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Frequently Asked 

Labrador plays with a toy

What sort of training do I need?


I always suggest that you look at this as a three-part question.

  • Part one, Methodology. Find out about the training methodology and make sure that you BELIEVE, or you will not follow through. Are you looking for food rewards vs no food reliance? Or are you looking for clicker vs check chain training?

  • Part two, Means. Once you know what methodology you want to use to train your dog or puppy then choose via what means will you receive the information you need to train them, classes, private lessons, online programs, board & train, short intensive programs, or a combination of any or all of the above. I could give you the exact same information if I’m standing in front of you in your home, standing in front of you via a screen, or if I was teaching you in a group. How you implement it is the key. These are just logistics.

  • Part three, The Details – look for the nearest, most conveniently timed, best cost or nicest person out of all that offers the method & means that you want. Too many people just choose the nearest classes or the cheapest trainer, and invariably things don’t work out well.

Dalmatian puppy
Maltese x Poodle dog stays on her mat

Can you fix my dogs issue?


Easy answer – No. But you might be able to! I’m here to teach you how, and to support your journey, but the reality is only you can fix it. And no, not everything is fixable but it’s extremely rare that a behaviour cannot be improved at the very least. I always say, if you try you may improve or fix the behaviour, but if you don’t try it will stay as it is (best case scenario) or grow stronger, more frequent, or more ingrained (most likely scenario).

Do you come to my home?


If you are in my catchment area of Melbourne’s outer eastern suburbs or West Gippsland, then yes, we could talk about an in-home session or program. In some cases, I may consider travelling outside my usual area for an interesting case, though extra travel charges would apply. Message me for more information.

Why is your dog coming to my lesson?


There are three reasons why I might have one of my canine assistants attend one or more of your sessions (unless it is unsafe to do so). 

  • Firstly, if we are working on an exercise, he will demonstrate the finished product, so you know what to aim for, and then I’ll show you with your dog how we are going to work towards that end. 

  • Secondly, if we are working on socialisation with your puppy, overexcitable young dog, or your dog with sociability issues, the most ideal scenario is to have a dog available for you to practice on, who isn’t going to overreact to any mistakes your dog might make, when you and your dog are ready (which is at my discretion).

  • Thirdly, because I genuinely believe in leading by example. How do you know if the method works unless you have the chance to see it in action? How do you know that your trainer even owns a dog (many don’t)? How do you know that the training won’t produce robots? Because I can show you all these things through one simple action – provide an example!

Multiple dog socialisation
Two dogs learning to not rush out an open door

How long will the session go for?


Our initial session in your home will go for 1.5 to 2 hours, subsequent sessions are 1.5 hours, so I always suggest you allow the whole morning or whole afternoon, depending on your booking. I’ll always confirm my arrival time the day before our session.

Which package should I choose?


Unless you have trained with this training method before, I always suggest we get through the introductory session, so you have a better understanding of the things I’ll probably ask you to do (or stop doing) and so that I have a good understanding of the outcomes you are hoping for, before we choose a package.

Will an online program be effective?


One thing that Covid & lockdowns has taught us very clearly is that the old-fashioned advice “You only get out of it what you put into it” is as relevant here as anywhere. If you watch your lessons and practice, ask your questions, and implement, reinforce behaviours, and give feedback – both to your dog and to me, your trainer – then yes, the program will be effective. Again, not everything is fixable, but if you don’t try you won’t succeed. If you give half hearted effort, you’ll get half-hearted results. If you implement part of the program, you’ll get partial results at best. If you don’t ask questions and receive answers you’ll stagnate, grow frustrated and probably drop out. If you don’t show me or tell me, I cannot know and help you. So, I suggest – watch, learn, practice, implement, question, reinforce, re-watch, ask again, and video as much as you can. Show me what you want me to know!

Can I do classes with you?


I do not offer group classes, but please feel free to ask for a referral because I know many trainers and businesses who do.

German Shepherd Dog holds a sit and stay
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