our dogs, and a whole host of other trainers that seem to fall in between.
Some are using rattle bottles, spray collars, or dog dazers, others claim that these kinds of tools distress our dogs.
Some use no aversives at all, whilst yet others claim that dogs trained with these ‘permissive’ methods will become spoilt and bad mannered.
Within the working dog community in particular, there is still a mistrust of modern, science based training. I find this sad, because of course science is not just about theories and ideas.
With a scientific approach we are free from opinions, and dishonesty. What we are looking for is truth and knowledge, and effective ways of describing the processes that control our amazing natural world.
Why a new site?
The idea of my new website is to clear up some of the confusion that abounds around the topic of dog training generally, and to help more people find a way to enjoy a dog that is both well behaved, and happy.
On Totally Dog Training you will information on how dogs learn, and how we can modify their behaviour, as well as structured practical training exercises.
Dedicating a whole website to training has enabled me to explore different aspects of the training process in a way that I hope will be easy to refer to and search.
I won’t be ‘laying down the law’ as to which training method is best or which method you must use.
I will be examining the evidence and giving you what I hope will be an objective and balanced view of the latest information. A view which will be updated whenever necessary as new evidence comes along.
A work in progress
Work on the website has only recently begun, but over the next few months, I will be setting out clear principles for dog training techniques that work, and providing a structured pathway for people wanting to train their dogs.
I did consider ‘tacking’ this information on to The Labrador Site, but I feel that it really deserves a home of its own.
I am very excited about building a new training site from scratch, with a really clear framework and structure in place from the beginning. And I do hope that you find it useful.
I have decided to open the site to the public at an early stage, rather than wait until all the information is in place, so you will find that there are sections that are not yet linked up, and many articles yet to be published.
The structure is in place though, and I think you will be able to see what I am aiming for.
I hope you will drop in from time to time to watch the site grow and develop. If you would like to comment on any of the articles you find there, that would be great and I will do my best to answer all your comments and to listen to your suggestions.
If you would like to check out this new website, here it is: Totally Dog Training
Totally Dog Training also has its own Facebook Page, so do drop in and say hello!