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Our Philosophy

Force-free. Humane. Educated.


By Carlos F Morales - CPDT-KA

What is Canine High School’s Training Philosophy?

At Canine High School, we believe that building relationships with dogs is the foundation for effective training. We treat our student dogs and their humans, as individuals, it is important to us to factor in family dynamics, environment, breed, age and temperament when designing training plans.

Treating every student as an individual is part of our methodology, we approach each dog and their human by using Relationship-Based Training to meet each dog’s personal and basic needs before training. Throughout the entirety of our School programs we endorse and utilize multiple Training Models (Methods) including Scientific Training that is based on the most current scientific evidence. We prioritize our own education by holding certifications including the CPDT-KA from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, and by attending seminars and participating in continuing education. We endorse and utilize Model-Rival Or Mirror Training in our Teaching Dog program where puppies learn by imitating gentle, kind and well behaved adult dogs that visit our Puppy School program.

Canine High School does not subscribe to pack theory or theories of dominance and fear for dog training. We refrain from aversive and/or punitive punishment techniques and tools such as e-collars, prong-collars, etc. We find these methods to be inefficient at treating the cause, they just address the symptom through fear and pain. Inhumane training is no longer considered training by the training community. It is our stance that on moral grounds, pain and punitive punishment is reprehensible. We do however understand that there is a lot of misinformation present in the media about dog training and confusion about what the acceptable methods and tools of training are. Therefore our focus is on education rather than judgment. We strive to provide every human that comes in contact with us with the necessary tools to be able to train their dog with the most effective science evidence-based force-free methods.

Our force-free, Positive Reinforcement Training (R+) techniques promote well-adjusted, confident, and polite pups without the negative side effects of fear or physical punishment. We are LIMA compliant and use the Humane Hierarchy on every case that we approach. Please scroll down to read about LIMA and the Humane Hierarchy and why they are important when choosing a dog trainer. Our Teacher Trainers are friends and mentors, not alphas trying to establish dominance over your dog. We are buddies they can trust and respect!

Carlos F Morales - CPDT-KA

Carlos is head trainer at Canine High School in Long Beach CA, a force-free Puppy School and Dog School. He is responsible for creating the School's Dog Training System, Curriculum and Philosophy. In addition to educating his canine students and their human parents, he runs a teaching school that offers apprenticeship and internship programs for aspiring professional dog trainers. He is a Certified Mentor Trainer for several dog training schools and holds certifications with the AKC and the CCPDT. He lives in a little house by the beach with his human, his three dogs GoGo, Kiba, Choji and a sassy cat, Habibti.

Continued >.

"Offering pups the ability to consent, use agency and make choices while they learn"


What is LIMA?


“LIMA” is an acronym for “least intrusive, minimally aversive.” LIMA describes a trainer or behavior consultant who uses the least intrusive, minimally aversive strategy out of a set of humane and effective tactics likely to succeed in achieving a training or behavior change objective. LIMA adherence also requires consultants to be adequately educated and skilled in order to ensure that the least intrusive and aversive procedure is used. LIMA-compliant training methods are important because they are humane and effective. They also help to build trust and confidence between dogs and their owners. This allows the opportunity for the dog to be motivated, to learn, to make choices and to develop confidence and trust without the fear and trauma of punishment as a first resort. 


Although we are LIMA Compliant, Canine High School does not endorse or utilize Aversive Punishment Training, even at its most minimal level. We use force-free methods and adhere to the Humane Hierarchy in all cases, from basic to advanced.

Check out our Online Course about LIMA:

What is the Humane Hierarchy?


Glad you asked! It is the application of the Least Intrusive Minimally Aversive (LIMA) Effective Behavior Intervention policy. 

Humane Hierarchy Order of Priorities:


1 Wellness: Emotional, Nutritional & Physical


2 Puppy proof: Antecedent Arrangements


3 Reward: Positive Reinforcement


4 Teach: Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behaviors


5 Remove: Extinction, Negative Reinforcement & Negative Punishment


6 Correct: Positive Punishment


Check out our Online Course about the Humane Hiearchy:

Humane Hierarchy

What Training Models (Methods) does Canine High School use?


It is important to choose a training method that is endorsed by reputable trainers and organizations because it ensures that the method is humane, effective, and based on scientific research. There are a lot of different philosophies, styles and techniques, and each trainer has a different level of education, experience and ability. Here is a list of techniques that Canine High School endorses and utilizes, as well as a description including other techniques that we do not endorse or utilize:


k9HS Endorsed & Utilized! Scientific Training

This is a very broad style that often uses behavioral learning concepts, mainly Operant Conditioning which relies more on reinforcement and less on punishment. It is very much dependent on scientific research that is also used in other fields and evolving studies and theories so trainers have to stay up-to-date on the most current science. The methods are often effective but can be difficult to teach or explain to clients. 


k9HS Endorsed & Utilized! Positive Reinforcement Training (R+)

This method includes rewarding good behavior when a dog performs that behavior. Clicker training is often used within this style. Bad behavior does not get a reward or acknowledgement. If correction needs to happen, it comes in the form of removal of rewards. This method is great for puppies and for learning commands, but you need  to be very patient to correct unwanted behaviors with this style.


k9HS Endorsed & Utilized! Model-Rival Or Mirror Training

This is a style that uses behavioral learning concepts, mainly Observational Learning. A dog will learn by observing a human or another dog and then mimicking the behavior. This method operates at a similar level of success as positive reinforcement and operant conditioning. Many trainers may find it more natural and preferable, especially for puppies.

k9HS Endorsed & Utilized! Relationship-Based Training

This style combines several different training methods, but focuses on an individual approach for both dog and human. The relationship between dog and human is most important. Striving to meet the needs of the dog and the trainer, create communication, and to strengthen their bond. An understanding of the dog's body language, what rewards most motivate their dog, and how to meet their dog’s basic needs before each training session begins. Positive reinforcement at the forefront. And managing the dog’s environment to set the dog up for success is key.


k9HS Does NOT Endorse or Utilize! Balanced training

This method pursues obedience. This style is corrections-based, though it uses praise to reward good behaviors. It also employs pain punishment and tools to address unwanted behaviors. Electronic Training - This method uses an electric collar that delivers a shock when a dog is not performing a desired task. It was originally used for training at a distance when a leash couldn’t be used. There are many problems with this training method. One is that it relies on punishment for bad behavior instead of reward, a dog learns what they shouldn’t do, rather than what they should do. Another is that dogs are often traumatized by the use of the shock collar. 

k9HS Does NOT Endorse or Utilize! Alpha Dog Or Dominance

This style relies on a dog’s instinctual pack mentality to create a relationship of submission and dominance. The theory suggests that dogs see their families as their packs and follow a social hierarchy, as observed in captive wolf packs. Some methods used in this style include very beneficial skills like understanding dog body language and setting boundaries and limitations. Some others suggest pinning and harsh correction techniques as well as contentious relationships between people and their dogs. 

k9HS Does NOT Endorse or Utilize! Aversive Punishment Training

This is a controversial training method focused on pain and punishment. Humane training is accessible and in practice. Inhumane training is no longer considered training by the training community. On moral grounds, pain and punishment is reprehensible. Aversives include Electronic Training, and pain tools like prong, choke collars, and pain from physical abuse of any type. Similarly, intimidation, threats or using fear as a motivator is deemed aversive. Exposure to increased and sustained or repeated high stress situations is also considered abusive as it puts dogs past their stress threshold, which produces biochemical cascades that are non-therapeutic, counterproductive to learning, and can have longer lasting fear-response repercussions.

© ️ Canine High School Copyright 2023 All written text, graphics and materials are for the exclusive use of Canine High School clients, they are not meant to be copied, distributed or reproduced for commercial or business purposes. Copyright law no. 633/1941.

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