Q: Do you only use Positive Reinforcement?
A: Yes and no. All of our techniques do employ positive reinforcement methods, however, we do also use a negative marker during training to indicate to a dog that they aren't complying correctly. A negative marker is usually a sound such as "AH AH" or word like "Too Bad!". We can honestly say however that there are no physical or other "aversives" used in our training.

Q: Do you guarantee results?
A: No. Although during sessions a dog trainer can gain results, a dog trainer cannot train your dog to follow cues from YOU. We will be able to show your dog what is expected and motivate you to follow through but if you do not follow the trainer's advice, your dog will not become trained. Training a dog should always be seen as an ongoing process, not a "quick fix".

Q: Do you charge extra for training more than one dog in a house?
A: No. However, in a lot of cases it is easier to train your dogs individually in order to reduce distractions. Providing there are no major behaviour problems evident, you will then be able to apply the techniques shown with all your present and future dogs.

Q: What is the difference between basic training and behaviour modification?
A: It all fits under the term training, but basic training usually deals with putting normal dog behaviours on cue. Teaching a dog to Sit, Stay, or Down on cue fits under that category. It can also include management or training a dog to stop doing things that are perfectly normal doggy behaviours but don't fit well in a family home. That could be anything from jumping up or barking at house guests to chewing shoes, couches or worse.
Behaviour Modification tends to deal with problem behaviour solving. It most often involves dealing with behaviours the dog has no control over such as fear based issues, separation anxiety, and obsessive compulsive disorders. Aggression is one of the more complicated problems dog trainers are faced with as it can often require both training and modification to alter the dog's behaviour.

Q: I followed some tips from a TV programme but things just got worse! Why don't the techniques work once my TV goes off?
A: Generally the problem with TV programmes about dog training is that although the techniques shown can be valid and correct, we are often misled about just how quickly some things can happen and about how crucial timing is in training. For example, if a dog has spent a long time barking for attention and receiving it, if we were to ignore the dog completely for negative behaviour there will be something known as an extinction burst before the dog finally gets the message. An extinction burst is really the equivalent of children in the supermarket asking for attention by saying "mum....mum....mum....MUM....MUUUUUUUUUMMMMM!!!" before finally giving in. Stick in there and the changes will come.

Q: Why are your typical private sessions an hour and a half?
A: Most dog trainers charge you by the hour but very little can really get accomplished in an initial session in only one hour. We prefer to be realistic and open about our charges with our clients so that they can make an imformed decision.

Q: How many sessions will I need?
A: In a lot of cases the main behaviour problems you're experiencing can be addressed in a single session. During that session we will be going over a lot of information and trying out a lot of different training techniques with you and your dog. We will also give you some info sheets and techniques to practice then we will call you in a week or so to troubleshoot any problems. If you decide you would benefit from additional sessions we can take it from there.

Q: I've just got the cutest little puppy ever, how long do i wait to start training? Six months?
A: Noooooooo! Puppy training, socialisation and obedience should start the minute your little ball of fluff gets to his or her new home. Puppies find training incredibly fun and have an amazing ability to learn new behaviours. Generally, the older a dog gets, the longer some behaviours take to learn, so start right now! Even better....call us about our new puppy pack. As a side note, socialise your puppy with as many people as possible (careful near other dogs due to viruses). If you would like some free advice on socialising your puppy, please contact us.