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What Is The Koehler Method To Train A Dog?

The Koehler Method allows a dog to choose its actions in an attempt to empower the dog. It enhances a dog’s learned behavior an act of choice based on what the dog has learned from its own experience. It trains your dog to follow you in the direction with or without a leash plus other commands such as sit, down, stand, stay and more.

The Koehler method is a dog training system developed by William R. Koehler in the 1940s. Koehler was a well-known dog trainer and author, and his method was based on the principles of positive reinforcement and the use of corrective measures. In this article, we will discuss the Koehler method and its components.

  1. Obedience Training

    The Koehler method emphasizes obedience training as the foundation for all other training. Obedience training involves teaching your dog basic commands such as sit, stay, come, and heel. This training should be based on positive reinforcement, meaning you reward your dog with treats or praise for performing the desired behavior. The Koehler method also incorporates the use of correction when your dog does not perform the desired behavior.

  2. Use of Leash and Collar

    The Koehler method uses a leash and collar to train dogs. The collar is designed to be a “correction collar” or “choke collar” which is intended to be used with precise timing and release. This collar is used as a tool to reinforce obedience commands by providing a corrective jerk when your dog does not comply with the command. The Koehler method emphasizes the importance of using the collar correctly and not as a punishment for your dog.

  3. Training in Stages

    The Koehler method also involves training dogs in stages. This means starting with basic commands and gradually increasing the difficulty of the training. The Koehler method emphasizes the importance of setting your dog up for success by only introducing new challenges when your dog has mastered the previous stage.

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  4. Use of Correction

    The Koehler method emphasizes the use of correction when your dog does not comply with obedience commands. Corrections are intended to be given in a precise and consistent manner. The correction is meant to provide your dog with a clear indication that they have not complied with your command and that they should comply next time.

  5. Positive Reinforcement

    The Koehler method also emphasizes the importance of positive reinforcement. This means rewarding your dog with treats, praise, or toys when they perform the desired behavior. Positive reinforcement is intended to motivate your dog to perform the desired behavior by associating the behavior with something they enjoy.

  6. Consistency

    The Koehler method emphasizes the importance of consistency in training. Consistency means providing your dog with clear and consistent commands and expectations. It also means being consistent with your use of correction and positive reinforcement.

  7. Patience and Persistence

    The Koehler method also emphasizes the importance of patience and persistence in training. Training your dog takes time and effort, and it is important to be patient and persistent. Consistency and positive reinforcement will help your dog learn and grow, but it will take time.

Criticism of the Koehler Method

The Koehler method has received criticism from some dog trainers and behaviorists who believe that the use of corrective measures and choke collars can be harmful to dogs. Some critics argue that the use of such tools can lead to anxiety, fear, and aggression in dogs.

Additionally, some critics argue that the Koehler method focuses too much on obedience training and not enough on building a positive relationship between dog and owner. They argue that positive reinforcement-based training methods are more effective in building a strong bond between dog and owner.


The Koehler method is a dog training system that emphasizes obedience training, the use of a correction collar, and positive reinforcement. While this method has been criticized by some, it has also been successful in training many dogs. It is important to remember that each dog is unique and that different training methods may work better for different dogs. It is important to choose a training method that works for you and your dog, and to be patient and persistent in your training efforts.

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