About

Run by trainers for trainers 

Our small team of professional, experienced and qualified trainers specialise in teaching dog owners and training domestic dogs. 

The training team comprises full and part time, nationally accredited and qualified dog trainers who have years of experience working with both dogs and humans. All trainers hold certifications from the Delta Institute or the National Dog Trainers Federation (Australia) as well as Vocational Education certificates in Training and Assessment.  Trainers are required to keep their qualifications and skills current by using up to date animal training concepts and methods.

Our HQ office is staffed five days a week by our friendly team who is here to make the process of enrolment and booking run smoothly.  The office team will assess your individual needs and match your dog with the most suitable trainer who specialises in the area of need. 

We provide practical classes with practical content, such as our puppy class curriculum which is based around real life scenarios – cafes, vets, groomers etc. We also offer Private Consultations where we look at the entire picture, including age, breed, temperament, physiology, diet, environment and ability. We’ll be open and upfront with the expectations of what’s required and then develop and implement a plan that addresses the underlying cause of an issue rather than the consequential result.

Melbourne Dog Trainers operate in many locations around the inner suburbs of Melbourne and believe all groups within society should have access to quality and professional dog training. We have a program to suit everyone’s needs, so please feel free to contact us to discuss your requirements further.

Training Style & Philosophy

Without a doubt MDT is reward based training (+R and -P), and we focus on setting the dog up for success. We utilise modern training techniques (including primary and secondary reinforcers) and our programs focus on phasing away food so your dog happily does what you expect it to without the need to always have food at hand. The proven, modern techniques of counterconditioning, desensitisation and differential reinforcement of incompatible behaviours (D.R.I.) are the best way to achieve long lasting results. 

 

Balanced Trainers vs Purely Positive

The term “positive” (when referring to behaviour modification) means to add something to your dog to change behaviour.  If your dog loves when you drop a tasty carrot on the floor and keeps returning to the kitchen, your dog experienced “positive reinforcement”. If you accidentally step on your dog’s tail when you step out of the shower and your dog stops sitting in the bathroom, then the dog experienced “positive punishment”.  So no – we’re not “purely positive” as we don’t want to add anything unfavourable to your dog to change it’s behaviour. The term “balance” often refers to a trainer that chooses to add discomfort during their training. – So, no. We’re not “balanced trainers”. 

Punishment

We may opt to use punishment during training but it’s done by withholding or removing something to change behaviour. For eg. turning away when a dog jumps up on you.

All our trainers are suitably qualified and experienced enough to know about training concepts, techniques and exercises that will help your dog to enjoy doing what they do so they want to do what’s “right” rather than just avoid doing what they want to do in anticipation of a bad consequence. We do not use fear or intimidation, our pets are family. If you wouldn’t do it to your toddler don’t do it to your dog.

Training tools

Check chains, aka choker chains, are not needed when the dog is set up for success and the trainer appropriately understands the dog’s motivations. Head collars, front pull (pressure harnesses) etc may be used as part of your training plan but we always aim to get the dog wanting to do what’s right rather than avoiding the pressure of the equipment.