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Pug in a Sweater

Assessment 
and Consultation

What to expect

Every dog is individual with its own feelings and goals. Even though the description of a behaviour such as barking at people or another dog might sound the same and, in some cases, look the same, the reasons often vary. The variation can be influenced by the primary reason of the individual dog, the feelings and reaction of the handler at that time, the environment the dog and the handler is in at that time, the learning and coping ability of the dog, how long has this behaviour been rehearsed, the consequences and many more.

The Assessment

Before the actual training process can begin, we need some time to find out what is actually happening and what you would like to work on. To make this process easier on you and your dog I will ask you all the questions I need beforehand in an intake form. It is very important to me that you are as detailed and honest as possible in those questions, as this will really help me to see what is going on and understand you both better, the underlying issues and associated behaviours. There is absolutely no judgement on tools or methods used as I believe we all do what we can to our best knowledge at that time. And I am very grateful you are making the steps to further help your dog by asking for help.

Once I have your form, I will have much better idea what to expect and we can now schedule our consultation assessment. This can be done via video call, face to face meeting or combination of both depending on your location and enquiry. Every situation is so different, and what suits one dog may not suit another. During our consultation assessment I am interested in how your dog communicates, solve easy tasks and problems, what makes them happy and what scares them. Often the unwanted behaviours are just clues and communication to the dog’s needs. In many cases I do not need to see the actual behaviour, especially if it is unsafe or stressful for the dog and humans. I would like to also prevent any further rehearsal of the unwanted behaviours right from the first meet together. Over the years I have seen many of similar behaviours and trough our collaboration we will have plenty clues to find out what is happening. I never work with your dog over their threshold as that significantly reduce their ability to learn. In more complex cases, that kind of stress can affect the dog for many hours or days making steps closer to your desired goal much harder. We will also dive deeper in to the basic plan for your foundations such as management to ease the stress and rehearsal of the unwanted behaviour, rewards, lead handling skills, body language, and supporting behaviours that will help us to start making steps towards the desired goals together. 

 

By the end of our first meeting, you will have the foundations of a behaviour plan for your dog and plenty to get on with, so I’ll leave you to make a start.

 

What is next?

As a part of the consultation, you will also get access to your personal online tracker for 2 weeks after our consultation where you can tell me all about your progress, struggles, successes and raise any questions you might have. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to use it. It is very easy and I will guide you through. There is always email or phone if you are struggling. The aim is to make this process easy for you, make sure you are comfortable with the tasks, and have support with troubleshooting so you do not have to wait until another appointment to keep progressing.

 

It is important that the foundations are in place before moving on to next task. I can make tweaks and suggestions to keep you both on track, we do however need to stay engaged. My subsequent session or further package are more focused on working in specific way around the triggers and environments in safe and controlled way and tailored to your dog’s pace.

 

My aim is to fully support you and work with you as closely as I can, and there are plenty ways how to reach me at any stage of your training. I truly want you to succeed and I’ll be relying on you to keep the training going between sessions, so the foundations can be made strong to build up on and the desired changes can be made permanent.