I only use positive reinforcement when I work with my dogs. I never use punishment, force, fear or intimidation because they don’t work. I want to change my dogs’ emotional response to stimuli that previously upset them. In that way they are less likely to resort to undesirable behaviour. I also want us to have a strong bond, which makes my dogs try to do what they think would please me. Whenever I see signs of stress (wide open, round eyes, whites of the eyes looking like crescent, shaking, tongue flicks, stiffness, panting, furrowed brow, ears set flat back against the head – to name just a few) I stop ‘training’, rethink, deal with stress first and try something different. I know my dogs, I know what motivates them, what they like and what makes them uncomfortable. I don’t want my dogs to ‘respect’ me because they think I’m a dominant figure, someone powerful, someone to be scared of. I want them to respect me because they love me and they know I respect and love them too. So far, I’ve had 100% success. I don’t impose my views on other people, I don’t even work with dogs that are not ‘mine’ (my private dogs and the ones from the charity). Yet, whenever ‘the dominance theory’ is mentioned, I get criticised a lot (even by people I like and respect). Funny things, beliefs…some people even die and kill in the name of something as insignificant as creations of their imagination or ideas put into their heads when they were children. Dogs are easier. We do what works, we don’t do what doesn’t.