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Our 1:1 Thinking-Dog Social Skills Programme is for dogs aged 6 months and over. The aim is to help your 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.


The course takes place over 3 sessions, spaced according to how you would like (weekly, fortnightly or monthly) Please specify your preference when booking. 

The first lesson takes place either 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


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 – 1 hour

Connection and responsiveness around low level distractions


  • 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 – 30 minutes

Connection and responsiveness around mid-level distractions


  •          Loose lead walking – consolidating connection

  •          Long line practice

  •          Recall tricks – guaranteed recall every time

  •          Recall practice and connection games



  •          Treat pouch and high value treats

  •          Stuffed kong, snuffle mat or licki mat

  •          2 metre lead

  •          5 metre Long line (SNOOT biothane recommended)

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



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:


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?



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



We also run these sessions as virtual consultations via Zoom, WhatsApp or Facetime if you would prefer these to a face-to-face sessionWe can be a bit more flexible about the times available for these appointments and can often offer week day appointments. Please let us 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.



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 us for details about our Thinking-Dog Behaviour Programme.


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

Lesson 2 - £75 (with £18.75 per extra quarter hour)

Lesson 3 - £37.50 (with £18.75 per extra quarter hour)

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