If you've never hired a dog trainer before, you might be wondering what to expect from Barking Mad Training. Here, we'll talk you through the process so you know exactly how we can help you and your dog.
It Starts With a Call
Or an e-mail - whatever is easiest for you. You'll contact Barking Mad Training and inform us of what you're after. Whether you need a specific behaviour issue resolving, or you need some generalised advice about bringing up your puppy, we cover all sorts. Tell us what you're after, and we can personalise your one-on-one training. We will also provide you with a cost estimate.
It's really handy if you also let us know your dog's breed, age and gender - basically, include as much information as possible.
Scheduling Your First Training Session
Once we've covered the basics, we can decide together which package will best suit you. You might just need a one-off session (these are usually for specific issues like excessive barking or jumping up), or you might need some ongoing sessions (puppy training or more ingrained issues like lead training). A simple issue may take a one-off 2 hour session, while more complicated issues may require 3 hours. We can decide together which best suits you.
All our sessions are one-on-one. That means we will come to your home so we can observe the dog in their place of residence, and give you personalised advice. This helps us to come up with a solution that will work for your (and their) lifestyle.
For issues that involve pulling on the lead or barking at strangers/other dogs, we may need to accompany you on a walk so we can observe the behaviour where it would naturally happen. Observation is incredibly important because it gives us the opportunity to witness the issues in person and assess them properly.
Next, we come up with a suitable plan of action. Training a dog doesn't happen in a single session, so don't expect perfection after your training session. Most of the work takes place once we leave. Training a dog properly require persistence and repetition by the owner and the entire household that the dog is regularly subjected to. If a household does not adhere to the guidance, you won't make much progress - so agree together first that everyone is ready to get involved with improving your dog's behaviour.
Some dogs are more stubborn than others, so we may alter or change certain training methods to work best for you and your dog.
We never use any punishment to train a dog - forget choke collars or hitting them over the nose with a rolled-up newspaper. All our training methods use positive rewards to encourage the behaviour we want, while we redirect unsuitable behaviour and communicate with the dog so they understand what is and isn't expected of them.
Once we have come up with a solution, we will talk you through it (so you understand the why) and show you what to do. We may recommend that you purchase certain equipment, like long leads for recall training, to make your life easier.
After the session, you will be given the opportunity to clarify anything we said or ask us any questions if you are unsure.
You can then make payment via bank transfer or in cash. Right at the end of the session, we will discuss scheduling the next session (if you are booked in for more than one) or follow-up phone call.
After the session, we will e-mail you a PDF which will summarise everything we covered in the training session. This is because we understand it can often be a lot of overwhelming information all at once, and it can be really difficult to remember everything said. So we like to break everything down so you don't forget anything.
We recommend printing off the PDF and sticking it somewhere noticeable (like the fridge door) so you and the rest of the household can refer to it when training.
Around two to three weeks after the training session, we will give you a call and check on your progress (unless you have another in-person session scheduled).
At this stage, there has usually been some progress with the training, but occasionally a training method won't have worked, so we will have to come up with an alternative solution for you to try. We never leave you high and dry - no matter how long it takes, we will always help you until a solution has been found.
And that's it! It's a simple process, and we are always here if you have any questions. So what are you waiting for? If you have behavioural issues or you're getting a dog soon and want to make sure you know what you're doing, contact us today!