Saturday, 20 July 2019

All good dogs deserve fun (and yes, YOUR dog IS a good dog!)

Like lots of you, Clare and I got into dog training because we ended up with problem dogs of our own.

In my case, I adopted a 5yr old Border Collie with plans to explore the Scottish Highlands in between learning flyball and agility.

I also really wanted to do some Search + Rescue work having grown up acting as a “dogs body” for Killin Mountain Rescue Team.

Once there was even the dream of my faithful collie coming onto campus to give my undergraduate psychology students real life experience of animal learning . . .

There’s a saying that plans only last until you get punched in the face .

In this case it was a sharp encounter with reality that diverted most of those big ideas.

My faithful collie was, it turned out, something of a complex soul.

The list of behaviour problems just kept getting longer
  • Fearful and aggressive to strangers (esp men) 
  • Noise phobic 
  • Travel phobic 
  • Terrified of children (and would bite if feeling threatened) 
  • Keen to chase other animals 
  • Aggressive with many other dogs 
And that was just the start!

But despite his (many) challenges, Finn was still a “good” dog.

In fact, I adored him.  And while we worked on his problems, I still wanted to have fun with him! 

It took me several years to find an understanding trainer who would let us hang around on the edge of classes.

And I spent many evenings driving to Leeds and beyond.

But it was worth it.

“Fun” classes helped build our relationship.

We remembered how to enjoy things together.

Practicing everyday skills made it easier to cope in real life. Loose lead walking really does make handling a reactive dog easier!

And laughter became part of our training sessions again.

We don’t want you to have to struggle on alone or feel like it’s all hard work and no play.

But we know our special dogs need a calm, safe environment.

That’s why you’ll find “reactive dog” versions of our most popular classes.

Some sessions are focused on giving you more techniques, but plenty are “just” about having fun while learning with your dog.

Here’s just a few examples: 
  • Scentwork Solutions for Reactive Dogs 
  • Essential Life Skills for Reactive Dogs 
  • Canicross for Reactive Dogs 
  • Parkour for Reactive Dogs 
  • Bodywork + Relaxation 
  • (and we've just had a special request for Gundog Games for Reactive Dogs so watch this space!)

What makes these classes special?

  1. Designed for dogs that need space from other dogs or humans 
  2. Working outside, usually near your vehicle with optional barriers 
  3. Taught by experienced trainers who will respect your dogs’ boundaries 
  4. VERY small class sizes 
  5. All attending dogs have been assessed and screened 
  6. The chance to train in a supportive group atmosphere with other people who really understand what it’s like 

Reactive Dog specific sessions that are now open for bookings!

Sat 19th October Parkour Progressions for Reactive Dogs (afternoon)  Progress your Parkour

Sat 14th December Parkour Fundamentals for Reactive Dogs (afternoon) Start learning Parkour

Tues 13th August  6.30pm Essential Skills for Reactive Dogs: Progressions (4 week class)Book Essential Skills Class

General workshops that are now open for bookings!

If your dog struggles to cope around other dogs or people, please talk to us before booking on these sessions specifically. We want both you and your dog to have a relaxing learning experience, and sometimes that means you will get more out of the Reactive Dog specific sessions.

Saturday 21st September 1/2 day workshops @ PawPark
If you don't see the class you were hoping for, stay tuned as we're confirming venues for the rest of our Autumn and Winter programme.

The weather is looking disgustingly hot for this week so please stay cool and fingers crossed that we don't have to cancel the weekend sessions....

Morag, the Collie Girls and the Injured Big Yin*

*Laird managed to stab himself in the shoulder last week so I'm desperately trying to keep him still while the stitches knit everything back together. Considering renaming him as Mr A&E!

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