So what does “Bond With Your Heart, Train With Your Brain”® mean? This phrase represents Joel’s training style and everything he stands for. It came to him in 2011 while presenting at the IACP Conference (International Association of Canine Professionals) in San Diego. He was discussing his balanced dog training style as the most rational option, when he was struck by how infrequently some dog owners make rational choices for their pets. Many of them base decisions for the pet’s well-being on emotions, and thinking with their heart. “I just remember trying to balance reason and feeling by thinking out loud: develop a relationship with your dog based on emotions, but when it comes to dog training, be rational and think with your brain. I started to come up with some phrases, and Bond With Your heart, Train With Your Brain® just stuck out.”
This message is so important because Joel believes that most pet owners have good intentions and want to do the right thing. But they sometimes might not train their dog with the best way or use the best dog training tools because they have an emotional reason not to, often because of something that had happened in the past. They might have even seen someone abuse a dog with a certain type of training tool, or they might have overused a particular pet training tool on a dog themselves. What happens so often in situations like this is that the person lets the past dictate the present and future.
Another mistake new pet owners make is training their dog before a relationship is established. Successful dog training is building a bond and getting your dog in a place where your dog wants to please you and make you happy. Creating a bond and relationship with your dog will make puppy training that much easier. This is where the Bond With Your Heart part comes from.
“Bond With Your heart, Train With Your Brain® also teaches people that dog training is a fluid, and an ever-changing thing. A training tool they are using today might not be a training tool they are using tomorrow, and a training tool they are not using today may very well be a training tool they are using tomorrow.