We love teaching pets and their people! Here’s a run-through of our basic classes that are on on weekday evenings.
Puppy class isn’t really about teaching obedience and “commands”, but more so about making sure we are installing some vital life skills that puppies must develop during their first few months.
Anything you want in a two year old dog or a five year old dog, we have to prepare for now, while puppy is in those early months of life. All is not lost if we don’t get started that early, but certainly we need to get working on this stuff as soon as possible.
This clip gives you a taste of just some of the work we do on this course – and this is just the tip of the iceberg…
Puppy Manners course:
- 6 class course
- roll on/roll off – start as soon as your puppy is fully vaccinated
- for puppies under 5-6 months of age (still have baby teeth!)
- course costs €125
- Tuesday evenings, 7-8pm
Before your puppy is vaccinated, it’s important to use that time to get a headstart with a Puppy Session (90 minute private session – €60).
If you book both a Puppy Session (€60) and a Puppy Manners course (€125) you pay just €150 – which is a great foundation for you and your puppy to get off on the right paw (not to mention a great bargain!)
Once puppy education is over, that’s not the end of your dog’s lessons; indeed it’s only the beginning – we wouldn’t expect a child to be done with school after the first half of primary school!
Teenage dogs, just like puppies, have specific requirements. Adolescent dogs are most likely to become unwanted so we want to put lots of work in place to make sure the teenag dog stays a lifelong canine companion.
We work on lots during the Teenagers Manners course, all based in helping the adolescent dog develop better self-control and self-calming skills.
Teenagers Manners course:
- 6 class course
- for dogs over six months and under 14-18 months
- course costs €125
- Wednesday evenings, 7-8pm
This is a quick, intense basics course – all done in four classes!
The Monday Manners course is for adult dogs, over 18 months of age.
This is some of what we cover:
Monday Manners course:
- 4 class course
- for dogs over 18 months of age
- course costs €100
- Monday evenings, 7-8pm
We welcome all types of dogs at AniEd but not all dogs benefit from a class environment. We do everything possible to keep our training class environment low-stress (see our videos!) but some dogs have difficulty coping with even that; proximity of strange dogs or people, lots of food rewards or toys, lots of distracting smells and general excitement associated with being some place new can be pretty challenging.
I often tell our training class students that bringing their dogs to class and asking them to concentrate is like bringing their seven year old to Disney World and then asking them to do their homework!
So, we will work with you to make sure that we find the best service and approach to help you and your dog – there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with your dog (or you), every one’s an individual and we will do our best to help you.
Email or call us if you have any queries about class, suitability and AniEd services: contact us.
Crazy dogs are often misjudged, much maligned and blamed for their crazy ways but that very crazy behaviour is more than likely associated with high arousal (emotional excitement), difficulty to cope with frustration and poor stress-control skills.
How might you identify a crazy dog?
The crazy dog comes in many forms, but in general these dogs have trouble with bringing themselves down after getting wound up; they might :
- show reactive behaviour on lead or in confinement – barking, lunging, growling toward triggers such as other dogs, cyclists, other people
- show attention seeking behaviour and/or bark excessively
- have difficulty settling
- have difficulty focusing
- jump up
- pull on lead
- be excitable
- be destructive
- show frustration related behaviour such as pulling on lead, grabbing, vocalising when they want something
- dislike confinement or being left alone
The crazy behaviour itself isn’t really the full issue, it’s more that the dog has trouble bringing themselves down and often this manifests in over the top behaviour.
These are my favourite dogs to work with (and live with…ahem…Decker…) because they offer lots of behaviours and are just begging to be shown which ones are more appropriate.
Crazy to Calm Training Class
This training course is perfect for those crazy dogs, and their humans but also for dogs:
- who are expected to cope with pretty exciting environments such as dogs who attend shows and competitions, dogs who assist their humans or dogs who attend work with their humans
- who have spent time in a kennel environment such as a shelter
- who are working through a training or behaviour modification program to help with reactive or stress-related behaviour
Crazy to Calm class will help you to:
- prevent crazy behaviour by giving the humans a better understanding of their dog’s behaviour
- manage crazy behaviour by helping your dog develop better focus skills and improved on-leash behaviour
- tackle the underlying causes of crazy behaviour by working on self-control skills and self-calming skills
We will do this through lots of games, using a high rate of reward with food rewards, interaction with their human, toys & play.
We will not be suppressing crazy behaviour, as is so often the approach, but instead building more appropriate behaviour, while helping your dog learn to cope with excitement better – giving you both tools to harness that crazy into focus, fun and engagement.
- 8 class course starting soon
- 4 dog/handler teams
- each class is 90 minutes
- costs €200
You will need:
- your dog!
- your dog’s flat collar and regular lead
- a range of food rewards of different values to your dog
- tug toys – a longer one and a shorter hand-held one
- specific mat or blanket (just for classwork)
- a jacket or top with pockets to hold rewards (rather than a treat pouch)
- optional: flirt pole
- optional: a crate, at home
Register for class here, or email email@example.com, comment here or on our Facebook page!
We have had some awesome pets and their people visit, and this is just some of them…
Sessions & Consults
And these two…
We see lots of puppies and we want to see more puppies, and we want to see them earlier.
Waiting for your puppy to be finished his or her vaccinations or waiting until the nipping and the accidents and the chewing are driving you bonkers is too late to start your puppy’s education.
Book a puppy-session NOW and make sure that everyone gets off on the right paw!
What happens during a puppy session?
We talk about all the things that you can start to put in place so that puppy raising is easier and your puppy becomes a great, easy to live with, companion dog.
1. Social Experience
Not only must puppies know how to be dogs, but they must also know how to fit into human society – and that’s tough!
- socialisation is not about your puppy learning to greet, play with and love everyone
- socialisation is about your puppy learning that other people, dogs, animals and related goings-on are so normal that they’re not even worth getting worked up about
- socialisation is about ensuring puppy has mostly positive experiences in social interactions
- socialisation is about puppy learning how to behave appropriately in social situations
We will teach you how to teach your dog to greet politely, to manage their excitement and to teach others how to greet your puppy appropriately so your puppy doesn’t become over-whelmed, and learns that social greetings are positive, enjoyable and safe.
How to use your hand-link-a-Kong to teach all this:
Teach puppy that people approaching makes a treat appear so that puppy learns that approaching humans are safe and so that puppy learns to focus on their own people when someone else is approaching:
Puppies must get to play with other safe, healthy and appropriate dogs and puppies too.
- puppy doesn’t get to greet and play with every dog they see
- to play with other dogs, puppy must be calm and responsive
- play sessions must be short
- humans supervise and actively shape puppy play behaviour throughout
- play will be interrupted regularly for re-focus and calm, down-time
Teach puppies to be comfortable with collar grabs so that they can be restrained when needed:
Off leash puppy activities must never be a free-for-all!
2. Exposure & Experience
The world is a new, exciting and often scary place for puppies. As their new guide to the human-world, in which they will live, we want to gently and carefully expose them to all the things we want them to be able to cope with later on.
Think of the dog you want in two years time…you are preparing for that NOW!
- bring your puppy everywhere you go – you can carry him, have him in the car
- you don’t have to allow him to interact up close with stuff – stand off at a distance and just hang out – play passive focus games with him to teach him that you are always the most interesting!
- allow puppy to observe and take in information, in their own time
- pair startling, scary, sudden or weird events with good things such as tasty treats and favourite games – play this game when allowing your puppy to take in the world around him
- provide physical exercise carefully; lots here on appropriate exercise and the Puppy Exercise Chart from Puppy Culture
- think of puppy walks and outings more as opportunities for puppy to experience the world than for puppy to get physical exercise
Hair dryers and vacuum cleaners don’t have to be scary, if they are introduced properly and early on:
While your puppy is on vaccination hold (and beyond):
- play Follow Me! so that you puppy learns how to walk politely, without a lead, before you are going on walks
- set up a couple of odd things everyday, in a new place in and around the house for puppy to explore
Remember, when you start walking your puppy out and about, increase the size of their world very gradually (from the house to the street on the first day is plenty, and around local streets is lots for the first week) and take your time, stop with puppy and allow them to explore in their on time.
3. Mental Exercise
Puppies are active and inquisitive so let’s channel that energy, so it doesn’t become a people-problem and so that puppy is an active learner and problem solver.
- no food bowls for puppies!
- training puppy throughout the day, working for their regular food
- using their brains (and noses) to work out how to find food and toys
- getting them hooked on chewing their chew toys and not your furniture, shoes or belongings
- allowing puppies to try things out, to experience a little frustration and even stress, and recovery
4. Nipping & Bite Inhibition
All puppies do it, and most people are bothered by it.
Puppy nipping is important for puppies though so we put exercises in place to make sure puppies have an acceptable outlet for this behaviour, but preventing it from becoming to much trouble for people.
There are different schools of thought on this and lots of diverse advice.
- keeping interactions with puppy brief and low-key so puppy doesn’t become over-excited (they will often express that with mouthing and nipping)
- making sure puppy has lots of down-time, settling and sleep (over tired puppies are like over tired toddlers…)
- diverting puppy behaviour and using treats & toys so that we don’t need to restrain, physically manipulate or position puppy
- redirecting teeth onto suitable toys
- yelping and withdrawing for 5-10-count if we feel hard teeth
- moving away from puppy 20-count timeout if they turn into a landshark
- teaching puppies the rules of play with people
- making sure puppies have lots of opportunities to play bitey-face games with other appropriate dogs
You already know all the behaviours that puppy is going to do that you are not going to like – squealing when left alone, chewing your belongings, toileting in the wrong places, and that’s just for starters.
So, if you know they’re going to bother you, why are you allowing them to happen?! Prevention is key.
Never allow puppy to practice unwanted behaviour so that they never learn to establish unwanted behaviours.
- night-time training so puppy never develops distress at separation (prevents sleepless nights too!)
- crate training for toilet training
- crate training for settle training
- crate training for self-control training
- crate training chew-toy training
- crate training for night-time training
- …see where we are going with this…?
6. Passive Training
This is lazy training, and really effective too! Puppy isn’t doing the wrong things all the time so catch him doing the right behaviour and reward that with food rewards, toys, play, attention or access to things he wants.
- rewarding puppy any time you notice he’s quiet, he has four paws on the floor, he’s keeping the leash loose and he’s showing calm focus
- rewarding polite behaviour
- rewarding puppy when he’s doing nothing
- using lots of different types of rewards
7. Parking your Puppy
More lazy dog training, while puppy learns to chill out and be calm.
- use a specific mat or bed so puppy learns that means it’s settle time
- lapping and chewing on stuffed and lined Kongs help puppies relax
- practicing parking and settling in lots of places, with your puppy’s calm-mat, will help puppy become a great companion who you can bring anywhere
8. Resource Guarding Prevention
It’s normal, natural, necessary dog behaviour (humans do it too!) so let’s set up our puppies so that they never feel the need to make people go away from them, when they have stuff.
- making sure puppies have their own place where they can eat, chew, play and hangout undisturbed
- puppies learn that when they have stuff and people come near, awesome things happen
Puppies and dogs will be handled, sometimes in invasive ways, throughout their lives. Remember, anything we want in our dog in two years time, we need to start working on right now!
- gentle handling of puppy everyday
- calming, massage helps to settle puppy
- pairing handling and manipulation with yummy treats helps puppy to become comfortable with this in lots of situations
- practicing at the vets and groomers too, before puppy needs it
- giving puppies choice in how much and how far is enough
10. Toilet training
Toilet training requires time, patience, supervision and management.
- regular toilet breaks – every 1-2 hours during the day
- more regular breaks after eating, drinking, napping, or any sort of excitement
- clean up accidents with biological washing powder (with enzyme action)
- supervise free puppies – if they have any accident it’s on you I’m afraid
- don’t scold puppy – step up supervision!
- free time is for empty puppies only – so crate puppy, supervise closely and only allow out and about after toileting
- bring puppy to a toileting area and be boring – this is a business area, not for fun
- calmly praise puppy while he goes, and reward with 3-5 high value food rewards once he’s done
- then have a little game or fun interaction with puppy so that he doesn’t learn he is just ignored after appropriate toileting
- have patience – we give children years for toilet training and most puppies will need months of structured toilet training before they are reliable
11. Obedience behaviours
The most important thing to understand here is that obedience behaviours can be taught at any time, but all the 1-10 stuff above MUST start NOW.
So, although we might introduce some obedience stuff, it’s not the main emphasis of your puppy’s early education at all.
Teach puppy to play tug, with rules, so that you are also teaching him some self-control and to give up items, even when excited:
Teach puppy to leave forbidden items by teaching him that “leave it” means to come away from that thing and reorient to his person:
Teach puppy that only polite, calm behaviour gets him what he wants:
We spend some time answering your questions and developing a program that works best for your puppy, you and your family.
- parasite control
- vet and groomer visits
- training classes
- great puppy resources
- and all the other questions new puppy owners will have too…
And this is just the beginning of your’s and your puppy’s education…
Do you know someone with a new puppy or soon to get a new puppy, or even someone thinking about maybe considering a new puppy?
Let’s get puppy-ownership off to the best start with a puppy session!