I appreciate that anxiety, stress and over excitement slow the learning process in both dogs and humans, which is why my favourite way to teach is on a one to one basis or in small groups of three or four people.
I work on my own and have never held in person puppy classes instead, my puppy support has always been in the comfort of the guardian's home, fixed at a convenient time for them and lasting over a period of five weeks. There the puppy has already formed a comfortable and safe association and doesn't have to travel anywhere, their guardian is not rushed, did not get stuck in traffic, and everything is on hand, plus we can even begin before their vaccinations are complete.
I teach foundation behaviours to help grow confidence and awareness of the needs of the puppy and give appropriate coaching with skills and techniques to encourage the puppy in being responsive to their guardians when in the home, in public parks and on walks in general. All the training is geared towards integrating your puppy successfully into the real world.
Socialisation is learning to live in society, sadly it is often carried out by over-exposing young dogs without any skills, to new surroundings and experiences, and hoping they learn to cope in these situations. I work on evidence-based learning and the evidence shows that puppies playing together in an enclosed space is frequently not ’socialisation’ and can easily escalate into over arousal and scare anxious or timid puppies, leaving long term side effects to be addressed.
Socialisation when working with me involves introducing you to suitable places and making sure you understand how your puppy will let you know by their body language if they are uncomfortable, when they might be scared or anxious, and when to intervene for them. Learning these skills are how you as their guardian will instil that foundation of trust and safety, factors that we all need to function effectively.
During the pandemic I have taken my teaching online into people's homes, and can now help puppies learn even better, with the same content, but without the added element of me in person in their space. When I look at it objectively and think back to those puppies that have initially been anxious and stressed with me in their home, I believe that this is a much better alternative for the puppy and their guardians. Having 2 months of experience teaching in an alternative way, I can confidently say it is BETTER and in the current climate it is certainly, SIMPLE, SAFE and definitely EFFECTIVE. I always want to be teaching in the best possible way without compromise and for me, this is how I will move forward.
By introducing my teaching on line by way of a class set up, you will have the bonus of learning from other people and their puppies too and sharing concerns and successes. Once the course is completed, local people will soon have the opportunity to meet up with me in person outside. With appropriate social distancing, we will practise your skills, then you will have the option to join with a group of like minded guardians and their super dogs and benefit from continued support for you and your puppy.