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Defining “Dog-Friendly”

Association of Pet Dog Trainers
Position Statement

The following statement reflects the opinion of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers.

The Association of Pet Dog Trainers recognizes that dog training is a continuum ranging from unacceptably harsh methods to training that uses primarily positive reinforcement. We understand and agree that individual members of the APDT are free to choose the training methods and tools that they use in their training programs.

The APDT also recognizes that scientific studies have found that it is possible to effectively train animals using positive reinforcement and negative punishment.

Through its vision and mission statements the APDT is committed to using and advocating for training techniques that are “dog-friendly.”

The APDT acknowledges that no generally accepted definition of dog-friendly currently exists.

Therefore, the APDT hereby defines dog-friendly as used in our mission and vision statements to mean:

“Dog-friendly training is training that utilizes primarily positive reinforcement; secondarily negative punishment, and only occasionally, rarely, and/or as a last resort includes positive punishment and/or negative reinforcement.”

Finally, APDT membership is open to anyone interested in learning about training.


APDT Board of Directors


Approved 1/17/03

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