frequently asked questions

If your question isn't answered in the FAQ section, get in touch and pose your question directly.  We aim to respond quickly to all enquiries.

Regardless if its a dog training or a dog behaviour training question, we can help.

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Dog sitting training in Salisbury

Contact us to learn how to train your dog – call us today on  07475 618255

 

How much does it cost?

Our prices are very competitive and are based on how far away you are and what you want help with. Get in touch with those details and well give you a quote.


How long will it take to train my dog?

This depends on so many things, such as your dog, you, the amount of time available to train, your skillset etc. We train you to train your dog, so we teach you what you need to do in order to train your dog. If you want to learn more, you book us again, if at any stage you feel you can continue without our help you just stop taking sessions.


Where does the training take place?

We normally come to you and the first session usually starts at home. During that first session we may progress to the garden and further afield but it depends on your dog’s progress. We try to conduct all of our training in the places that are familiar to you and your dog(s).


Will you be able to help me with my dog?

We haven't met a dog yet that we haven't been able to improve with training. No matter what training issues you have, I can guarantee we have dealt with it successfully before. No matter your dog’s breed, size or behaviour, we can help you. We also never turn anyone away, no matter how bad you think it may be. We have worked with thousands of dogs and seen most things, so don't worry, you will be in good hands.


Do you sell training packages?

We offer a training package that involves 9 hours of training split into 3 x 3 hour sessions. This is aimed particularly for behaviour modification. We can teach you all of the techniques we use to modify behaviour. It is then up to you to practice what we teach you to bring your dogs behaviour to a successful conclusion. If you need further assistance we are always there to offer further support. If you are just trying to accelerate the speed of progress then this is another reason why you might choose the package and of course, it is cost effective.


Do you provide a board and train service?

Currently we don't, but any board and train service should provide considerable time teaching you to train your dog after the board, otherwise it is only a matter of time before your dogs behaviour issues return to what they were before the board and train. We prefer to teach you how to train your dog right off the bat as we feel it’s the best approach for long lasting results. If you are looking for faster results we also offer double sessions of 3 hours and a package of 9 hours training split into 3 x 3 hours of training. This gives your training a massive kick start and gets you heading down the right track.


What methods do you use?

Essentially we are students of dog training just like you, it is our hobby and our passion, as well as our job. We are constantly updating our style of training when ever we find better ways of doing things. How we trained, even as recently as 5 years ago is different from how we train today. We follow some of the best dog trainers in the world and try to take the best bits from certain aspects of their training that we like and mix them into our own style of training. We continue to update our skills by attending courses run by these same best dog trainers in the world when they offer a course we feel we would benefit from. Over the years we have spent thousands of pounds on courses and attending seminars to bring us to where we are now.


Is my dog too old to be trained?

No, it’s never too late to start training your dog or to change their behaviour. Training is enriching for your dog, and they love interacting with you, no matter how old they are. Types of training that is appropriate for your dog will depend on breed, character and how mobile they are but we can put together a training plan to suit any age of dog.


When should I start training my puppy?

As soon as you bring them home! Puppies’ brains are like sponges, they are absorbing information constantly. They are learning about their new environment all the time, this is your opportunity to ensure they learn the right things and not the wrong things. Make sure that what they are learning is what you want them to learn. You do this by managing your puppies exposure to everything, in order that they learn the right things. It is a mistake to leave training until they are older, as they can learn unwanted behaviours, if you don’t train them towards behaviours you do want.


How do you train dogs?

We use a variety of methods that we choose depending on your dog. Every dog is different and needs a different mix of techniques depending on their personal character and breed. We use a lot of positive reinforcement type training and we also use markers (clicker is one type of marker). Lots of people are familiar with markers but very few actually know how to use them correctly. We prefer to use our voice as a marker rather than a clicker but the principle is the same.


How do you toilet train puppies?

We offer a package of 2 x 90 minute puppy training sessions where we get you started with all of the essentials needed to set you off on the right track from the get go. We offer this as either a pre-arrival and post arrival sessions or both post arrival. Our puppy sessions include how to toilet train your puppy. Toilet training is hopefully started by your breeder even before you bring your puppy home. Puppies need to go to the toilet more often when they are younger and should need to go less frequently as they get older, so the process goes very quickly. By the time your puppy gets to 16 weeks old they should be able to go through the night from 11pm to 7pm. It is therefore important that you set yourself up for success by being as prepared as possible for your puppies arrival. Having a crate makes managing your puppy easier. We always recommend crate training for puppies and this is also covered during our puppy sessions. Puppies wont soil where they sleep so it gives you a management tool to help with toilet training for your puppy. Just make sure the crate isn't too big that your puppy can make an en-suite area! In the beginning, puppies need to go to the toilet about once per hour during the day but this will improve as the weeks go by. You need to be alert to your puppies toilet needs and take them to where you want them to go as soon as there is a risk. The risks are, as soon as the puppy has woken up, after eating, after drinking and after playing. Don't give your puppy freedom to roam around your house unsupervised. You should have eyes on them always and if they do begin to toilet in the house make sure they finish it outside. Every time they successfully toilet outside make sure they know they have done well with lavish praise or food.


What breed is best for families

That is a very difficult question to answer as it depends on what kind of family you are. If you are the outside types that love being outdoors and are looking for a new dog. Then an energetic breed that can keep up with you is probably required. If you stay at home more then this kind of dog is probably not for you and you probably would be best suited to a quieter, more laid back breed that is happy to share your style of life. Do your own homework on breeds and more importantly make sure that your breeder is breeding the kind of dog you are looking for. There can be huge variations even within the same breed. For example, there are working line dogs and there are show line dogs, these lines are vastly different. There are also breeders that just breed for the pet market, again these kinds of dog are different to the other 2. You really do need to do your due diligence on breeds and breeders.


How can I stop my dog barking in the house

This is a common problem and is normally triggered by something in particular. For example, the doorbell. If you allow your dog to choose their behaviour when the doorbell rings, some dogs will choose to bark. It is therefore necessary to give the dog a task other than barking when they hear the doorbell. We do this by setting up the training in such a way that the dog understands what is expected of them when they hear the doorbell, we then reward successful completion of the desired behaviour. This makes the behaviour more likely in future. The more you practice it correctly, the more reliable the new behaviour becomes.


How do I stop my dog jumping up?

Most dogs learn this behaviour when they are cute little puppies. This is the time no-one minds this cute little ball of fluff jumping up at or on them and they subsequently reward it by fussing the puppy each time. This makes the behaviour more likely in future. Then one day the dog stops being cute and no-one wants him jumping up at them any longer. In order to change the dogs behaviour requires you to set up the training so that the dog is on a lead. We then train the dog that the way to get rewarded or petted is to sit in front of the person they would normally jump up on. Teach the dog through hundreds of repetitions to walk up to the person and sit not jump. Good handling is a requirement in order to not get too close as to allow the dog the opportunity to jump up. Reward lavishly each successful behaviour which makes it more likely in the future.


How do I stop my dog from counter-surfing?

The best way to deal with this is to set up the training to encourage the dog to counter surf and each attempt is discouraged with a consequence. The consequence will vary with each dog depending on the dogs character. Examples of the consequence would be a loud verbal "No!" at the precise moment they try. Using a fog horn is another method. Using a long line and popping the dog with the lead when the dog attempts to jump up. Some dogs will only counter surf when you are not present so you may need to set up a camera to catch the action and provide the well timed consequence.


How do you deal with resource guarding?

Resource guarding is a trust issue between handlers and dogs. Some dogs can have a genetic disposition to be likely to resource guard than others. Fundamentally you need to build trust with your dog over time, to convince the dog, that giving up possession of something isn't a bad thing. You may also need to incorporate more rules and boundaries in your relationship with your dog. We would give specific advice after assessing your dog. Some of the methods that are recommended online are dangerous and you should be cautious when dealing with this behaviour. Don't take risks and it is best to seek the help of a professional dog trainer who has proven results with this behaviour!


Why won't my dog recall reliably?

Recall takes lots of training and this kind of training needs to be set up to ensure success each and every time so that you achieve a conditioned response from the dog. If done correctly, the dog will always return on hearing the command. Many people set up the training in such a way that the dog has choices, this is not how to set up a conditioned response. The training needs to be set up in such a way as to ensure the dog carries out the same exact behaviour over and over. The training needs to start off in a fairly distraction free environment and incrementally it is necessary to introduce distraction. We teach the dog to ignore distractions and to respond to the command using positive reinforcement in the form of food or toys/games. Even then, we need to take this training to as many different environments as possible to get true reliability. It is beyond the scope of this FAQ page to explain exactly how recall is done as it is very much a practical exercise and some dogs will need an emphasis on certain parts of the process more than others. It is therefore necessary to assess the dog to determine strengths and weaknesses, so we can concentrate our efforts more on the weaknesses. You need someone to not only explain the process but that will demonstrate it and guide you through the whole process. For that you need the help of a good dog trainer who understands how to teach a reliable recall.


Why is my dog fearful and anxious

Every dog is different and so are the reasons why your dog might be fearful and anxious. It could be down to genetics, many dogs are bred by mistake and therefore sometimes it is not known who both parents are, It could also be down to some experiences the dog has had either as a puppy or as an older dog. However it is possible to make a fearful/anxious dog less so by good handling. Contact a good dog trainer who understands this behaviour.


How do I stop my dog from pulling on the lead

This is a very common problem and requires a very practical solution. It is not possible to list all of the techniques that are used to teach your dog to not pull here. Every dog needs a different combination of the techniques available, Some dogs respond better to some techniques than others, it depends on your dogs temperament and character and a little bit of trial and error. Once we establish what works its a case of practicing to make perfect.


Why is my dog reactive

There are different kinds of reactivity, caused by different things. Some dogs are what is easiest to described as over socialized. These dogs typically have been allowed to interact with lots of dogs and gain all of their fun from this activity. When they are restricted from interacting i.e when they are on lead, they object and become frustrated, resulting in behaviours commonly referred to as reactivity. This is the most common form of reactivity that we see. It is understandable because of the old advice that you need to socialize your puppy with as many dogs as possible. This is mostly accepted as necessary but can (not always) result in this consequence. There is a way to socialize young dogs properly and it is not to allow your puppy to interact with lots of dogs. There are other kinds of reactivity caused by aggression or fear. These kinds of reactivity require a slightly different approach but all kinds of reactivity can be helped. However beware, there is a lot of bad advice out there and a lot of inexperienced dog trainers giving it out. Make sure your choice of dog trainer can do what they say they can do!


What is seperation anxiety

Seperation anxiety in dogs happens when the dog has not learnt how to deal with being left on their own. It is a genetic disposition that is in most dogs and therefore they need to be conditioned to coping with being on their own. If you don't make a conscious effort to put some distance between you and your young dog they will follow you around the house and never learn to cope on their own. Most people don't realize until they need to leave the dog on its own and the behaviours associated with seperation anxiety begin to be displayed.


How to treat or prevent seperation anxiety

In order to treat a dog with seperation anxiety its important to practice all of the things to prevent it. Using a crate or some form of barrier to prevent the dog from following you. Leaving the dog for short periods alone and then building duration as the dog becomes more comfortable with it. Make no fuss when you leave the dog or when you return, make it no big deal. Keep building the duration of your absences. When a dog has already developed seperation anxiety and you are trying to help them overcome it. It is important that they are never left alone for longer than they can cope with too soon in the process. The idea is to build up a successful history of absence without any anxiety and to progressively build on duration.


Do you use Markers in training?

We teach most of our clients how to use Markers correctly. Most people have heard of Clickers, which is a type of marker. We tend to use our voice and use words as markers instead of a Clicker. Although most people have heard of clickers, they don’t know how to use them correctly. All types of markers require good timing. We use them in training to improve our communication with our dogs. The marker marks a moment in time with pinpoint precision, making things clearer for the dog to understand. Dogs are associative learners, so we need to take advantage of that whilst training. The markers help the dog to make the right associations and timing is everything in that respect. If you’re not using markers in your training, it’s like boxing with one hand tied behind your back. It restricts your ability to communicate with your dog clearly. If you would like to learn how to use markers correctly and take your training to a higher level, get in touch and ask for details.


Do you train aggressive dogs?

We never turn anyone away. We can train any dog, any size, any breed. We have had a lot of success rehabilitating aggressive dogs. You can see some videos on our facebook page.


How much does it cost?

Our prices are very competitive and are based on how far away you are and what you want help with. Get in touch with those details and well give you a quote.


How long will it take to train my dog?

This depends on so many things, such as your dog, you, the amount of time available to train, your skillset etc. We train you to train your dog, so we teach you what you need to do in order to train your dog. If you want to learn more, you book us again, if at any stage you feel you can continue without our help you just stop taking sessions.


Where does the training take place?

We normally come to you and the first session usually starts at home. During that first session we may progress to the garden and further afield but it depends on your dog’s progress. We try to conduct all of our training in the places that are familiar to you and your dog(s).


Will you be able to help me with my dog?

We haven't met a dog yet that we haven't been able to improve with training. No matter what training issues you have, I can guarantee we have dealt with it successfully before. No matter your dog’s breed, size or behaviour, we can help you. We also never turn anyone away, no matter how bad you think it may be. We have worked with thousands of dogs and seen most things, so don't worry, you will be in good hands.


Do you sell training packages?

We offer a training package that involves 9 hours of training split into 3 x 3 hour sessions. This is aimed particularly for behaviour modification. We can teach you all of the techniques we use to modify behaviour. It is then up to you to practice what we teach you to bring your dogs behaviour to a successful conclusion. If you need further assistance we are always there to offer further support. If you are just trying to accelerate the speed of progress then this is another reason why you might choose the package and of course, it is cost effective.


Do you provide a board and train service?

Currently we don't, but any board and train service should provide considerable time teaching you to train your dog after the board, otherwise it is only a matter of time before your dogs behaviour issues return to what they were before the board and train. We prefer to teach you how to train your dog right off the bat as we feel it’s the best approach for long lasting results. If you are looking for faster results we also offer double sessions of 3 hours and a package of 9 hours training split into 3 x 3 hours of training. This gives your training a massive kick start and gets you heading down the right track.


What methods do you use?

Essentially we are students of dog training just like you, it is our hobby and our passion, as well as our job. We are constantly updating our style of training when ever we find better ways of doing things. How we trained, even as recently as 5 years ago is different from how we train today. We follow some of the best dog trainers in the world and try to take the best bits from certain aspects of their training that we like and mix them into our own style of training. We continue to update our skills by attending courses run by these same best dog trainers in the world when they offer a course we feel we would benefit from. Over the years we have spent thousands of pounds on courses and attending seminars to bring us to where we are now.


Is my dog too old to be trained?

No, it’s never too late to start training your dog or to change their behaviour. Training is enriching for your dog, and they love interacting with you, no matter how old they are. Types of training that is appropriate for your dog will depend on breed, character and how mobile they are but we can put together a training plan to suit any age of dog.


When should I start training my puppy?

As soon as you bring them home! Puppies’ brains are like sponges, they are absorbing information constantly. They are learning about their new environment all the time, this is your opportunity to ensure they learn the right things and not the wrong things. Make sure that what they are learning is what you want them to learn. You do this by managing your puppies exposure to everything, in order that they learn the right things. It is a mistake to leave training until they are older, as they can learn unwanted behaviours, if you don’t train them towards behaviours you do want.


How do you train dogs?

We use a variety of methods that we choose depending on your dog. Every dog is different and needs a different mix of techniques depending on their personal character and breed. We use a lot of positive reinforcement type training and we also use markers (clicker is one type of marker). Lots of people are familiar with markers but very few actually know how to use them correctly. We prefer to use our voice as a marker rather than a clicker but the principle is the same.


How do you toilet train puppies?

We offer a package of 2 x 90 minute puppy training sessions where we get you started with all of the essentials needed to set you off on the right track from the get go. We offer this as either a pre-arrival and post arrival sessions or both post arrival. Our puppy sessions include how to toilet train your puppy. Toilet training is hopefully started by your breeder even before you bring your puppy home. Puppies need to go to the toilet more often when they are younger and should need to go less frequently as they get older, so the process goes very quickly. By the time your puppy gets to 16 weeks old they should be able to go through the night from 11pm to 7pm. It is therefore important that you set yourself up for success by being as prepared as possible for your puppies arrival. Having a crate makes managing your puppy easier. We always recommend crate training for puppies and this is also covered during our puppy sessions. Puppies wont soil where they sleep so it gives you a management tool to help with toilet training for your puppy. Just make sure the crate isn't too big that your puppy can make an en-suite area! In the beginning, puppies need to go to the toilet about once per hour during the day but this will improve as the weeks go by. You need to be alert to your puppies toilet needs and take them to where you want them to go as soon as there is a risk. The risks are, as soon as the puppy has woken up, after eating, after drinking and after playing. Don't give your puppy freedom to roam around your house unsupervised. You should have eyes on them always and if they do begin to toilet in the house make sure they finish it outside. Every time they successfully toilet outside make sure they know they have done well with lavish praise or food.


What breed is best for families

That is a very difficult question to answer as it depends on what kind of family you are. If you are the outside types that love being outdoors and are looking for a new dog. Then an energetic breed that can keep up with you is probably required. If you stay at home more then this kind of dog is probably not for you and you probably would be best suited to a quieter, more laid back breed that is happy to share your style of life. Do your own homework on breeds and more importantly make sure that your breeder is breeding the kind of dog you are looking for. There can be huge variations even within the same breed. For example, there are working line dogs and there are show line dogs, these lines are vastly different. There are also breeders that just breed for the pet market, again these kinds of dog are different to the other 2. You really do need to do your due diligence on breeds and breeders.


How can I stop my dog barking in the house

This is a common problem and is normally triggered by something in particular. For example, the doorbell. If you allow your dog to choose their behaviour when the doorbell rings, some dogs will choose to bark. It is therefore necessary to give the dog a task other than barking when they hear the doorbell. We do this by setting up the training in such a way that the dog understands what is expected of them when they hear the doorbell, we then reward successful completion of the desired behaviour. This makes the behaviour more likely in future. The more you practice it correctly, the more reliable the new behaviour becomes.


How do I stop my dog jumping up?

Most dogs learn this behaviour when they are cute little puppies. This is the time no-one minds this cute little ball of fluff jumping up at or on them and they subsequently reward it by fussing the puppy each time. This makes the behaviour more likely in future. Then one day the dog stops being cute and no-one wants him jumping up at them any longer. In order to change the dogs behaviour requires you to set up the training so that the dog is on a lead. We then train the dog that the way to get rewarded or petted is to sit in front of the person they would normally jump up on. Teach the dog through hundreds of repetitions to walk up to the person and sit not jump. Good handling is a requirement in order to not get too close as to allow the dog the opportunity to jump up. Reward lavishly each successful behaviour which makes it more likely in the future.


How do I stop my dog from counter-surfing?

The best way to deal with this is to set up the training to encourage the dog to counter surf and each attempt is discouraged with a consequence. The consequence will vary with each dog depending on the dogs character. Examples of the consequence would be a loud verbal "No!" at the precise moment they try. Using a fog horn is another method. Using a long line and popping the dog with the lead when the dog attempts to jump up. Some dogs will only counter surf when you are not present so you may need to set up a camera to catch the action and provide the well timed consequence.


How do you deal with resource guarding?

Resource guarding is a trust issue between handlers and dogs. Some dogs can have a genetic disposition to be likely to resource guard than others. Fundamentally you need to build trust with your dog over time, to convince the dog, that giving up possession of something isn't a bad thing. You may also need to incorporate more rules and boundaries in your relationship with your dog. We would give specific advice after assessing your dog. Some of the methods that are recommended online are dangerous and you should be cautious when dealing with this behaviour. Don't take risks and it is best to seek the help of a professional dog trainer who has proven results with this behaviour!


Why won't my dog recall reliably?

Recall takes lots of training and this kind of training needs to be set up to ensure success each and every time so that you achieve a conditioned response from the dog. If done correctly, the dog will always return on hearing the command. Many people set up the training in such a way that the dog has choices, this is not how to set up a conditioned response. The training needs to be set up in such a way as to ensure the dog carries out the same exact behaviour over and over. The training needs to start off in a fairly distraction free environment and incrementally it is necessary to introduce distraction. We teach the dog to ignore distractions and to respond to the command using positive reinforcement in the form of food or toys/games. Even then, we need to take this training to as many different environments as possible to get true reliability. It is beyond the scope of this FAQ page to explain exactly how recall is done as it is very much a practical exercise and some dogs will need an emphasis on certain parts of the process more than others. It is therefore necessary to assess the dog to determine strengths and weaknesses, so we can concentrate our efforts more on the weaknesses. You need someone to not only explain the process but that will demonstrate it and guide you through the whole process. For that you need the help of a good dog trainer who understands how to teach a reliable recall.


Why is my dog fearful and anxious

Every dog is different and so are the reasons why your dog might be fearful and anxious. It could be down to genetics, many dogs are bred by mistake and therefore sometimes it is not known who both parents are, It could also be down to some experiences the dog has had either as a puppy or as an older dog. However it is possible to make a fearful/anxious dog less so by good handling. Contact a good dog trainer who understands this behaviour.


How do I stop my dog from pulling on the lead

This is a very common problem and requires a very practical solution. It is not possible to list all of the techniques that are used to teach your dog to not pull here. Every dog needs a different combination of the techniques available, Some dogs respond better to some techniques than others, it depends on your dogs temperament and character and a little bit of trial and error. Once we establish what works its a case of practicing to make perfect.


Why is my dog reactive

There are different kinds of reactivity, caused by different things. Some dogs are what is easiest to described as over socialized. These dogs typically have been allowed to interact with lots of dogs and gain all of their fun from this activity. When they are restricted from interacting i.e when they are on lead, they object and become frustrated, resulting in behaviours commonly referred to as reactivity. This is the most common form of reactivity that we see. It is understandable because of the old advice that you need to socialize your puppy with as many dogs as possible. This is mostly accepted as necessary but can (not always) result in this consequence. There is a way to socialize young dogs properly and it is not to allow your puppy to interact with lots of dogs. There are other kinds of reactivity caused by aggression or fear. These kinds of reactivity require a slightly different approach but all kinds of reactivity can be helped. However beware, there is a lot of bad advice out there and a lot of inexperienced dog trainers giving it out. Make sure your choice of dog trainer can do what they say they can do!


What is seperation anxiety

Seperation anxiety in dogs happens when the dog has not learnt how to deal with being left on their own. It is a genetic disposition that is in most dogs and therefore they need to be conditioned to coping with being on their own. If you don't make a conscious effort to put some distance between you and your young dog they will follow you around the house and never learn to cope on their own. Most people don't realize until they need to leave the dog on its own and the behaviours associated with seperation anxiety begin to be displayed.


How to treat or prevent seperation anxiety

In order to treat a dog with seperation anxiety its important to practice all of the things to prevent it. Using a crate or some form of barrier to prevent the dog from following you. Leaving the dog for short periods alone and then building duration as the dog becomes more comfortable with it. Make no fuss when you leave the dog or when you return, make it no big deal. Keep building the duration of your absences. When a dog has already developed seperation anxiety and you are trying to help them overcome it. It is important that they are never left alone for longer than they can cope with too soon in the process. The idea is to build up a successful history of absence without any anxiety and to progressively build on duration.


Do you use Markers in training?

We teach most of our clients how to use Markers correctly. Most people have heard of Clickers, which is a type of marker. We tend to use our voice and use words as markers instead of a Clicker. Although most people have heard of clickers, they don’t know how to use them correctly. All types of markers require good timing. We use them in training to improve our communication with our dogs. The marker marks a moment in time with pinpoint precision, making things clearer for the dog to understand. Dogs are associative learners, so we need to take advantage of that whilst training. The markers help the dog to make the right associations and timing is everything in that respect. If you’re not using markers in your training, it’s like boxing with one hand tied behind your back. It restricts your ability to communicate with your dog clearly. If you would like to learn how to use markers correctly and take your training to a higher level, get in touch and ask for details.


Do you train aggressive dogs?

We never turn anyone away. We can train any dog, any size, any breed. We have had a lot of success rehabilitating aggressive dogs. You can see some videos on our facebook page.


 

 

 We've had our second training session with Steve and wow! We have learnt a lot and Rolo is like a different dog.
Simply training techniques that are easy to do and really make the difference!
Thanks again Steve for your support and making each training session enjoyable for us as well as Rolo!!

– Maisie Poulton