Individual dog training sessions- One to One.
Knowing what to do and watching behaviour improve boosts confidence- and takes the stress out of daily life.
One to one sessions are individually tailored to fit individual needs.
Includes after care and support- we like to have an update phone call a week after the session (although once under our wing, people are encouraged to contact us when they need).
A (good) hour of assessment, one to one training and advice is £60
And a white coffee with 2 sugars
Sessions are so timed as most adult dogs tire and run out of concentration in about 40 minutes.
- We come to you- so it’s familiar and comfortable for the new dog (or so we can assess behaviour in the place it normally happens).
- If we need to assess behaviour outside, we’ll go to the park.
Once an appointment is made, I like to get owners to leave a pen and paper out so if they think of something they can jot it down. We do whatever you think will help.
What’s going to happen? Our goals:
Learning about the people’s concerns and goals and the dog’s behaviour and motivations. Working out solutions and considering what techniques to use. What will solve the issues most efficiently and easily? Is it beneficial to both people and dogs?
Making sure everyone understands what to do and the reasoning behind it. Demonstrate and explain as clearly as possible.
… makes perfect! When the people understand, it’s their turn. Make sure everyone is starting to feel more confident while the dog learns at a comfortable rate. Sometimes it can take time and things may even need to get worse as the the dog thinks and begins to understand. Help them work it out by being clear and consistent.
Consider as many potentially difficult moments/ things that may happen and work out a clear and easy plan of what to do for each one. (How to safely and calmly deal with a blind corner and a reactive dog, for example).
Appointments are (usually) made for 4 reasons:
* 1) New Dog Master class
For the new puppy or new rescue- beginner training, tips and advice to settle in a new dog and start off on the right foot. Including come here, walk nicely, leave, how to establish easy routines (so family life is less stressful) and what to do about fears and frights. pulling the lead, responding and focusing, jumping up, teething, toilet training… and/ or anything else.
* 2) Behaviour troubleshooting
We can help with anything- often things like barking and/ or separation anxiety, pulling on the lead, destructive behaviour in the house, ignoring owners and not listening in the park. We’ll show you what to do, explain the reasoning behind it and (very importantly) we practise so that the dog also understands and we see some improvement.
When looking at behaviour, during an appointment we listen, watch, assess and:
- teach owners what to do so they feel confident whatever comes their way.
- train dogs so that they can communicate their wishes politely, handle their emotions, think and make good decisions.
Some exercises will directly work on the issues at hand (like learning variations of “leave” if a dog chases squirrels and/ or birds, or if they eat edible rubbish in the park) and some exercises help with self control and patience and work in the background- like the “Listening While Excited” game.
* 3) We specialise in challenging behaviour- overcoming fear/ aggression or over-excitement.
Types of behaviour include: fixating, barking, growling, lunging, snapping, not being able to control excitement and play turns bad.
It’s so stressful (and embarrassing) when a dog is reactive- not knowing what’s going to happen, worrying if someone will see and shout. People say they feel bad enough already- they’re feeling guilty- even though they’ve tried hard. They feel responsible, thinking they’re let the dog down.
And the last thing people need is a judgemental trainer who looks down on people or makes them more stressed.
Not sure why dog trainers have this reputation- but that won’t happen with us. We don’t need to talk big when the techniques work so well. We’re confident and want you to be confident too. Knowing what to do and watching behaviour start to change is a huge relief for our clients (and their dogs). And, got to be honest, it’s massive job satisfaction for us.
We’ll say what to expect but for most of these appointments, both trainers will turn up, one with one of our dogs- who are trained in rehabilitating over excited and fearful dogs.
During the sessions we like to practise what we preach- working hands- on, explaining the behavioural science behind it as we go.
Working with the dog and making sure things are improving speaks louder than anything we could say.
It’s sometimes good to make plans of action (“if this happens do that” sort of stuff) so that owners know how to handle different situations easily and appropriately. We explain how to recognise and avoid problem moments and practise ways that encourages nice behaviour.
We use kind, effective methods based on behavioural study research. Things like encouraging the dog to use flight instincts, showing there’s no need to be self defensive and/ or helping owners recognise the first signals of discomfort. We teach owners what to do so that they are confident in any situation.
When the dog sees that the (scientifically proven) methods work, things start to really improve.
Our goal is that owners can be confident and can enjoy life more easily with a more contented dog.
* 4) Assistance training
To aid the disabled and make daily life easier- including things like “pick that up”, opening / shutting doors, helping with daily tasks (like put washing in the machine) and medical alerts. Whatever you think will help. This is Sue’s area of interest, having a disability herself.
Points to bear in mind:
The time it takes to change behaviour depends on the issue and also on the dog. Some people need one appointment, others more. We let you decide how many sessions you want with us- but we do offer a discount if anyone wants 3.
Sometimes I need to warn people that, when we’re changing routines and behaviour, some bad habits get worse before they are better– and this is normal and to be expected. I will explain if this is the case. (It happens because the dog is confused about changes and the penny hasn’t dropped. Please click our dog training theory/ methods page for more info on these extinction/ exhaustion drives.)
By the end of our time together you should have the answers you need and see some improvement. If the behaviour takes more time, we make sure you know what to do, that you have the tools you need to help the dog understand while we wait for the penny to drop. By the end we hope that owners should know what to do in every different related circumstance that we can (all) think of and we’ll have practised whatever techniques we need so that things are well on the road to becoming second nature.
I like people to give me a ring or text with an update a week after our appointment- but people are welcome to get hold of us any time they need.
Please update us- good and bad. Especially if things go backwards- and especially if we didn’t warn you that that’s to be expected. We will do what we can and genuinely want to be helpful.
For the the toughest of problems, £150 for 3 sessions.
After the session, please feel free to call or text if anything slips your mind. I can be a lot of info to take in at once.
Dogs learn by association and repetition- and much quicker if they’re enjoying themselves, so we use fun exercises that also teach.
A bonus is this training stimulates the dog’s brain which is tiring, helping to keep them out of mischief. We find that in these sessions, as their problems disappear, people begin to be less stressed and start to relax and have fun with their dogs again. Many find life easier and they enjoy themselves so much they wish to continue and apply to join one of our training classes.
We offer a £5 discount to anyone booking classes after a one to one.
Here at Affinity we have many years of experience in canine behaviour and are proud of our many happy clients, their dogs and our reputation for our down to earth approach.
I’d love to have a magic wand or formula which could fix any problem and situation immediately, but we do have plenty of effective, simple and practical answers, hints, tips and hacks which are appropriate, kind and fun. Sue has two Cambridge degrees and is also qualified with the ADTB to teach and assess to gold level. Studying didn’t finish with exams- we are constantly researching and are self-confessed dog nerds.
Although our appointments are limited, we do try to arrange them for a time easiest for you. If you have a day and time that’s convenient, please say- although do bear in mind we have classes on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Please ring us with any questions or queries you may have: 0751 976 2411 our contact page is here
For appointments out of Northampton town, a small charge per mile is added, please ask us for details.
It’s sensible to have at least two sessions: one to assess and offer solutions; others about a week later to check things are going right and iron out any issues.
FAQ: we use high quality dog food instead of treats in our sessions, either from Taste of the Wild or Orijen. They have been awarded for their nutritional value. The food is around 80% meat with fruit and vegetables and no additives, grains or cereals. Most dogs seem to adore them.
The most frequently asked question (after an appointment) is whether we can help with children, mothers-in-law, husbands or wives! I wish!