THINKING-DOG SOCIAL SKILLS PROGRAMME

Our Thinking-Dog Social Skills Programme is for dogs aged 6 months and over. They aim to help your young dog become well socialised and well-mannered both at home and out-and-about.

Most dogs go through a period between 5 months and 2 years where they have bouts of behaving like giddy teenagers. Their hormones are surging and they're learning who they are and how they fit into the world. You may have found that your very sweet, well-behaved puppy suddenly turned into a boisterous thug when she hit her teens! 

Many owners feel they need help with this stage.They find their pups become erratic with recall, they pull on the lead and can be overly bouncy around people and other dogs.

This programme isn't just for teenage dogs, though. Some dogs come to us at a much older age, either because they are rescue dogs or because they have never learned how to be calm. If you have a dog like this, then the Thinking-dog Social Skills Programme is for you both.

COURSE STRUCTURE

The course takes place over 4 sessions, spaced according to how you would like (weekly, fortnightly or monthly) Please specify your preference when booking. Please let us have your full address including post-code and we will send you some available time slots and dates.

The first lesson takes place either at Dunholme Old School, or at Brattleby Aisthorpe and Scampton Village hall where we can work with few distractions.

LESSON 1 – 1 Hour

Connection and building foundations for responsiveness on walks and at home

Skills:

Learning why dogs find recall and lead skills difficult: lack of connection, low concentration, high prey drive.

  • Loose lead walking and connection with low level distractions

  • Lead biting if needed

  • Excitement around distractions

  • Recall and Connection Games – building strong foundations

 

LESSON 2 – Half hour to one hour

Connection and responsiveness around low level distractions

Skills:

  • Loose lead walking – building connection

  • Using a long line

  • Building connected distance between you and your dog

  • Recall practise and connection games – how to work with distractions

 

LESSON 3 – half hour

Connection and responsiveness around midlevel distractions

Skills:

  •          Loose lead walking – consolidating connection

  •          Long line practice

  •          Recall tricks – guaranteed recall every time

  •          Recall practice and connection games

 

LESSON 4 – half hour

Connection and responsiveness around midlevel distractions

Skills:

  •          Loose lead walking – perfecting connection

  •          Long line practise – extending distance

  •          100% recall tricks – guaranteed recall every time

 

Equipment:

  •          Treat pouch and high value treats

  •          Stuffed kong, snuffle mat or lickimat

  •          2 metre lead

  •          5 metre Long line (SNOOT biothane recommended)

  •          Well fitting harness (Dog Games Perfect Fit highly recommended).

 

REACTIONS TO PEOPLE AND OTHER DOGS

Dogs who have been fearful of other dogs or people in the past often need more support than Social Skills sessions can give. Before booking for a Social Skills Session, please consider the following questions. If your dog has responded in any of the following ways in the past, let us know and we will send out details of our Thinking-Dog Programme. This is particularly the case with rescue dogs, who may be settled with dogs and people they know but are likely to struggle with new people and dogs in different environments:

REACTIONS TO OTHER DOGS

Does your dog do any of the following around other dogs? If s/he has done any of these things in the past, please let us know when s/he stopped the behaviour:

  • Bark

  • Lunge and bark

  • Growl and snap

  • Stand on hind legs when on lead

  • Run towards dogs when off lead and doesn’t come back when called

  • Play boisterously

  • Hide behind you when on lead

  • Spin on lead

  • Has your dog/puppy been ‘told off’ by other dogs when playing or barking at them?

 

REACTIONS TO PEOPLE

If s/he has done any of these things in the past, please let us know when s/he stopped the behaviour:

  • Bark

  • Lunge and bark

  • Growl

  • Snap

  • Stand on hind legs when on lead

  • Mouth or nip hands when people try to stroke him/her

  • Hide behind you when on or off lead

 

VIRTUAL SESSIONS

We currently run virtual consultations via Zoom, WhatsApp, Messenger or Skype if you would prefer these to a face-to-face visit. These are an extension of our long-running online Behaviour Programme, working with dogs and their owners around the world. If you would like a virtual consultation, the fee is £65 per hour for the first lesson, then £16.25 per quarter hour if the session lasts longer than an hour.

Each half hour follow-up session is £30 per half hour, then £15 if the lesson exceeds half an hour.

We can be a bit more flexible about the times available for these appointments and can often offer week day appointments from 11am. Please let me know if you would prefer this option.

We can also run the first session as a virtual lesson, followed by face-to-face lessons for the rest of the course.

 

COVID-19 ADAPTATIONS

Please be aware that we hold sessions online if strict COVID-19 regulations are put in place and we are unable to deliver face-to-face appointments. This means that your appointment will be carried out online. Please do not book a face-to-face appointment if you are unprepared or unable to take this appointment as a virtual session via Zoom, WhatsApp Video or Facetime should the need arise. 

REACTIVE DOGS/EXCITEMENT

Please be aware that Social Skills sessions are for dogs/puppies who have basic training issues, such as loose lead walking, recall and being unable to focus calmly around distractions. These sessions are not suitable for dogs who bark and lunge at other dogs or people (even if it is done out of excitement).

If your dog has had any fear of people within the last 3 years, please contact me for details about a Thinking-Dog Consultation.

FEES

1:1 course:

Lesson 1 - £75 (with £18.75 per extra quarter hour)

Lesson 2 to 4 - £35 per half hour (duration of lesson will vary)

(with £17.50 for any extra quarter hour plus £5 per half hour for hire of hall)

Virtual course

Lesson 1 - £65 per hour (with £16.25 per extra quarter hour)

Lesson 2 to 4 - £30 per half hour (with £15 per extra quarter hour)

Please call 07908427031 or email us at fern.ember.dog.behaviour@gmail.com for further details.

Click for Social Skills Classes

Waffle refers to Dad when he sees Finn

He looks calmly at Finn

He's very interested in Finn, but doesn't try to approach him

Instead, he refers straight back to Dad