Can you fix my dog?
This is a question often asked by those who've tried other trainers yet they still struggle to manage their dogs behaviour. Unfortunately, the answer is never a simple 'Yes' or 'No'. As animal brains are complex and no two are the same, I can only work with them to the best of my ability and within their abilities, with the focus of improving the quality of life for both you and your dog.
After individual assessment, I will design a rehabilitation action plan where you and your dog will be guided through a step-by-step process with a realistic outcome. You will see results and become better equipped at supporting your dog through their challenges, however, for some a full recovery is not always achievable. I will remain honest and supportive throughout our time working together, giving you my full attention and dedication to achieving the set goals during our sessions.
What is your training methodology?
No threats, discomfort or fear-tactics will ever be recommended or applied, as modern behavioural science has shown us that a consensual, fear-free approach is most effective in the long-term. It is biologically impossible to balance the stress experienced by correction-based training by applying fun rewards, because discomfort/ fear slows down learning, inhibits confidence and outweighs any good feelings. By guiding the dog and rewarding the behaviours we like the dog chooses to offer more and realises the old behaviours don't get them what they want any more.
If positive reinforcement can train a Crocodile to have its teeth checked or a Big Cat to give blood without force or sedation, we can certainly apply that method to train a domesticated animal like a dog. This is the key to successful behaviour change - even the most aggressive dogs benefit!
What do you do differently ?
I guess the main aspect of me doing things differently is that I am a pattern-finder, I am obsessed with Psychology and love the detective part of canine behaviour consults. I work from a whole-dog (holistic) viewpoint and utilise my various therapeutic skills to support both dog and owner in transforming their situation. I put a lot of effort into working with my clients as individuals to keep them motivated and feeling in control when working with challenging dogs.
Having spent many years living on farms and being surrounded by different approaches to animal care, I've seen which training methods have failed to improve behaviour longterm. This led me to seek out experts with high success rates to learn their ways. I've now a great understanding into animal behaviour and I'm beginning to show this by gaining qualifications with respected schools. Before I began training with the ISCP and IMDT I struggled with my own rescue dogs so I can empathise with anyone facing dog behaviour issues in their home.
As a member of a variety of animal behaviour organisations I've a wide circle of experts to call upon whenever I've a tricky case that needs additional support.
Why can't I just drop-in to group classes?
I vet every dog to ensure my classes are safe and supportive, for both the dog and their people.
I actually do consider ALL dogs and will offer a service to help them progress the best. Their wellbeing is my priority, that comes before profit.
Are you insured?
Yes, I'm fully insured with Cliverton Insurance. An insured Trainer and Behaviourist is someone you can rely on to take appropriate care and responsibility when working with your dog.
Are you qualified?
Yes. I underwent practical, written and oral exams with the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers (IMDT) to achieve accreditation in 2017. I've also achieved intermediate certificate in Canine Behaviour with The International School of Canine Psychology and Behaviour (ISCP) and continue to further my education (just writing my thesis!).
Do I need a Vet referral?
No. However, if your dog is showing any behavour issues and they haven't had a check-up in the past year you will be asked to do so to rule out any underlying discomfort. Your dog may seem healthy but many dogs with behaviour issues are actually rooted in pain; a dog may chase their tail due to nerve pain, or growl at other dogs because of arthritis or thyroid issues.
Save time and money, see your vet.