Training Ethos

“Teaching is the highest form of understanding.” – Aristotle

Dog training has progressed and evolved over many decades but never more so than in the last ten years or so. Science has taught us how dogs (and people) learn but as research and technology develops we are able to understand more about how a dog’s brain functions and how it responds emotionally to different stimuli. This information can help forward thinking instructors develop more effective training techniques that are enjoyable for both dog and handler and are adaptable for different personalities and temperaments. Training is evolutionary and one size does not fit all.

By taking a holistic approach to each dog and handler combination, relevant training exercises are designed using a positive, force-free approach resulting in personalised physical and mental routines to suit your training goals.

I consider the following factors to be essential ingredients of my dog training ethos:

  • Establish a strong bond with your dog who looks to you for safety, guidance and fun
  • A thorough understanding of rewards and reinforcements and their effects on learning. Using well-placed, well-timed reinforcements helps to create and control motivation, stimulation, self-control and choice.
  • Manage the environment to assist in teaching required/desired behaviours
  • Imagination and creativity! Think outside the box – create your own games and tricks for learning, problem solving and bonding.
  • Understand that dogs will be dogs – they bite, chew, dig, jump up, bark, roll in nasty things, eat nasty things, chase, growl, etc. How we manage, re-direct or overcome these behaviours (if we find them undesirable) says more about us than our dogs.
  • A good sense of humour and fun – you and your dog need to enjoy training to get the most out of it.