Classes will be run by an experienced and competent trainer, using reward based methods.
What exactly does "reward based" mean?
We like to encourage a dog to think for itself, make good choices and reward them, making it more likely that they will make the same choice in the future. For example, if bouncing around the kitchen and barking with excitement does not get him his dinner, but sitting quietly does, he is more likely to sit quietly while you prepare it!
Traditional training methods use either all aversive or punishment, or a mixture of punishment and reward (this latter is sometimes called "balanced" training). This means waiting for the dog to make a mistake and punishing it (eg, "correcting" with a check chain etc) so the dog learns to avoid doing the same thing again. However, it doesn't give the dog good information about what you DO want him to do, only what you DON'T want him to do. He has to figure out the right behaviour by trial and error - if he wants to.
Modern methods using a clicker or a verbal marker, combined with a lure for some behaviours, give the dog feedback on the RIGHT behaviour, without punishing what you don't like. These unwanted behaviours will disappear as they don't pay off for the dog. The skill is in setting the dog up to succeed. This results in a happy, confident learner who spends time figuring out how to please you, rather than a dog who tries to work out how to avoid upsetting you.
I started dog training when I was about 8 years old. I built "cross-country" courses in the woods and "show jumping" courses on the lawn with any bits and pieces I could lay hands on and trained the family dog to be my "horse". I was doing agility before it was even invented!
I competed in KC Obedience from 1972, first with my Great Dane and then progressed to a collie. She took me from Pre-Beginners to Championship C in a relatively short time and during that time she also bred a litter which included my next obedience dog. I also competed at breed shows with a flatcoated retriever who gained her Junior Warrant and a collie who got her studbook number.
When we moved to Somerset I discovered working trials and all three dogs I worked got to TD Champ and qualified TDex several times. I am currently competing in Rally Obedience but trials are few and far between at the moment and I am not prepared to travel long distances. In spite of that my older working dog is working level 6 only.
My youngest dog is competing in agility and we are both loving it (back to my roots!). All my dogs take part in the Good Citizens scheme and all have been awarded their Gold certificates. I have taught obedience at all levels, also working trials, Rally and pet dogs. I ran my own training classes for several years at 3 venues which were either demolished or became too small for my needs.
I am a KC registered judge for working trials and the Good Citizens Scheme. I still judge obedience and am qualified to judge Rally. I try to keep up to date with any new training methods attending courses of interest. I have studied with Compass and achieved distinctions in both Canine Behaviour Management and Puppy Training.
KCAI Scheme Member
working towards accreditation
conforming to the KC Code of Practice
|Membership No. 01296|
I have been training dogs since 1977. I have trained for agility, obedience, gun work, the show ring and helped with a little security and sheepdog work. I have volunteered at a rescue centre, doing assessment and basic training with some of the new intakes of dogs. I also spent ten years breeding and showing Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. However, I get my best job satisfaction from helping people have pets to be proud of; ones they can trust out and about and whose friends and family can enjoy them too.
I am proud to be a full, assessed member of the APDT (http://www.apdt.co.uk/). Other CPD I have attended over the last couple of years included Instructors Course at the PDTI (passed with Merit), clicker training chickens (yes really!) with Chirag Patel and also Chirag's Puppy Instructor's Course, a couple of courses with John Rogerson, TTouch workshop, Dog Law, Interactive Canine Behaviour, predatory chasing with David Ryan and I attended all three days of the Clicker Expo when it was in the UK, which was fabulous. Platforms and Cognition Skills with Kay Attwood, Connection with Kay Laurence, Shadow Skills games and EPIC focus with Pauline Jackson were all fantastic; I regularly host workshops here covering a range of dog skills, such as scentwork and gundog skills, as well as many others, including Real Dog Yoga, TTouch and Reactivity. I am also qualified in Canine First Aid and CPR.