Gentle Dog Trainers

Association Inc.

About Us


The Gentle Dog Trainers Association (formally The Australian Association of Gentle Modern Dog Training Instructors) was founded in 1997 by David Weston.

The Gentle Modern Method of Dog Training™ was developed by well known dog trainer and author, the late, David Weston. David’s formal introduction to dog training began back in 1967 when he joined an obedience club with his Miniature Schnauzer, Fred. During the next eight years he trialled Fred to C.D.X. standard, became an obedience instructor and full panel judge and was President of the club for two years. However David was increasingly disillusioned with the conventional way of training using correction chains and force and he set out to research another, more gentle and effective way.

Rather by chance, he came across a reference to a man who trained rats, Burrhus F. Skinner, and so his introduction to modern psychology began. David began to put Skinner’s principles of operant conditioning into practice with stray dogs in his neighbourhood! He was amazed at how quickly the dogs learnt their lessons and even more surprised they seemed to remember what they had learnt when he saw them weeks later.

David also began to study wolf behaviour so that he could better understand how dogs tick. He put his new found knowledge into practice at the obedience club but eventually founded a new organisation, The Kintala Club, with encouragement from a few members who wanted to use his new method. That was back in 1976.

As David developed his training method and started the Kintala club he soon realized that there was a need to spread his philosophy of positive re enforcement.

So in 1994 the Australian Association of Gentle Modern Dog Training Instructors Inc was founded and obtained Government recognition as an approved training body under the Domestic Animals Act.

This means:

  • Our instructors are accredited under the Domestic Animals Act
  • The Ideal Dogs of Australia™ program is recognised as an approved assessment programme.
  • Association members can assess dogs for the government recognized Victorian Dog Obedience certificate. (Ideal Dogs of Australia)


The purposes of the Association are:

  • To coordinate the Instructor Training Course on a yearly basis
  • To promote the training of dogs using only positive reinforcement .
  • To promote the early socialisation of dogs from eight weeks of age in order to provide the optimum conditions for the development of good temperament.
  • To foster natural interaction between dogs by appropriate socialisation.
  • To promote the awareness of the social responsibilities of dog ownership.
  • To extend our knowledge and understanding of canine behaviour and to apply such knowledge appropriately.
  • To conduct Ideal Dogs of Australia courses to assist members of the public to train their dog/s to be socially acceptable in the home and community.
  • To conduct classes and assessments as laid down by the Victorian Domestic (Feral and Nuisance) Animals Act 2005
  • To maintain a “best practice” approach to dog training by keeping update with recent scientifically proven knowledge and putting this into practice where pertinent.
  • To monitor the standard of Instructors
  • To encourage and support it members in further education opportunities
  • To conduct quality management activities on a regular basis.
  • To hold meetings and other events


To obtain membership you must have completed the Instructor Training Course run by the Association.

Individuals , clubs and organizations may be members.

Association members may run Ideal Dogs of Australia Assessments. The assessor must be a current member of the Association

A commitment to continuing education and teaching and training using positive reinforcement is required to maintain membership status.