Saturday, 19 August 2017

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Behavioural and
Rehabilitation Training

Frequently Asked Questions

Why choose a qualified trainer?

Because educated means effective, not elite. Good knowledge avoids the pitfalls and mistakes that come with not understanding something properly, and our knowledge of dogs comes only from proven scientific evidence, not popular myth or media hype. It means you don't have to worry about bad advice or side effects because we've already filtered all that out for you.

If you're not sure about the difference qualifications make, come watch a class for free and decide for yourself. It's a risk-free way to get to know us before you choose. Call us to find out more.

Is training necessary?

Usually yes, to avoid the behaviour problems that often land dogs in the pound or confined to the back yard. Dogs don't raise themselves any more than children do, but training isn't rocket science, it's a simple commitment to learning ways to communicate with your dog so you can teach them habits that work in our complex human world, and enjoy their company as the family companion you want them to be. Get back to having fun with your dog instead of dealing with unwanted problems.

We've been in animal welfare for a decade and learned the old idea of 'dogs just need a yard and table scraps' has only helped create an estimated euthanasia rate of 80,000 dogs a year. We think it's our responsibility as humans to meet our dog's needs and part of that is taking the time to learn just a little more about them by attending class.

Do cheaper training options work the same?

No, and it can be risky territory. Cheap training is not just a cut-down version of what we do, it can actually be damaging if the instructor doesn't understand the serious effects that stress, anxiety and frustration have on behaviour, and doesn't take steps to manage class properly.

Don't take our word for it though. Words on a web site are cheap so we're about helping you make an informed choice not steamrolling over ideas. Come to one of our free Canine Body Language workshops, learn what your dog's really saying and listen to the veterinary evidence and logic behind behaviour, to make up your own mind about whether our 'training done right' approach has value.

Can any dog go to class?

Yes and no. Every dog can learn, from baby puppy through to senior and every dog has enormous potential to improve, but at the same time class isn't for everyone.

If we suggest class isn't right for your dog, it's never to exclude you or offend you, and instead only to protect their welfare and yours. We'll explain clearly why class could cause problems for your dog, and always offer you alternatives that needn't cost the earth.

We love that you want to train your dog and are looking at classes as the way to achieve your goals; our job is to help you choose the right path that works.

What's the difference between training and behaviour?

Behaviour is simply the word for the way your dog acts. Training is the process of teaching them new skills on cue.

What's most important though is that not everything your dog does can be 'trained out' of them using tricks & treats. Unfortunately we see far too many trainers trying to address outward actions with cues and rewards (or worse, correction) when it's what's happening inside the dog that needs the help. You don't send your child to school to 'learn them out of being scared', so why try training your dog out of emotional problems like anxiety. The wrong kind of help only suppresses symptoms, whereas we look for underlying causes and address those instead. It's logical, but having proper knowledge is important in separating out the symptoms before you start.

We recognise and understand the enormous difference between a behaviour that's been learned or come about through accidental practice, and one that's being driven by underlying emotions that need to be reduced before the behaviour will change. For example, teaching dogs Speak / Hush is rarely the answer to nuisance barking because most barking comes from arousal driven by frustration or fear. So, we don't blindly offer you a one-size-fits-all approach, and instead we show you the difference between cognitive and emotional behaviours and offer the right advice and exercises that work.

If you're not sure whether what you're facing is about training or behaviour, give us a call and we're happy to talk it through by phone.

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