You Don’t Need To Be Punishing The Dog To Get What You Want

The Bark Show is a podcast where we discuss all things dogs, co-hosted by Pam Curry and Suzana Curcija, brought to you by Toronto Dog Walking and I Speak Dog. Today’s guest is Juliana Willems of Dog Latin Dog Training. She is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) and a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP). Her company Dog Latin provides in-home private training for the Washington, DC area and focuses on everything from puppy training to reactivity and aggression. Her methods are rooted in the science of learning, with a heavy emphasis on positive reinforcement.      

Find us at

Instagram – @torontodogwalking & @ispeakdog

Podcast Episode Summary

  • Juliana worked in Humane Society as an event planner, then started fostering dogs, now full time dog trainer for 3 years
  • Great thing about positive reinforcement training with dogs is the bond between human and dog that grows
  • Dog training is an unregulated industry but Karen Pryor Academy has a prestigious reputation so that’s why Juliana completed their program and learned about positive reinforcement there
  • Flexibility and thinking on your feet is key when training dogs
  • Dr. Susan Friedman’s humane hierarchy says: When you’re looking at an animal or a learner’s needs, look at their nutrition, environment, then you go to positive reinforcement, then the negative punishment/reinforcement. There is a hierarchy of steps to take. Don’t skip all the steps and go to the heavier tools, use the least invasive method of behaviour intervention.
  • Most of Dog Latin Dog Training clients referred to by their vet
  • Juliana’s specialty is reactivity in dogs, and figuring out where that behaviour is coming from
  • Good to keep the rate of reinforcement high, dog is getting many wins so that they stay engaged. It can be faded out slowly
  • The more the fun when training, the better success
  • Every behaviour has a function, instead of eliminating a bad behavior, think to replace
  • What are the benefits of positive reinforcement? Building a positive relationship with your dog.
  • Aversive training is taking a risk, it’s a quick but non-guaranteed solution. It’s not a magic trick, risk of fallout is not worth it.


“There is a hierarchy of steps to take. Don’t skip all the steps and go to the heavier tools because every learner deserves to be looked at as an individual. What is the least invasive method of intervention we can do here?”

“Dogs are living beings and it’s a complete myth that they want to work with us just because they are intrinsically designed to want to please us. That is not the case for pretty much any dog.”

“You don’t need to be punishing the dog to get what you want.”

“You only gamble what you can afford to lose, and when it comes to your dog I don’t think you can afford to gamble.”

Recommended Resources


  • @dog_latin_dog_training on Instagram