Training

WE REGRET THAT, DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS MEASURES CURRENTLY IN PLACE, ALL TRAINING CLASSES ARE ON-LINE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

On-Line training works really well!  In fact, many trainers who have been forced on-line by the pandemic have decided to stay that way, as their clients get so much more out of the classes by working from home.

At Totally Canine, I only use reward-based, positively reinforcing, non-aversive methods to train your dog, whether they are a puppy, learning for the first time, an older dog polishing up their repetoire of tricks, or a dog who is being retrained. 

 

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.  The other huge problem with this sort of training is that it damages your relationship with your dog - you become capricious in his eyes and he cannot quite trust you.

 

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.

On-line classes are recorded.  This allows me to send the recording to any person who has to miss the class for any reason.  You will need to find a place in your home where you can set up your laptop, pc, tablet or phone so that I can see you working with your dog in as much space as possible - but don't worry, even a small space will work.  At the end of each course you will be sent a feedback form which I would be very grateful if you would complete; it is very short!  This gives me the opportunity to tailor classes to help people as best I can.  Comments may be used for marketing purposes; if you would prefer this to be anonymous let me know on the form.

When the current pandemic is over workshops will once again be booked - keep an eye on the FB page or get added to the marketing list for an email.  I promise that marketing emails will only ever be sent out if there is something interesting to book!