Frequently Asked Questions

These are some of the common questions asked about our business, services or training. If you have a question that is not covered in any of the Frequently Asked Questions below, have a look at our services to see an overview of what we offer, or get in touch with us to ask your question. We will be more than happy to answer your query.

What We Get Asked

Where are you located? How far can you travel?

We are based in Northampton, but are able to offer our services to a larger area both through online and face-to-face services. We are willing to travel to work with your dog, distances outside the area we serve will be subject to an additional mileage fee. We are committed to finding the solution that works best for you - if you are at all unsure, just get in touch and ask.

What training methods do you use?

We are proud to use aversive-free training methods. We believe in training dogs and people without the use of force, fear, pain or physical intimidation. We modify your dog's behaviour through rewarding desirable behaviours, changing the environment and the application of our expert understanding of dog behaviour and training. We use rewards such as treats, toys, play, attention and access to things that the dog wants.

Why don’t you recommend aversive techniques?

Aversive tools (e.g. choke chains, shock collars, prong collars, correction sprays, rattle cans, etc) and techniques (e.g. shouting, pinning, yanking, physical intimidation, etc) work because they cause pain, fear or discomfort. These methods have unpleasant potential side effects, known as fallout (Eileenanddogs: Fallout from Use of Aversives), which can include your dog forming fearful associations with you/the environment, increased aggression, risk of injury and learned helplessness. These methods are unnecessary in training dogs, and we believe that learning should be fun and enjoyable for both the dog and the owner.

Why use food in training?

Food is an excellent reward to use in training. It is convenient, most dogs love it and all animals will need to eat a certain amount of food in order to survive anyway, so when we utilise this and make it contingent on desirable behaviour, it is a win-win. Food is easy to carry and to reward our pets with, and is a powerful motivator. Not only is food an effective way to increase the probability of behaviours we like (by rewarding them), it can also be used to create positive emotional responses. This is why food is a great tool for nervous, reactive or aggressive dogs.

What if my dog doesn’t like food?

Food and treats are not the only rewards that we can use in training. We can use a range of other rewards such as toys, play, attention, petting, the opportunity to sniff - essentially, anything that the dog wants and we can control access to. All animals will be motivated by food to some extent though - if they weren’t, they would starve to death! Sometimes it can take trialling a variety of different food rewards before you find something your dog is motivated by. We will work with you to find the best motivator for your individual dog.

What should I look out for when choosing a dog trainer?

Dog training is an unregulated industry, so anyone can call themselves a ‘dog trainer’ and there is no minimum experience or qualifications. When choosing a trainer, you should look for evidence of external qualifications and assessments, transparency about ethics/methods (force free, uses positive reinforcement), membership of professional organisation/s and commitment to continuing education (Companion Animal Psychology: How to Choose a Dog Trainer).

What are your qualifications?

Jasper is a Certified Trainer and Behaviour Counsellor who gained their qualification through the esteemed Academy for Dog Trainers under the mentorship of Jean Donaldson (author of ‘The Culture Clash’ and internationally-acclaimed dog trainer). This involves rigorous assessment and examination, so you can be assured that our skills and knowledge have been tested. They also hold a Level 4 Diploma in Advanced Canine Behaviour at a Merit level, and are a registered Animal Training Instructor with The Canine Behaviour and Training Society (an ABTC member organisation).

I’m not sure which service is right for me, what do I do?

If you aren’t sure about which service will be best for you and your dog, please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can discuss the options that are available. Head to our contact us page or reach out to us via our email address or social media.

Will you be able to train my breed of dog?

We have experience with a wide variety of dog breeds of different temperaments and personalities. We are especially familiar with working and primitive dog breeds, and the challenges that these dogs can present. We have a good understanding of how breed and genetics play a part in behaviour, and no matter what breed or mix your dog is, we will be able to adapt the training to suit them. If you are worried about whether we will be able to meet the needs of your particular breed of dog, please reach out so we can discuss. We have previously worked with a huge range of breeds; Chihuahuas, German Shepherds, Mastiffs, Siberian Huskies, Belgian Malinois, Rottweilers, Working Cocker Spaniels and more.

Is my dog too old/too young for training?

There is no such thing as being too young or too old to start training. Dogs can learn at any age or stage in their life, and while well-rehearsed habits are harder to break, there is no reason why you can’t train your older dog. We also recommend that you begin training with your puppy from the get-go, so if you have just got a new puppy, it is the perfect time to book a session with us.

How long does training take?

Training is not a one-and-done process - it’s something you need to keep up with over time. Dogs are constantly learning, so if you don’t keep up with the new habits of working with and managing your dog, you can expect your dog’s behaviour to fall back into old habits too. With some problems, you can see immediate improvement, but learning is always a process and the results you get depend on many factors, including how much work you put into it and how closely you implement the training plan.

What are the benefits of trick training?

Trick training is a fantastic activity for all dogs. It is fun for both you and your dog, and helps to build the relationship and bond that you have together. If you train tricks to your dog, your dog is more likely to focus on you and want to stay with you. Tricks are also excellent for physical and mental stimulation, keeping your dog fit, improving their body awareness and make ideal foundation behaviours for more complex sequences and dog sports.

Is my dog suitable for a group workshop/class or do I need to book a one to one?

If your dog is nervous or reactive and you are unsure about whether they would cope in a group environment such as a class or workshop, please get in touch to discuss. We usually recommend a one to one session to assess and work with your dog first if you aren’t sure about how they will manage in a group setting, but sometimes we are able to make adjustments to accommodate you, so don’t hesitate to contact and ask.

What do I need to get ready for my training or behaviour consultation?

To get ready for your session, we recommend preparing lots of tasty treats in advance. It is a good idea to have a few different options available in terms of different food rewards, and to use something your dog loves. We advise you complete our intake forms in as much detail as possible to save time spent information-gathering during the actual session.