mindDog will only work with positive force free training. mindDog does not train dogs and then provide them for our clients.

The most important mindDog trainer is you. Without sleeping with your dog and training your dog, the pair of you will not develop the Bond that is the basis of all mindDog work.

If you have never trained a dog before or are unsure of your training skills, don’t worry. We won’t throw you in the deep end by yourself.

Where possible you will be matched with a mindDog trainer in an area close to you. If you live in a remote or isolated area, we may ask you to travel. mindDog does not pay the cost of training. This is something that is worked out between you and the trainer.

After all, your dog may not need much work. Or both of you may need a great deal. And different trainers have different costs and charge different fees.

Most of our trainers are aware that many of our clients are in straitened circumstances and will adjust their fees accordingly.

We also provide personal training support through our private Facebook forum. You will be invited to join.. It is administered by mindDog directors who are also trainers. And you will have business hours access to our Head Trainer.

After we get your application, the mindDog Assessor in your area will visit you to make sure that you and your dog will make a good team. If this goes well you will be issued with a trainee vest and ID card for your dog. Until this happens you are still an applicant. Vests can take up to six weeks to get to you.

At this visit the Assessor will connect you with a mindDog trainer. She will visit around every six months to make sure things are going well.

With your trainer you will fill out the three monthly, six monthly and nine monthly training reports. These reports are in the mindDog Book you will be sent before the Assessor makes her first visit.

In the mindDog Book is the training standard which sets out what you and your dog need to achieve to pass the Public Access Test.

mindDog trainers use only positive reinforcement methods to train mindDogs. Any Aversives are banned.

mindDog only uses trainers from:

  • the Delta Institute
  • the Pet Professionals Guild of Australia

What is an Aversive?

This is anything the dog doesn’t like. It can vary from dog to dog but whatever it is and wherever it is used, the dog associates it with punishment.

This includes obvious things like;

  • Alpha rolls
  • Choke chains
  • Prong collars
  • Shock collars of any kind including electronic fences
  • Submission holds
  • Smacking

It also includes things like:

  • Rattle tins
  • Haltis or headcollars
  • Lemon juice or water sprays
  • Corrections
  • Tight circling
  • Deep voice reprimands
  • Jerking, or a very short leadAdditional References

Our aim during your year of training up to your Public Access Test is to create a confident, calm dog that is happy doing his/her job. We need to ensure that the dog’s welfare is paramount at all times. A dog that has been trained using positive reinforcement (rewards for doing the right thing, rather than punishment for doing the wrong thing) will be more confident and happy. Because dogs can’t speak, as your dog’s guardian you need to be able to understand if your dog is happy and comfortable or stressed and overwhelmed. If your dog is stressed at work, he/she will not be able to do his/her job properly.

Dogs communicate in a variety of ways – through vocalisations (barking, whining, howling) and body language (tail wagging, tail tucked, body crouched, body loose, eyes squinting etc.). Part of what you will practice as a mindDog trainee is learning to read your dog’s body language so that you can tell when he/she is happy, sad, confident, scared or stressed. Once you can read this, you can take appropriate action; e.g. if your dog is scared move him/her away from what is scaring him/her. Food is a very important part of the training process, acting as both an incentive for your dog (we all like to be paid for our work!) and something that creates positive associations, with both you, the guardian and the environment you are working in.

Kristin Crestejo – Modern Dog Training


Good information on reading dog body language with good examples

Chirag Patel – Domesticated Manners

Chirag is a world renowned force free trainer who uses a clicker to teach animals a variety of behaviours. There are many videos to show you how to train behaviours such as walking nicely on the lead, manners around the food bowl, getting ready for vet visits, jumping up, grooming etc.

Emily Larlham – Kikopup

Another world famous dog trainer using positive reinforcement to teach a variety of behaviour and tricks (training tricks is fun and helps build a bond between you and your dog) and build confidence. Also lots of information about how to use food properly in training, and avoiding common mistakes.

Dr Sophia Yin

This covers the basics on how dogs learn

More training and also desensitization and counter conditioning (this is getting your dog used to specific things such as toenail trimming and changing the way he/she feels about things that he/she may already be afraid of).

Finally, our dogs are not robots and so need to have time off. One of the most fun things for a dog to do is just walk and sniff, so when your dogs are not working, make sure you take their jackets off and take them for a walk allowing them lots of time to check out all the interesting sniffs. Dogs see the world through their noses. Their noses contain 225-300 million scent receptors compared to our 5 million. It’s important to sniff!! Other ideas for enrichment (definition – improving or enhancing the quality or value of something) can be found by joining the Canine Enrichment group on Facebook or go to YouTube and type in canine enrichment – there are loads of ideas.

You owe it to your dog to give him/her interesting things to do when he/she is left alone or is having some time off.

These additional references were put together by

E Fletcher BSc (Hons) Canine Training and Behaviour 
Delta Cert IV CAS 
mindDog Assessor