Frequently Asked Questions
What areas do you cover?
Uckfield & surroundings: Uckfield, Heathfield, Horam, Hailsham, Crowborough, Lewes, Ringmer, Laughton, Golden Cross, Halland, East Hoathly, Blackboys, Stonebridge, Buxted, Framfield, Maresfield, Newick, Chailey, Mount Pleasant, Barcombe, etc. I come to you for all sessions. I’m happy to consider areas of East Sussex outside that catchment area (there may be a travel surcharge), and I may be able to do certain types of work via video as well (depending on the situation). The best thing to do is contact me so that we can discuss and perhaps set up a brief video call.
Here’s a (rough) map of the area I cover:
Do you hold group classes?
Not at present. While they can be very useful for puppies, if done well, I see no compelling evidence that traditional group classes with all their distractions actually teach skills which translate over the long-term to the real world, when it comes to solving behavioural issues. It also doesn’t particularly suit my training style, which is aimed at creating ‘owner-trainers’ – so I prefer to concentrate on building a solid reputation for one-to-one training that works to solve complex issues – and keeps working long after the training course.
How do I pay for training?
Payment for each stage (Assessment and Training) is taken up front, at the time of booking, and is due before I start working with you (with the exception of ‘split payments’ for training, which I am happy to offer if you need to spread the cost of your training over two payments). I will email you an invoice, which you can either pay by bank transfer or by card. I use Stripe to process card payments, which means you can pay securely with a debit or credit card, without needing to save your card details (I never see them).
Who is this type of training for?
This type of training is for curious, motivated, people who want to help their dogs live calm, confident lives, and cope with everything that the human world throws at them. It’s for people who want to learn how to become ‘owner-trainers’, and who are prepared to put in the time and the effort required to absorb the concepts, observe their dog’s behaviour, and apply the strategies and games we use in a consistent way. You are the student, not your dog! It also helps if you have a sense of humour, as I like everyone to have fun when training!
What is Concept Training?
Concept Training goes beyond ‘obedience’ or ‘behaviour’ training by changing your dog’s physiological response to events, and then teaching them real-world skills. It is the modern, science-based, positive-reinforcement way to train dogs. The most effective way to teach concepts is to play games which promote the growth of those skills, and then ‘shape’ and reinforce those skills as they grow, until they are second-nature to your dog. It’s also bags of fun for everyone!
Can your dogs ‘help’ mine?
No. I do not support the practice of using my own dog as a ’stooge’, as I do not believe it to be in either of the dogs’ best interests – and all of my training is welfare-first. If your dog needs practice being calm around other dogs – for instance, while undergoing training to help with ‘reactivity’ – then a) I am not prepared to put my own dog under that amount of stress, and b) this is usually better done with ’natural’ setups anyway (after a period of training concepts while not greeting other dogs).
What if I need more sessions?
Concept Training is not something you do and then forget about – it’s an approach to your relationship with your dog that you adopt for life – which is part of the reason it is so successful. I’ll get you started on a solid foundation of understanding of your dog’s needs and drives, and help you grow your communication and relationship to benefit you both.
It’s often helpful to reassess and follow up with another set of training sessions at a later date, focused on growing your skills and focusing your approach – based on the progress you and your dog have made up to that point.
Who is this type of training not for?
This type of training is definitely not for people who want someone else to come and train their dog. It’s not for people who have no curiosity or interest in becoming ‘owner-trainers’. It’s not for people with deeply-held assumptions and beliefs about the way that dogs should behave or be trained, or those who are uncomfortable having those assumptions and beliefs challenged and corrected. If any of the above wording has offended you, please look for another trainer. If you’re keen to learn how to be your dog’s best trainer, please drop me a line. 🙂
I have another question
Great! Please contact me and I’ll do my best to answer you.