The mirror method of dog training: pros and cons

mirror dog trainingThe Mirror Method of dog training originated just a few years ago in Hungary. It was developed by a group of new dog owners who became friends in their dogs’ training classes.

The Mirror Method is similar to a concept in human communication in which you mimic what another person is doing. The idea of doing this in dog training is that dogs will learn by watching you and doing what you do. So, if you want your dog to lie down, then you will lie down, and so on. These trainers believe that a dog’s behavior reflect they way they are trained. So, dogs that are trained with harsh methods will behave with aggression. And dogs that are trained gently and with respect will show those qualities. In other words, a dog reflects back what he sees in his owner, like a mirror.

The trainers say that the Mirror Method has three parts:

1.The method builds up the relationship and relative positions of the dog and the owner during daily life;

2.The dog is taught using the clicker and positive reinforcement only;

3.Dogs live a lifestyle that allows them plenty of chances to use their own instincts and energy.

In addition to the clicker training and positive reinforcement, the training emphasizes that the dog must be included in all parts of the owner’s life. It is not enough to just take your dog for a walk. Dogs also need to be well-socialized with other dogs. Dogs should also be encouraged to run and play like dogs and to have time to be free. And, finally, it is important to respect the natural instincts of your dog, whether they include retrieving, hunting, guarding, or protection. These instincts should be included in your dog’s training and play activities.


: This is a very positive method for training dogs and the dogs seem to enjoy it.


: This method may be best suited for active people who are able to go out and do things with their dogs. It is a more dynamic approach to dog training than some other methods.


: This method can create a very strong bond between the dog and the owner.


: This method may take a lot of time since it involves the owner and dog’s entire lifestyle. Not everyone will have the time to devote to this method.


: This method looks like it is a lot of fun for dogs and allows them to use many of their instincts.


: This method may be better for medium and larger dogs than small dogs, especially in group activities, as small dogs could be run over.


The Mirror Method is an innovate and interesting method of training dogs using positive reinforcement. If you have an active, energetic dog then this may be a method that you should try. Your dog may really enjoy it. Even if you have never tried training your dog before, this may be a method that would appeal to you and your dog. It looks like lots of fun.

You can see videos of dogs that have been trained using this method on this page:  ‘Mirror Method‘ of dog training



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