A skilled force-free trainer that is trained using applied behaviour analysis using positive reinforcement will try to set a dog up for success,
If the dog gets it wrong, the trainer changes the criteria expected of the dog by inserting a slightly easier step to make it more likely for him to succeed on the next attempt.
Setting a dog up for success is paramount in any force-free training or behavior modification protocol.
A force-free trainer does not use aversive equipment (as outlined above) to train. Recent studies have shown a relationship between use of harsh training methods and aggressive and/or anxious behavior in dogs.
Fear is a particularly concerning side effect as it is difficult to undo.
Methods that use pain or startle should thus be avoided at all costs.
If anything a trainer says makes you uncomfortable, get another opinion.
Dr. Karen Overall, one of the most highly qualified veterinary behaviorists in the United States is squarely against coercive training, as is Jean Donaldson, author of the Maxwell Award winning book, The Culture Clash.
This is what they have to say about the issue of aversive tools in training: “Absolutely, without exception, I oppose, will not recommend, and generally spend large amounts of time telling people why I oppose the use of shock collars, prong collars, choke collars, and any other type of device that is rooted in an adversarial, confrontational interaction with the dog.” ~Karen Overall, MA, VMD, PhD, Dipl. ACVB, CAAB
"Until these devices are illegal, consumers must protect themselves and their dogs by looking beyond the marketing messages of those who profit from their sale and use. It is not necessary to use electric shock to change behavior. It is not necessary in humans, in zoo species, in marine mammals or in dogs.” ~Jean Donaldson, author of “The Culture Clash”