My Approach and Life Experience

The amount of force used to train a dog is proportional to the amount of skill someone has.

The more force, the less skilled. The more skilled, the less force.

Do you struggle to make sense of the conflicting advice regarding the training of your dog?

Is it true that you need to be the pack leader?

Are some breeds harder to train than others?

What is your dogs hardest challenge?

We have a “games based” approach to learning. Playing short, three-minute, fun games will help your Canine Buddy make the right choices. The more you reward the right choices, the more automatic those choices become. You will also build an awesome bond between you and your canine best friend as you learn together meeting other like-minded people.

Developing life skills for your dogs through games.      The training your dog would ask for.      Real life results.

I believe that sometimes the hardest challenge for a dog is to be a companion dog.  Dogs that are bred for sheep herding, gun dogs, scent dogs and other working dogs are able to spend fairly short periods of time actually working and then have plenty of rest time where they have no demands on them other than to chill out and just be a dog.

The family dog can be on duty 24/7 and is expected to cope with the demands of a hectic human lifestyle, perhaps in an urban environment. The relationship between humans and dogs has evolved over many thousands of years but has rapidly become more demanding and further removed from the dog’s instincts and natural behaviours.

Given this, it is not surprising that they can struggle to meet human expectations.  This can result in common behaviour ‘problems’ of seemingly incessant barking, lunging, pulling on the lead, poor recall, spinning, growling or biting. Perhaps the dog is exhibiting signs of fearful and anxious behaviour.

By working in true partnership with your dog and improving your relationship all the above issues can be successfully resolved. I offer a holistic approach. Aspects such as diet, exercise, daily routine, environmental stresses are all important features. My background is a BSC psychology degree, where I specialised in comparative (animal) psychology.  I spent 2 years completing a physiology qualification at Manchester Medical School.

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The trust, respect and love in the partnership between humans and dogs is key to successful human/dog relationship and cooperation. I use a positive, game-based approach to learning to enhance the fun and relationship. This does not mean permissive, there will be rules and boundaries to help the dog cope with our human world and demands.  This helps your dog to feel secure and safe.

I work with both the owner and the dog together. This can be regarding giving help with training and/or digging deeper using holistic therapies such as Reiki, other energy therapies and massage. I am qualified to treat all members of the team.

For the past 7 years, I have had a pack of 12 sled dogs, mostly rescue Siberian Huskies. I also rescue, rehabilitate and aim to find a forever home for others. This means I may have up to 15 huskies to add to my 2 Jack Russels. I have also owned Labradors, Golden and Black Retriever and German Shepherd dogs. I do find that some breeds are more independent-minded than others. These can present as more challenging so we need to be very creative as solution seekers.

I first worked with dogs at the age of 13 volunteering at a local kennels. From the age of 7 I used to knock on neighbours’ doors to take their dog for a walk. I can still clearly remember those dogs (over 50 years ago), but have not a clue for the owners’ names. Animals are my passion, with dogs and horses topping the list.

I love gaining more knowledge and skills “Who dares to teach must never cease to learn” John Cotton Dana. I have recently completed and am currently undertaking several courses including:

Naughty But Nice – Absolute Dogs Training Academy – Pro Dog Trainer with Tom Mitchell and Lauren Langman. This is an approach that through short fun packed games teaches the dog (and human) concepts and develops personality to encourage optimism, the ability to deal with frustration, increased focus, understand boundaries, ability to tolerate novelty and be flexible; thus building confidence. The aim is to give real life results not just in training class situations.

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Susan Garrett’s Say Yes Recallers where strategic games are used to move your dog from spending his time afraid, anxious or Red- lining (over threshold) and move him to being excited to work with you and otherwise comfortable in any surrounding.

Kathy Kawalec’s Cognitive Dog training academy which is a dog behaviour breakthrough, a relationship revolution and a guide to a heart centred brilliant relationship with your dog. A real-world formula to transform your dog into an attentive and responsive partner even if your dog is reactive, distracted and over-threshold.  This approach emphasises clarity of communication and how your position, posture and presence all affect your connection with your dog. The need to stay in the moment/be present is key to success. Our emotions and thoughts are mirrored by our dogs and vice versa.

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The Ultimate K9 Companion Training (The Dog Training Secret) Chet Womach. This is a process used for the service dog industry to create the most loyal trustworthy K9 companion. This approach uses a lot of shaping and clicker-based reinforcement. Recent (last decade) canine Neuroscience states that without someone giving dogs regular opportunities to practice self-control, they don’t develop impulse control. This is the same with human children.

As an owner (like parents do with their children) you need to create the right experiences for your dog, so his brain is rewired to control his impulses. Without the right life experiences, the opportunity to practice impulse control, your dog’s brain stays immature. He has ‘puppy brain’. This control takes practice like any new skill. Brain training games build the right neural pathways, so the dog does not remain in ‘puppy brain’, they can learn to calm themselves, focus and listen.

My approach is not traditional obedience training, it’s a scientifically sound and proven approach to teaching your dog to control themselves, even when they are really excited.  It is a fun and easy way to rewire your dog’s brain. This means that the dog can default to calmness and look to the owner for support when in a previously too exciting environment. Your dog learns it is more fun to play with the human. These ‘Brain Games’ are simple, fast, and fun games you can play with your dog to rewire his brain.

I can help you to take on a collaborative leadership role (no intimidation) this can also help you with other aspects of your life.  Your dog will choose to follow your lead. I have qualifications in motivational techniques, cognitive behaviour therapy, neuro-linguistic programming and counselling in addition to my degree in Psychology. Changing behaviour patterns long term takes practice for both partners.