Will you train my dog for me?

I do not train dogs but instead coach owners on how to train their own dogs. This is far more effective as the training is then ongoing, long after I have left.

In any case I prefer to use the word ‘teach’ rather than ‘train’ because by my method dogs quickly learn for themselves how to behave, with lifelong effects. Muscles or fruit trees can be ‘trained’; to ‘teach’ requires the subject to have a brain!

Do you guarantee to solve my problem?

I make no guarantees. Dogs are highly intelligent individuals and cannot be 100% predictable. However, in my experience all behavioural problems improve when my advice is followed and most disappear completely.

Will this improvement be immediate?

Probably not. The method I teach is not a ‘quick fix’ and depends on a dog’s owners taking responsibility for being the decision-makers in the household and communicating that fact to their dog. That cannot be achieved in a day, but owners usually see change in their dogs very quickly.

How many sessions will be needed?

My fee is for a single, one-off consultation in which I will coach you thoroughly on how to communicate your leadership status to your dog. Thereafter, if you follow my advice, you are welcome to email me if any questions arise. They very rarely do!

Why don’t you charge by the hour?

I have a flat rate in order to avoid clock-watching. I would hate a client to worry that asking ‘one more question’ might prolong the session and increase the cost. Questions are always welcome and I shall not leave until I’m confident the time is right.

I’ve heard that I need to be a dominant leader but I don’t want my dog to be afraid of me. Why must I?

I prefer not to use the word ‘dominant’ but instead ask clients to be the wisest member of the family who can make the best decisions to keep everyone safe. This role can be communicated to dogs in a kind, ethical and entirely non-violent manner that they understand easily and that makes sense to them. There is never a need for your dog to fear you.

I’ve heard that I should ignore my dog but I don’t want to. Why should I?

I agree that ‘ignore’ sounds unfriendly, and I prefer to say ‘time your greeting for the benefit of your dog’. Dogs interpret our greeting them as ‘paying homage’, or in other words acknowledging that they, the dogs, are the leaders. It is therefore essential that on reuniting with your dog you wait a short time before calling him to you to greet him. However, then you are welcome to make a lovely fuss of him. Dogs quickly understand this and become happier and more relaxed.

Should my dog be in the room with us for the consultation?

This depends. It is companionable to have the dog present, but the consultation is intensive and requires concentration for us both, and if a dog is distracting it can be unhelpful. In the case of an aggressive dog or an extremely nervous dog I will ask that he or she be kept in a separate part of the house throughout my visit as it is neither fair nor helpful to ‘set the dog up’ to fail or make a mistake.

Rede Valley Dog Behaviour

Frequently asked