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State Board Licensed:  Schools operating in a private/vocational/career capacity, by law, must be licensed annually by a state-office workforce/education board. This ensures legitimacy, continued standard of performance by the school and certification requirements, operational transparency, and student protections such as a tuition recovery program. 

Diploma/Certificate/Other: Schools not licensed by a state board may not legally provide certification at the end of a course. Rather these organizations may provide a certificate of completion only, such as one might receive for attending a seminar. 


Force-Free: FF practitioners aim to modify behavior using primarily positive reinforcement, without use of traditionally aversive tools such as pinch and electric collars. The AVSAB approves of this method. 

LIMA: Least Invasive Minimally Aversive. Practitioners use a variety of tools and techniques, vowing to use aversive techniques sparingly and with great ethical responsibly. The best of the best of these practitioners use discipline not punishment, and motivation not bribery, to mold behavior humanely.  LIMA folks strive to adhere to guidelines set forth by animal welfare organizations such as the American Humane Association and SPCA. The AVSAB approves of this method.

Balanced: This term has become popular with people in the field using both traditional aversives (pinch/electric collars, scruff grabs, dominance, etc.) along with more visible positive reinforcement techniques such as using food to train dogs. The AVSAB does not approve of this method. 


Traditional:  Traditional practitioners use methodology and techniques with military influence from the first half of the 20th century.  The style focuses heavily on obedience and uses aversive tools and techniques such as dominance/pack theory and pinch/electric collars.The AVSAB does not approve of this method. 

**The NWSCS strives to represent each school accurately. If information listed is inaccurate or incomplete, please have a school representative notify us immediately so we may promptly correct the issue. 

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