FAQs

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions, but please do contact us if your enquiry is not covered. We are always delighted to help out.  info@cleverdogcompany.com

We want to bring our puppy to classes but see that you recommend 1-1 sessions first. Why is that?

Just because there is a general expectation that dogs should go to a training class to learn how to behave, it doesn’t make it right! While group classes can be useful for teaching dogs who have already had some training to work with distractions, for focusing on impulse control around other dogs and –
 on occasions – for socialising with other dogs in a controlled environment, they are not necessarily the best way to start out with training.

As a break-through alternative, Clever Dog Company Method Licensed Trainers offer a tried and tested ‘bespoke’ model of training – which offers the very best in individual focus for dog and owner, context training and situational socialisation.

This approach works brilliantly for puppies, older rehomed dogs and those that need to work on a special area of control or management, and gets truly remarkable feedback from clients. Group sessions can come later, what matters is team-building with your pup now – and this is best done in a calm 1-1 environment – you’ll then be ahead of the pack when you are ready to come to classes!

But what about socialisation?

In recent years, the word ‘socialisation’ has often come to mean allowing puppies to leap on each other’s heads in uncontrolled play sessions!

The vast majority of owners want their puppy to focus and concentrate on them – not on running off to see other dogs, and this is a recipe for disaster as your pup becomes an adolescent. In order for your dog to enjoy meeting other dogs in the real world, he or she needs to learn to respond to you first.

Gradual and careful social contact with other dogs (and polite play!) comes later and we can help with that too. But, never at the expense of your relationship with your dog and your ability to be able to have kind control in public, no matter what else is going on.

My puppy has just had her final injection, but my vet says I must wait another week or two before I can take her out.

This one is up for discussion, as different vets have different opinions! Some are happy for owners to take their puppies out straight away, while others insist that owners wait – even when the injection given is the same. This can be difficult as puppies are often desperately in need of the stimulation and socialisation that can only be gained by getting out and about.

Why are your recommended programmes five sessions in duration when others are longer?

Because we teach you more! Our training is fast, effective and fun. So effective in fact that we cover in a five-session programme what many others cover in a course at least twice that length.

Once you have completed an initial course of sessions, we often recommend that you consolidate your training by attending more lessons, or coming to group sessions or social walks. This is primarily because puppies and young dogs quickly become ‘teenagers’ – which can be a trying time for many owners and we like to give ongoing support!

Do you accept all breeds of dog for training?

Yes, we have enjoyed training everything from Great Danes to Chihuahuas – and lots of rare breeds too, such as Bolognese, Alaskan Malamute, Petit Basset Fauve de Bretagne and Tamaskan. Some of our Instructors have special knowledge of certain breeds – such as German Shepherds, for example.

We also love mongrels and crossbreeds, as well as rescue dogs – Sarah Whitehead is a little biased as she owns two, and one of our trainers (Chantal) specialises in helping dogs from overseas.

Can my children attend the sessions?

We believe that the whole family needs to learn how to handle and train your dog, and children over the age of seven or eight usually make fabulous trainers – often even better than adults.

Children or young people under the age of 16 need to be accompanied by an adult during training sessions please.

I have a disability, will this be a problem?

Our training is easy for all, and can be adapted to you individually. Please let us know if you have a special requirement – we are very experienced at ensuring everyone gets the most from their training sessions, and feels listened to and included.

What are your methods? 

While most forward-thinking trainers now use positive reinforcement, Clever Dog Company Method Trainers understand and use ‘clean’ clicker training. Whether or not they actually use the clicker itself is another matter, but our methods are designed to eliminate the need for a lure as fast as possible – meaning that dogs (and owners, and trainers!) don’t get hooked on using food in training.

The dog chooses to respond to the cue, because he understands what gets reinforced and what doesn’t – not because he’s being bribed.

We don’t use aversives (punishments) and we pride ourselves on building the relationship between dog and owner with behavioural understanding and positive methods that really work. Every single one of our ‘ten essential training exercises’ is taught in a unique and positive way – setting up the dog and owner for choices that lead to responsiveness and control. We go beyond lure and reward, using scientific principles to get the very best results.

I have other questions….

Just whizz us an email. We will be happy to help.

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