Latest News

Warning: Controversial trainer's methods could traumatise dogs ahead of seminar

Pet professionals warn punishment-based training hurts, doesn’t help dogs and people

Australian leaders in pet dog training, Association of Pet Dog Trainers Australia (APDT) and Pet Professional Guild Australia (PPGA), have joined paws to encourage the use of humane, positive reinforcement methods to help dogs displaying problematic behaviour.

This comes ahead of an international social media celebrity’s dog training seminar coming to Australia teaching controversial methods to train dogs. Augusto Deoliveira - known as ‘The Dog Daddy’ on social media - demonstrates in his videos aversive training techniques and equipment designed to cause pain and fear in dogs.

RSPCA UK says some of the methods used by the Dog Daddy can make frightened dogs' behaviour worse (Youtube/@TheDogDaddyofficial)

These include hanging a dog from a slip lead, delivering physical corrections repeatedly using a prong collar, physically forcing a dog to lie down or sit, and provoking aggression. His videos clearly show dogs displaying fearful behaviours and extremely high levels of stress, a failure to correctly read and respond to the dog’s body language and communication, all of which severely compromises the welfare of each individual dog.

The Dog Daddy’s methods have led to international petitions calling authorities to stop the events from taking place in their country, including Australia (planned for September 30).

Like stated by RSPCA UK and the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, the APDT and PPGA are also concerned the workshops will spread training techniques which risk compromising dog welfare, not to mention put handlers and the general public at significant risk of being bitten.

The APDT and PPGA are opposed to the use of aversive equipment such as (but not limited to) electric shock collars, citronella collars and prong collars (also known as a pinch or constriction collar) because their use can lead to injury, pain and suffering in the dog. Prong collars are illegal to import into Australia and are currently banned in Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland*.

Punishment-based methods cause canine conflict

“Punishment-based methods cause a lot of stress, can put the dog into conflict and may lead to worsening behaviour. Modifying behaviour using positive reinforcement is far more effective long term and causes far less stress in dogs” said APDT President Louise Ginman.

“Dogs that show aggression may be fearful, suffer from anxiety or trauma, lack socialisation or have other mental health challenges that require veterinary treatment. Two dogs can present similar behaviours, but the cause can be completely different.”

Qualified professional dog trainers, such as those members of APDT and PPGA, are trained to get to the bottom of your dog’s challenges to help put the best and most positive behaviour change program in place, added Ms Ginman.

PPGA President Sarah Campbell said, “Research* shows positive, reward-based training methods – using no force, no fear and no pain – work most effectively at improving dog behaviour outcomes and have no side effects on the dogs. The aim of dog training is not to suppress unwanted behaviour with punishment, but to make real positive change that is long lasting for the dogs and their owners.”

Ms Campbell said the PPGA has contacted the Department of Immigration​​ about growing concerns from the pet industry and the public but has not heard back.

APDT Annual Conference 2023

The APDT’s upcoming Annual Conference 2023 (12 – 15 October) in the Hunter Valley, NSW, will feature world renowned international and Australian speakers covering topics including dealing with challenging dog behaviours, stress reduction in dogs and so much more.

To learn more about positive reinforcement training, all dog professionals and dog lovers are welcome to register at

#GetDogTrainingRight #TrainPetsPositively 

About APDT

The Association of Pet Dog Trainers is the peak body representing trainers in Australia. APDT Australia is dedicated to enhancing the relationship between people and dogs through the education of trainers, other animal professionals and the public, and advocating dog-friendly training.

APDT Australia provides educational and networking opportunities including an annual conference and workshops with expert speakers in their fields. APDT's motto is "Building Better Trainers through Education". To discover more, visit

About PPGA

The Pet Professional Guild Australia (PPGA) is a membership organisation representing pet industry professionals who are committed to science-based, force-free training and pet care. We are an official branch of the Pet Professional Guild, a worldwide organisation committed to advocating, educating and encouraging improvements in companion animal welfare through the use of fear free techniques. Currently we have over 350 professional members, many of these professional trainers in the animal industry, mostly with companion animals such as dogs, cats, horses, birds and pocket pets.

Our PPGA members include some of the most well renowned veterinary behaviourists and trainers, many of which have worked with rescues and councils in the past and have a wealth of knowledge in behavioural modification. The PPGA members and affiliates focus on a pet’s physical, mental, environmental and nutritional wellbeing, a holistic approach to the care and training of family pets.

MEDIA RELEASE, 20th September 2023

Related Stories:


No comments

Post a Comment