Training style

Joel's Training Style

Some people may be surprised by how intuitive Joel’s methods are, but his training technique and his ideas are no big secret. Most of the hundreds of animal trainers that he has had a relationship with for the past 35 years actually use his technique.

SIT is a great behavior because it is a stationary position.

SIT is a great behavior because it is a stationary position.

When I teach SIT, follow with STAY from day one.

When I teach SIT, follow with STAY from day one.

Joel’s first step has absolutely nothing to do with training—it’s developing a great relationship with your pet. If this is something you personally have not done, you really need to take a few steps back and simply get to know your dog. Spend 20 to 30 days learning your dog’s likes and dislikes.

Joel believes that if you have taken the time to create that bond, you have ensured your dog’s trust and laid a great foundation for your dogs’ training too. Because of that strong relationship, your dog will want nothing more than to please you, and that drive will motivate him in ways you can build on by knowing his likes and dislikes. This is a great way to start a fun and exciting training program!


In more recent years, Joel has stressed individualizing training that caters to dog’s personalities. All dogs are different, and in so many cases dog owners fall into the trap of a one-size-fits-all approach to dog training. Since dogs have such varied personalities, Joel believes they should be trained according to their individual make up. He has created a color scheme to represent dogs’ basic personality types. This helps pet owners characterize their dog to simplify and personalize training. The What Color is Your Dog?® model is easy for the owner to figure out, and makes training easier for the dog too. Joel’s book will help you assign your dog a color that represents the dog’s personality and helps you to understand your dog better. You can then use the color-specific techniques Joel suggests to give you and your dog the most effective and enjoyable training experience possible.

For the past 35+ years, Joel has gotten a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction out of teaching literally thousands of people about dog training and responsible pet ownership. Whether through his TV series, his books, or his videos—no matter how someone learned Joel’s methods, his biggest reward is someone coming up to him and saying, “thank you for making training easy and fun.”