What to expect when you're expecting (me to visit)
When people reach out for help with their dogs, they need support, not judgement. If the door is open to a kinder way to train, - because training should be something we do WITH our animals, not TO them - then we can begin!
Classes are a challenging environment and not suitable for every dog or situation. This is where one on one sessions come in. For these, I most often visit in your home because that's where people and their dog/s are most comfortable. Sometimes we may arrange to meet elsewhere but it depends on travel, timing and concerns.
At the start, there will be several easy to answer questions and some may seem irrelevant. This is the chance for the humans to settle in, relax and for the dog/s to get used to the stranger in their space. It can be nerve wracking, fear inducing, really really exciting - lots of big feelings arise and when there are big feelings, it's not compatible with a good consultation.
So we start with taking a moment to sit down and chat.
Here's a rundown:
Order of priorities
Biological needs. Health first and foremost. Never underestimate the effect health has on their ability to cope, or “behave.” A dog in pain or unwell is not one that needs training, they need a vet. Or at least awareness of the issue so we can take that in to account with the training plan. I'm no gardener but here's an analogy - name a flower that blooms all year round in any climate?
Emotional Do they feel safe, secure, trust. For example if they are new to the home and are scared, we'll address ways to help them in that area first.
Social Bonding or relationship with people, other dogs or animals in the home and that they are likely to come across. I want to help people understand, what to look for, how to teach their dogs by engaging their brains. After the initial chat we'll run through a few bits of theory.
Training There will be exercises and wee games to help set everyone up to learn while tricking you in to working on timing, building engagement and a foundation for harder stuff later on. It's unlikely there will be any of the typical obedience commands.
Cognitive challenges Lastly and only if you want to, we can really work their brain, creating thinkers and problem solvers. This could be something to work towards using the foundations set earlier.
There is a lot to remember during the hour consultation! Afterwards, I will send you notes to refer to and you can email any time.
Reach out whenever you are ready!