Much of our work is in problem solving. Some problems we deal with are severe and need time and careful progression to help the dog learn and embed new behaviours initially through repeated, carefully managed, experiences.
As part of the Programme agreed at the Consultation stage, a dog can join in a course or workshop most appropriate to them at whatever stage will help best.
A dog will have an individual session, using various techniques including ground work to bring their body and mind into a ‘thinking’, non-reactive state, thus allowing them to calm, relax and learn.
As appropriate, things they find difficult will be introduced at a time and way they can cope with. For instance, a dog who reacts badly to other dogs will, once in a calm state, see a “stuffie” (realistic toy) dog at the far end of the room, maybe half hidden. They will then be helped to cope with this, before the ‘trigger’ is introduced in a different way.
(Those who doubt a toy dog will get a reaction are always amazed when it does! A dog’s initial assessment is based on silhouette, not 3D or smell!)
The Calming Course is technically challenging, requiring 2 trainers
Other handlers on the course will observe each other’s dogs and develop their observational skills to use when working with their own dogs. It is a remarkably rich, rewarding and supportive environment!