At my Hills Certified Puppy Training School, I realize that whilst puppies are a lot of fun, in order for them to fit in well with their human families, they also need basic training and the establishment of routines. To this end I offer Puppy Socialization and Basic Obedience classes in a safe and supportive environment.
Puppy socialization encompasses introducing your puppy to as many different situations, people and other puppies as possible, always in a positive and non-threatening manner. This foundation will help them to establish sound life skills and cope better with startle scenarios that life will throw at them.
Basic obedience is taught using positive reinforcement methods (no punishment or forced exercises – Clicker Training and Tellington TTouch). Pet Parents are taught how to train their puppy to focus, come when called, to sit, to lie down, to stay and how to walk properly on a harness and lead. I also introduce the pups to a basic, fun confidence course where they learn how to negotiate some obstacles by themselves. Added to this, some fun things like shake hands, roll over, crawl etc. We will also guide you through many common puppy “problems” like House Training, Chewing, Barking etc.
I am dedicated to making your puppy training experience a seriously worthwhile event, so I have set goals that will help you achieve this. These goals are designed in such a manner that they can be generalized to cover almost every eventuality in your puppy’s life, and I want to make you an excellent puppy trainer – therefore, I will teach you the skills that you can apply.
The list below details the goals we aim to achieve by the end of your course. It may seem to be a lot, but puppies are smarter than you think! In my classes puppies and owners alike learn quickly, easily and with enjoyment. We never push any puppy or owner past their limits. If a problem is encountered our trainers will take additional steps to address the problem with kindness and understanding.
Puppies are super smart! Just look at what they can achieve with us:
- Socially acceptable behaviour towards people and dogs
- Puppy accepts a collar/harness and lead
- Pup allows the owner to hug or hold them
- Pup allows the owner to pick them up (size dependent)
- A person other than the owner can pet the puppy
- The owner can examine and groom their puppy
- Pup allows a brief physical examination on a table by a stranger
- The owner can safely take a treat or toy away from the puppy
- Puppy walks on a lead in a straight line with the owner for 15 steps
- Four sits and downs with hand signals are completed during this walk
- Puppy goes to owner on request from 20m and owner attaches lead
- During an off lead play session the puppy can be called to the owner
- The puppy sits and lies down on request
- After playing the puppy can calm down within 10 seconds
- The puppy can perform a 15 second stay
- Pup can find their owner hidden away when they call them
- Brief isolation is happily accepted by the puppy
- The puppy accepts distractions such as umbrella, large hats, crutches, startle noises, hairdryers, etc.
- While the owner walks 10 steps away the puppy remains calmly on-lead with a stranger
- The puppy can confidently negotiate an appropriate obstacle course
All “Super Owners” pledge to:
- Maintain their puppy’s health and welfare with regular vaccinations and deworming, tick and flea control, proper nutrition, exercise and love
- Do all they can to ensure puppy’s safety
- Ensure that their pup does not become a nuisance to others
- Appreciate that their puppy is a living being that needs company and attention
- Instil behavioural boundaries with their pup in a fair and gentle manner
- Have a form of ID for their puppy (microchip, tag etc)
- Always take a “poop bag” with them when they out and about and clean up after their puppy
- Promote responsible dog ownership through their own actions
We welcome the whole family to come and learn to manage puppy behaviour with effective methods of motivation.
A puppy’s adult behaviour is shaped during early puppyhood. This course, is ideally for puppies 8-16 Weeks, teaches vital socialization and life skills during their most impressionable age. Apart from encouraging your puppy to interact with strangers and other dogs, we teach basic obedience, bite inhibition, calming down techniques and how to deal with frustration among other things. We also discuss how to prevent and resolve other common behavioural problems. By end of this course you will possess the necessary skills to guide your puppy through every-day situations and puppyhood in general.
Ethology – Canine Behaviour Modification
The desire to understand the animal world has made ethology a rapidly growing field, and since the turn of the 21st century, many prior understandings related to diverse fields such as animal communication, personal symbolic name use, animal emotions, animal culture and learning, and even sexual conduct, long thought to be well understood, have been revolutionized. Animal behaviour relates to what an animal does and why it does it. The types of behaviours exhibited are rich and various. Some are genetically determined, or instinctive, while others are learned behaviours.
Most “new age” Animal Behaviourists do not oblige in cruel and outdated methods such as alpha rolling, wolf pack theory, dominance, ignoring your animal or choker chain training. These techniques may result in a quick fix and lead to temporary behavioural suppression but cannot and will not cure the behaviour problem. Thankfully, due to new research and a better understanding of our beloved animals’ wellbeing, in an emotional and physical state, behaviour modification and training methods are far more accommodation and positive.
Common behaviour problems that I work with include:
- Aggression towards strangers, visitors, children or people of a different culture;
- Aggression or reactiveness towards other dogs;
- Destructiveness such as chewing and digging;
- House training;
- Ignoring the owner;
- Jumping up;
- Lack of obedience training;
- Noise phobias, such as the fear of thunder & lightning, fire crackers etc.;
- Pain or discomfort related aggression;
- Pulling on the leash;
- Separation Anxiety;
- “Untrainable” dogs.
It is important for people to know that help is available. The longer behaviour problems persist, the more difficult it is to address such a problem.
Our private training sessions are geared toward solving more complex behavioural concerns that cannot be addressed in a group training. During the initial consultation, we will explore every aspect of your dog’s life to determine the source of the unwanted behaviour. Based on the assessment, we will prepare a training program specific to the needs of you and your dog and teach you how to help your dog overcome areas of difficulty. Changing behaviour often takes time and we will provide ongoing support and work closely with you and your dog to ensure progress.
New dog owners are therefore encouraged to enrol in a good puppy socialization course, where appropriate training methods are being used.
Clicker training is a positive reinforcement system based on operant conditioning, a set of scientific principles describing the development of behaviour in which the animal “operates” on the environment, instead of the other way around. It is a proven interactive way of teaching your dog obedience and good behaviour.
Operant conditioning goes to the root of how animals learn in the natural world; it is based on sound research and is all about promoting positive reinforcement and encourages your dog to use his full mental capacity therefore, the principles can be applied in any circumstance.
The possibilities for dog training are tremendous. Clicker trainers are developing ways to use this new technology with Police Dogs, Service and Guide Dogs, Puppies, Competition Obedience and Agility, in Hunting, Field Trials and Tracking, Show Dogs and also just to have an good mannered companion at home. After the training process, compliance is not dependent on the presence of food or the clicker. Clicker training is so much more than just using a clicker, it is a training philosophy that will change the way you think about dogs.
The TTouch technique in an excellent way of bringing about positive behavioural, emotional and physical changes in your dog. It works with gentle, non-invasive stroking, lifting and manipulation of the dog’s skin, extremities and limbs – which we teach you in a one-on-one session, or as part of a workshop. This is fast growing internationally acclaimed technique is proven to have a calming effect, enabling you to enhance or minimize certain behavioural attributes.
Playing and training go hand in hand. While training teaches acceptable behaviour, playing is a natural way for dogs to explore limits and develop interactive tolerance, affection, friendships and trust. These are all aspects for the development if healthy social attitudes to other dogs and people. Our play groups consist of small groups of dogs who want to play, and who enjoy socially interacting with other dogs in a safe and secure environment.
Contrary to popular belief dogs do not have diminished mental capabilities. They are still smart and can process cues and signals, make associations and connect behaviour with consequences. Deaf dogs also experience emotions, form bonds and friendships and have needs and wants like any other dog does. The principles behind training deaf dogs are therefore the same as for dogs who can hear: the approach is just a little different. Just because your dog can’t hear does not mean he can’t be trained.
At Paws-itive Paws-abilities I coalesce my qualifications as an Animal Behaviourist, Puppy Training Instructor, Clicker Trainer, Tellington TTouch Practitioner and Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner to offer my clients a more comprehensive service. I deal with all the common behaviour problems that people may encounter and assist dog owners to direct their dog’s energy in a positive direction.
In association with the Hills, we offer THE BEST Puppy Socialization Classes, Puppy 2 Classes, Clicker Training Classes for Adult dogs, KUSA Canine Good Citizen courses and Behaviour Modification Assessments and Consultations. I also offer individual sessions, either at the owners’ house or at my Practice.