Training Sessions and Short Courses
From Dorset's Leading Trainer & Clinical Behaviourist
One to One Training / Behaviour Modification.
This short course is the ideal introduction to training with your dog. We can cover any training aspiration including recall, loose lead walking and general obedience.
This course can also be used as the starting point for a behaviour modification programme and cover complex behavioural challenges including resource guarding, fear aggression and obsessive behaviours.
All About Puppies
The most complete, bespoke one-to-one puppy course.
Books, online, groups or Zoom are no match for personalised one-to-one training for you and your puppy.
The one to one puppy course covers everything from socialisation and toilet training to lead walking and recall. This course gives you all the confidence and the knowledge you need to be the best puppy guardian you can be.
One to One and Group Training courses.
Specialist training courses for everything from teaching gundog skills to helping gain confidence when out with their dog.
Being active is an essential part of training for all dogs; actively engaged and actively employed.
Many unwanted behaviours (constant barking, destructiveness, lack of recall) can often actually be your dog finding their own entertainment. Just like people, each dog has a different boredom threshold and, therefore, a different need for things to keep their minds and bodies occupied. Engaging with your dog, mentally and physically, is a key part of Activdogs philosophy
My dog pulls on the lead/barks all day/ destroys the house..... will these 'problems' be fixed after one session?
It might be, but the realist answer is almost certainly no.
No reputable trainer or behaviourist would claim to solve problems in a single session. Proper behaviour modification takes time and work; it needs a behaviourist who knows what they are doing and an owner who is prepared to put some work in. However, the rewards last a lifetime. More precious than just the results, the right approach to training will make the relationship between you and your dog stronger than ever.
The scientific research that supports the use of reinforcement* in the training of dogs (and all animals, including humans) is overwhelming. The use of punishment (aversive methods and equipment such as lead corrections, shock collars, prong collars, rattle tins, sprays etc.) and causing pain or fear has absolutely no place in anything I do.
But, more than being simply positive, my training is all about the conversation we can have with our dogs to help them understand and proactively choose the behaviours we want.
The short answer is – just about anything.
The longer answer is that I generally prefer not to list things I train as it implies an approach that attempts to solve a problem. Good training is about teaching skills and attributes that will gently mould and shape the way in which your dog thinks, feels and behaves. This approach will help your dog to be confident and calm, make good choices and know how to respond in every situation.
My work encompasses all areas of behaviour shaping and management. I can help with toilet training for puppies, learning to sit and coming when called, to the most complex issues such as managing fear aggression, aggressiveness, phobias, separation anxiety and serious compulsive behaviours.
No. I am unconvinced by the actual value of group puppy classes beyond meeting other new puppy people. For this, I feel that there are others who are better placed to offer this service. For some puppies, these classes are actually quite damaging. There are a small number of IMDT (Institute of Modern Dog Trainers) qualified trainers locally and I would be happy to point you in their direction.
I do offer a complete Puppy course. This is an in-depth one-to-one course that will help you with every aspect of training with your puppy right into adulthood. More details of the personalised one-to-one puppy training is here.
No, it is never too late to start training; I have worked with teenage dogs and got them off-lead and recalling for the first time in their lives. It is certainly never too early to start training a puppy. Dogs have a natural desire to learn throughout their lives. Learning is a highly engaging, rewarding, and fun thing for all dogs to do.
I have a degree in Biology from Cardiff University where I focused ethology (the study of animal behaviour in a natural environment). I have a post-graduate Master’s degree by research (social behaviour in a species of fish).
I also continuously engage in professional development and am currently working on an advanced diploma in dog behaviour.
I have worked with more than two thousand dogs and their families, in-person, and one to one. I have significant experience ranging from basic training to the most complex, multi-faceted behavioural cases. I have recently expanded my work to include cats, horses, chickens, birds, fish and other small domestic animals.