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24 Best Dog Training Quotes to Inspire Progress

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Training your dog is a lifelong journey, so a little inspiration can go a long way! Whether you’re a newbie learning how to find a common language with your pup or an experienced trainer looking for some creativity, the following dog training quotes will provide motivation to keep doing the important work together.

Read on for tons of positive reinforcement training quotes, funny dog training quotes, and thought-provoking, inspirational dog training quotes!

Dog Training Quotes

“Pay attention to your behavior. Believe me, your dog is.” — Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D., Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB) Emeritus, canine behavior expert/trainer and author of multiple books

“To the dog, clicker training is all one big wonderful game. The game is simple: you have something your dog wants, and he must do something for you to get it.” — Peggy Tillman, author of Clicking with Your Dog: Step-by-Step in Pictures

“What if the secret to great dog training is to be an expert feeder rather than a strong leader? A skilled reinforcer rather than a strict enforcer?” — Kathy Sdao, author and owner of Bright Spot Training Services 

“Training often fails because people expect way too much of the animal and way too little of themselves.” — Bob Bailey, veteran animal trainer and lecturer

“When you stop relying on aversive controls such as threats, intimidation, and punishment, and when you know how to use reinforcement to get not just the same but better results, your perception of the world undergoes a shift. You don’t have to become a wimp. You don’t have to give up being in charge. You lose nothing of yourself. You just see things you didn’t see before.” — Karen Pryor, behavioral biologist, author, and founder of The Karen Pryor Academy 

 “Heavy socialization is the single smartest investment you can make in a dog.” — Jean Donaldson, author and founder of the Academy for Dog Trainers 

“The more you love your dog, the more you need to understand human behavior.” — Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D., CAAB, author of The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs

“I would rather have cookies in my jacket pockets than a chain around my dog’s neck.” — Pat Miller, dog trainer and author of The Power of Positive Dog Training

“Dog separation anxiety is a debilitating condition that likely causes some disruptive behavior in your pup. He’s not upset with you, he’s basically having panic attacks that are truly terrifying.” — Malena DeMartini, Certified Trainer and Counselor (CTC), Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), author of multiple books on separation anxiety in dogs 

“Training a dog, to me, is on a par with learning to dance with my wife or teaching my son to ski. These are fun things we do together. If anyone even talks about dominating the dog or hurting him or fighting him or punishing him, don’t go there.” — Ian Dunbar, veterinarian and dog training expert, author, and founder of Dunbar Academy

“Let them sniff. Their world is made of scents more than sights.” — Alexandra Horowitz, professor at Barnard College and Columbia University, and head of the Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard

“The only thing two trainers can agree on is what a third trainer is doing wrong.” — Steve White, owner of ProActive K9 LLC 

“By being your dog’s advocate, you’re also being your child’s. There are many dogs that tolerate manhandling well for long periods of time. There are very few dogs that enjoy it.” — Colleen Pelar, Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT), author of Living with Kids and Dogs…Without Losing Your Mind, A Parent’s Guide to Controlling the Chaos.

“We must try to treat the reason for the behavior, not only treat the symptom. That will not get us very far.” — Turid Rugaas, dog trainer and author of On Talking Terms With Dogs: Calming Signals

“Training is not a luxury, but a key component to good animal care.” — Ken Ramirez, Executive Vice-President and Chief Training Officer of Karen Pryor Clicker Training

“No dog training method should ever be used if it conflicts with how you feel about your dog and how he should be treated. And no advice should ever be heeded if it supersedes your own common sense and intuition.” — Paul Owens, dog trainer and author known as “The Original Dog Whisperer”

“It should be recognized that stress is a normal part of learning and living, and that not all stress is the bad type of stress we call distress. Dogs also experience stress when learning something new, and it is up to us to teach them in a manner that leaves no room for distress.” — Leslie McDevitt, MLA, CDBC, CPDT, author of Control Unleashed®

“It’s not worth destroying trust for points and trophies.” — Pat Miller, Certified Behavior Consultant Canine-Knowledge Assessed (CBCC-KA), CPDT-KA, author and owner of Peaceable Paws Dog and Puppy Training

“Countless training books and countless trainers urge the dog owner to not let dogs ‘get away with’ misbehavior but forget to mention that behavior is a pure form of communication. If a behavior exists that an owner finds upsetting, there’s a problem that needs to be investigated and resolved. The dog has a reason for acting as he does, and it’s not always because given an inch, he wants to take a mile.” — Suzanne Clothier, dog trainer, author, and creator of the Relationship Centered Training™ method

“There is no magic to the technology we call clicker training, other than that it offers a universal language that can be ‘spoken’ by all species. The clicker provides a simple, clear form of communication between verbal humans and nonverbal animals. The sound of the clicker means the same thing, every time, to every participant.” — Emma Parsons, Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP), Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), CDBC, private trainer and faculty member at Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior

“Dogs enrich our lives in so many ways with their gifts of unconditional love, friendship and loyalty. You can reciprocate by being mindful of our Canine Golden Rule: treat your dog as you would like to be treated.” — Linda Tellington-Jones, Ph.D., author and creator of the Tellington TTouch® Method 

“My dogs will follow me because they want to, not because they are afraid of what will happen if they don’t.” — Victoria Stilwell, dog trainer, behavior expert, and star of series It’s Me or the Dog

“In teaching your dog to walk nicely on a loose leash and respecting his natural curiosity of the environment, your relationship with your best friend will develop and blossom.” — Turid Rugaas

“The best training tip out there is so simple it likely slips your mind: catch your dog doing something right.” — Kathy Callahan, CPDT-KA, Family Dog Mediator (FDM), author and owner of PupStart