Clever Canines lead the way for new dog training philosophy


It’s not often you can walk into a room packed with dogs and not hear a single bark.

This is a popular convention at Clever Canines — a dog obedience school located in south west Calgary.

The founder of this doggy day-home, Tracie Nielson, says the keen obeying comes from awarding dogs with love rather than snacks.

 While treat training being a common tactic amongst other dog training schools, Nielson values petting, affection and attention as an appropriate award for attentive canines.

“We really want to concentrate on the dog having a relationship with the owner, not the treat,” Nielson says.

Nielson says she has had her own difficulties training her dog Niko, to the point where vets had suggested euthanizing him.

Biting was a more than common habit for Niko, and was also a trait Nielson thought she wouldn’t be able to control.

Despite the heavy news of having to say good-bye to her dog, a change in course happened when she went for a second opinion.

Another vet vouched against euthanizing, and suggested concentrating on behavioural issues rather than strict training.

Her success with this approach provides the philosophical view for Clever Canines, a perspective Nielson shares with all her clients.

Malory Polach, a Clever Canines client, had more than a hard time getting her pup Brewster to listen.

After trying out a different obedience school that suggested Polach was the one that needed to change, she set out to find an alternative.

“The no-treat training has really helped out, ” Polach says. “We really love the dog that she’s become.” | 

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