Dec. 23, 2022

Force Free Dog Training with Shannon Riley-Coyner | The Long Leash #73

Force Free Dog Training with Shannon Riley-Coyner | The Long Leash #73

Dog training philosophy is changing. In the early days, punishment and pain were thought to be the best teachers. But now, training has shifted to something much more “pawsitive”.

Apple Podcasts podcast player badge
Spotify podcast player badge
Google Podcasts podcast player badge
Overcast podcast player badge
Castro podcast player badge
PocketCasts podcast player badge
RSS Feed podcast player badge

Today on the show we discuss the history and evolution of dog training. Dog training now looks very different than it did just a few decades ago. It used to be commonly accepted that the best way to train a dog was to punish them when they did something wrong. Whether it was spanking them, rubbing their nose in their accidents, or using choke chains or shock collars.

But things are changing. This evolution of dog training has taken us from punishment and pain training, to something much more powerful. Shannon Riley-Coyner created Truly Force Free animal training to help you train your dog without using pain or fear.

Shannon has over 30 years of experience training dogs and is optimistic about the direction her industry is heading: towards more positive reinforcement. On today’s episode, Shannon shares with us the evolution of dog training, what science tells us about how dogs learn, and what to look for in a trainer.

Episode Links

Force Free Dog Training

The Evolution of Dog Training by Shannon Riley-Coyner

This episode is sponsored in part by EverPup and BarkBox.


0:00 Introduction

12:24 The Neck is Very Vulnerable

16:01 Trauma Bond

27:20 Picking A Trainer

29:10 Group Training vs. One-on-One

30:56 Online Training Videos

About Dog Podcast Network (DPN)

DPN is the first of its kind. A podcasting network as devoted to dogs, as they are to us. Our mission is simple: entertain, inspire and inform. We will improve the quality of life for dogs and the people who love them.

Check out Dog Podcast Network for other dog-adjacent shows:

Dog Edition: our flagship show where a global team of dog-obsessed journalists and storytellers feature news, in-depth reporting, analysis, features, and interview segments

Dog Cancer Answers: which offers vetted advice from real veterinarians who answer your questions about dog cancer

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.


Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

Shannon Riley (Coyner)Profile Photo

Shannon Riley (Coyner)

BA, RVT, CPDT KA, KPA CTP, Best Selling Author of The Evolution of Dog Training, International Speaker

Shannon Riley (Coyner) is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Registered Veterinary Technician, Wellness Coach, and Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner. Shannon has been a pet lover all her life and a dog trainer for over 20 years. She has spent her life observing, caring for and training animals of all kinds. She has worked in the Bird Department at Marine World Africa USA, and worked as a handler and trainer for an African Serval Cat at Safari West, a private zoo in Santa Rosa, California. She has participated in behavior studies including observations of bald eagles and addax antelope through the San Francisco Zoo and Safari West.

Her education includes a Biology Degree, specializing in Zoology from Sonoma State. She is a Registered Veterinary Technician, a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner and a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. Shannon has also spoken at the Annual APDT (Association of Professional Dog Trainers) conferences and covered topics such as "Compassion Fatigue" and "What Is Your Dog's Currency?" In 2021, she spoke at Pet Professional Guilds Geek Week Australia.

Shannon's dog training philosophy revolves around force free, positive reinforcement, however, her ultimate goal is for healthy happy relationship between pets and their people. Diet, exercise, environment and training all play significant roles in achieving this goal. Shannon spent many years as the head dog trainer for PAWS for Healing, a pet assisted therapy organization. She performed temperament testing and assisted in the training of therapy dogs who visited hospitals, veteran groups, special educational facilities and convalescent homes. She believes strongly in the benefits of developing the human animal bond and can assist in coaching for pets and their human companions to develop that connection. Shannon can provide assistance with training, weight management, exercise and other behavior modifications for your dog or other pets in the Ventura area.

Shannon is a past President for the Society of Veterinary Behavior Technicians, an Allied Industry Member of Arizona Veterinary Medical Association and sponsor of California Registered Veterinary Technician Association.

Shannon created, The Backyard Pet Talk Podcast, for pet lovers! Whether you are a professional in the animal field or a pet parent this podcast is for you! Do you have a question about training your dog? Here’s your chance to ask Shannon at no cost! Submit your question here and Shannon will answer this during our next Ask The Animal Trainer YouTube LIVE!

Shannon was interviewed by Bloom TV with Gayle Guyardo and Daytime TV with Maggie Rodriguez

Shannon's Book "The Evolution of Dog Training" is now available in print, audio and Ebook on Amazon or Barnes & Noble !