Statement on Dog Training

| September 1, 2023
Toronto Humane Society Stands Firmly in Support of Humane and Compassionate Dog Training

TORONTO, ON, September 1, 2023 – Toronto Humane Society is pleased to reaffirm its unwavering commitment to promoting humane and compassionate dog training practices. As a leading advocate for the welfare of pets and their guardians, we are proud to offer a diverse range of training classes that prioritize trust, compassion, and positive reinforcement. 

In a recent media interview, our views on dog training were taken out of context and this resulted in mixed messaging and some confusion. During the interview, the actual context of the question was “Is it ever ok to use punishment?”. The example provided by our spokesperson was not related to training but was related to managing an emergency situation. This statement aims to clarify exactly what Toronto Humane Society stands for in training practices. 

Our stance is clear: using punishment to train pets is not acceptable. We understand that every dog is unique, and our approach to training is tailored to everyone’s needs, always prioritizing their emotional well-being and physical safety.At the heart of our mission lies the belief that every pet-guardian relationship should be built on trust, love, and understanding. Our dedicated team of certified trainers is dedicated to utilizing Positive Reinforcement Training (R+) methods, which are effective and foster healthy, long-lasting bonds between pets and their human companions. 

Toronto Humane Society’s enrichment programs and behaviour modification plans are all designed with fear-free and positive reinforcement training methods. As an organization, our training approach is all about the Hierarchy of Behavior-Change Procedures in alignment with the LIMA (least intrusive, minimally aversive) philosophy. This is considered a best practice approach to humanely promoting the physiological, psychological and social well-being of each animal.  

Toronto Humane Society is committed to providing a constructive, supportive, and inspiring environment for all pet parents and their beloved furry companions. Our training classes are designed to empower pet parents with the knowledge and tools necessary to build a strong and loving bond with their pets. We believe that when pets are nurtured through kindness and positive reinforcement, they thrive, and their guardians experience the joy of a fulfilling partnership. 

Whether you have a new puppy, a rescue dog, or a long-time companion, our training classes are here to help you build a relationship that will last a lifetime. 

For more information on our training classes and our commitment to positive reinforcement training, please visit our website or contact us at 

Together, we can create a world where pets and their human companions thrive in harmony through love, trust, and understanding. 

About Toronto Humane Society 

Toronto Humane Society’s mission is to Improve the Lives of Animals. The organization excels in all ways an animal shelter should, with industry-leading shelter care, veterinary services, animal training and behaviour consultations. Toronto Humane Society believes in the importance of the human-animal bond, finds new homes for thousands of animals and helps keep families together. 

Toronto Humane Society is more than an animal shelter. They are an educational resource and support system, a leading voice in animal welfare and accessible care. The organization is also a centre of excellence, a space where best practices and boundary-pushing knowledge meet with unyielding optimism and a love for animals to create something special. Toronto Humane Society is like no other. For more information, visit 

For more information, or to arrange an interview please contact Lucas Solowey at or call 416-392-2273 ext. 2196