No competing author can match Dale Stavroff’s achievements as a trainer of every sort of dog for every sort of situation, from companion dogs to show and obedience trials winners to search and rescue and other service dogs.

No competing author has solved so many problems for dog owners, including those involving the largest and most aggressive breeds.

No competing author has trained dogs to championship and expert performance in so many categories of dog sports and service work. – Dale Stavroff is the most accomplished, gifted dog trainer ever to have written a book for the average pet owner.

No competing book offers such an efficient, easy to follow training system. –
The Stavroff Method produces a happy, confident, well-behaved dog in only 15 minutes of training a day.

All other dog training books are flawed by sentimental misunderstandings of the dog’s psychology and the dog-human relationship. –
LET THE DOG DECIDE is the first book for general readers to give an accurate picture of the dog’s psychology and the dog-human relationship.

All other dog training books treat the dog’s independence, stubbornness and other natural characteristics as things that have to be eliminated or suppressed by training. These efforts to force the dog to abandon unwanted behaviors always fail, and the dog eventually reverts to the same behaviors. –
LET THE DOG DECIDE is the first book to show how to use the dog’s natural attributes as aids to training, rather than impediments. With the Stavroff Method, dogs discover for themselves that certain behaviors are not in their best interest and choose to abandon them permanently.

How LET THE DOG DECIDE and the Stavroff Method differ from “Be the alpha pack leader”, classical conditioning with a choke collar –
Cesar’s Way, among many other books. Classical conditioning is a win-lose proposition. It creates a battle of wills that one side must lose. – LET THE DOG DECIDE is a win-win proposition. The Stavroff Method engages the dog’s will in harmony with the owner’s and makes them both winners.

All classical conditioning-based books depend on punishment of the dog. –
LET THE DOG DECIDE shows that punishment has no place in the proper training of dogs.

Classical conditioning looks like it works in the short term, but over time produces avoidance, fearful submission and/or aggression, which all shut down the dog’s mind and distort its personality. The common owner’s complaint is that the dog behaves okay as a puppy, but becomes more and more resentful and less and less obedient as it matures. – The Stavroff Method empowers the dog, recruits its free will in partnership with the owner, and keeps its mind open to lifelong learning. It produces high levels of reliability in obedience and devotion to the owner for the life of the dog.

Classical conditioning seeks to suppress, diminish and dominate a dog’s will and force it to submit to the owner. Dogs resent being dominated just as much as people do. As soon as the dog recognizes what is going on, it resists coming into the owner’s area of influence – the length of a leash. This is why recall problems, among many others, are so great with dogs trained by classical conditioning. -–
With the Stavroff Method, a dog learns to choose to defer to the owner, and does so eagerly. The dog that is strong, confident, and emotionally and psychologically intact is far more reliable in its behavior than a dog that has been robbed of its sense of self by classical conditioning.

Being the Alpha pack leader is a totally unnatural role for a human being. In the wild, a dog is Alpha only for two or three years before it is replaced in that role by a dominant younger dog. Over time, Alpha pack leader behavior by a human being drives a dog into increasingly fearful submission towards the Alpha, increasingly focused attempts to resist and replace the Alpha, or increasingly determined avoidance of the Alpha. --
The Stavroff Method lets the owner be a human being and the dog be a dog, and develops a lifelong bond of trust and cooperation between them.

Only one person in a group can be Alpha to the dog, creating many problems in family and other group situations. –
With the Stavroff method, the dog defers – not submits – to even the youngest child.

Classical conditioning always causes the dog to associate the owner with negative reinforcement and discomfort. – The Stavroff Method ensures that the dog associates the owner only with positive reinforcement, reward, and comfort.

Classical conditioning relies on heavy compulsion by teaching behaviors with a choke collar and using discomfort as a punishment in response to failure or to stop an unwanted behavior. –
The Stavroff Method never punishes a dog. Instead it teaches the dog that it can choose to escape all discomfort through compliance.

Classical conditioning produces, at best, rote, unthinking responses that are given only under the shadow of threat. –
The Stavroff Method produces a dog that can think for itself and behave well in any and all circumstances.

How LET THE DOG DECIDE and the Stavroff Method differ from clicker conditioning – Karen Pryor. As an engaging, gentle teaching tool, clicker conditioning is an important advance in training over classical conditioning with a choke collar, and Karen Pryor deserves high praise for popularizing use of the clicker as a form of operant conditioning. But a dog that has learned a behavior through clicker conditioning cannot be relied on to give that behavior in any and all circumstances. Control will still not be assured when the dog has to make choices under stress. The dog will still be at risk of running into the street to chase a ball or squirrel, ignoring the clicker to play or fight with other dogs, and other unwanted or dangerous behaviors. –
The Stavroff Method incorporates clicker conditioning, and shows how to carry training forward with more advanced, equally gentle operance techniques that ensure reliable behavior in all circumstances.

Behaviors learned through clicker conditioning quickly “extinguish” without constant use of the clicker. –
The Stavroff Method produces lifelong, self- reinforcing behaviors in response to word signals, freeing the owner from dependence on the clicker to produce deference or reliability.

Clicker conditioning does not produce deference in dominant, aggressive, high-drive dogs. Seen as “weakness” by these dogs, it in fact produces the opposite. – The Stavroff Method achieves reliable results with all dogs, no matter what their breed or temperament.


Let the Dog Decide


the competition

How LET THE DOG DECIDE and the Stavroff Method differ from competing books on dog training: