Frequently Asked Questions
About Our Services

FAQ's

General Questions

Behaviour Consultations

No.  We’re seeing great success with the puppies who’ve been training online with their owners. 

  • You can start training your puppy right away, as your videos are available to watch as soon as you make your purchase.
  • Unlike with in-person classes, you don’t have to wait for your puppy to be fully vaccinated.
  • Because you’re training in your home, the familiar environment means that your puppy will be able to focus much more on you to learn new skills and behaviours, simply because they are less distracted. It’s always best to start teaching any new skill in a low distraction environment. In-person puppy classes can be great learning experiences for some puppies, for others though they are not conducive to learning.  Many puppies can struggle, becoming overwhelmed by all the distractions; and excitement can lead to very over aroused pups – leading to overwhelmed puppy owners!
  • You get to access the knowledge and skill of a professional trainer but from the comfort of your own home. No rushing in from work, to rush back out again to get to class on time … while stuffing a puppy and maybe your children in the car …. and ooh, did anyone remember the dog treats!! 
  • There’s much more flexibility in scheduling your lessons . I pride myself on offering fabulous customer service. So, if my scheduled classes don’t suit your busy diary … I’ll accommodate as best I can.  And of course, you can access the training videos whenever you like!

Lots of people think the main reason for taking a puppy training class is to socialise them. Although puppies do need to get used to sights, sounds and other people and dogs, the idea is to train them to ignore everything and focus on you! Not easy when you’re with a group of puppies in a small village hall or a field full of smells and strange noises.

Within my online programme I give you lots of advice for trips out to make the most of socialisation opportunities.  This is because there are huge benefits to taking your puppy out and about within the first 14/16 weeks of their life (although dogs socialise their whole life).   If your puppy hasn’t had their vaccinations, they simply need to be carried in a bag, to different environments. 

Although you should make a point of getting your puppy exposed to life outside your home, it’s crucial that you take this at your dog’s pace. You need to give your puppy the choice and time to explore at their own pace.  This will help them to be more confident in the long run.  When meeting other dogs and new people, it’s much less intimidating for your puppy if this is done one to one.

At the moment yes.  If you need any training help for an older adult dog, you can still chat to use about it, and we can point you in the right direction for help. If you have a concern about your dog’s behaviour, we can help with Behaviour Consultations.

Book a call or send an email and we’ll get that sorted for you. See our Contact page for details.

£75 per hour (£45 p/hr if one of The Puppy Expert Packages have already been purchased).

Clinical Animal Behaviourists have academic knowledge of ethology and learning theory.  Through the scientific application of learning theory they are able to modify the behaviour of animals, taking into consideration individual differences, circumstances and the dynamics of the human-animal relationship. Trainers usually have a wide-ranging set of skills in training, typically working with issues such as failing to come when called or pulling on lead.

A qualified behaviourist can provide advice based on their expertise, experience and training.  They cannot however “fix” the problem.  You must therefore be prepared to implement the behaviour modification programme under the guidance of the behaviourist.

For the best chance of success the treatment will require a lot of time and commitment from all members of the family. Three months follow up support is provided to offer help and encouragement throughout the treatment process with the option to have follow up visits if required.

Online Puppy Training Programme - The Puppy Expert

Training Methods

Lots of people think the main reason for taking a puppy training class is to socialise them. Although puppies do need to get used to sights, sounds and other people and dogs, the idea is to train them to ignore everything and focus on you! Not easy when you’re with a group of puppies in a small village hall or a field full of smells and strange noises.

Within my online programme I give you lots of advice for trips out to make the most of socialisation opportunities.  This is because there are huge benefits to taking your puppy out and about within the first 14/16 weeks of their life (although dogs socialise their whole life).   If your puppy hasn’t had their vaccinations, they simply need to be carried in a bag, to different environments. 

Although you should make a point of getting your puppy exposed to life outside your home, it’s crucial that you take this at your dog’s pace. You need to give your puppy the choice and time to explore at their own pace.  This will help them to be more confident in the long run.  When meeting other dogs and new people, it’s much less intimidating for your puppy if this is done one to one.

You can start whenever you like, but to get the most out of the programmes, for you and your puppy, start as soon as you bring your puppy home at 8 weeks of age. And because dogs are learning all the time – not just when you decide it’s ‘training’ time, having an expert trainer on hand at the very beginning can ensure your puppy is learning the right things.  

With our online programmes, you get instant access to videos so you can start learning right away – even before you bring your puppy home! 

We’ve pulled out 6 of the most commonly sought after behaviours: Sit, Down, Stay, Leave, Come When Called (recall), and Walking on Lead Without Pulling (loose lead walking).  This will help you to focus on training just one behaviour a week and not get overwhelmed.  But there are many more behaviours to learn, including some fun tricks – all with step by step video guides.

We’re confident this wont be the case! But if you’re really not happy, we’ll give you a full refund.

We want you to be 100% happy.  If you need help with anything at all, just get in contact with us:  hello@petpotential.co.uk

Absolutely. We encourage it if you have children in the home. Dog training is fun and the more the merrier. We do encourage only one person to work with the dog at a time as it helps the dog learn more quickly. Dog training builds trust and this is important for a dog living in a family environment.

I only advocate the use of something called ‘positive reinforcement’. This means I will teach you to use rewards when training your dog.  When your dog gets a reward, they will associate this with whatever behaviour they have just done and will be more likely to do that same thing again next time. For example, if you give your dog a piece of food they love when they raise a paw, they are more likely to do this again the next time they are in the same situation. Rewards can be anything your dog really wants, enjoys, and is motivated by.  For example, this could be food, verbal praise, a game of chase the ball, affection, even a good scratch!

Reward based training helps build a positive bond between you and your dog, because it’s fun! This also means that it can help build confidence and encourage your puppy to think for themselves. We also know through scientific research, that owners who train using rewards, report fewer behaviour problems in their dogs.

We tend to think of the word ‘treat’ as something ‘naughty’ and unhealthy, such as a huge slice of cake. This in turn makes us think that a dog treat should also be something unhealthy. I think it more appropriate to think of ‘rewards’ rather than ‘treats.’  

We’ve all seen that children now have a reward chart to promote good behaviour or enthusiasm, we don’t give them a chocolate bar every time they get something right but we do give them a reward/point to build up to something special.

Using food to train is extremely effective as it helps dogs to learn. This is because seeking or eating stimulates the ‘thinking’ part of the brain to help a dog to begin to think more rationally and promote calmness. This is due to the raising levels of dopamine created.

A reward doesn’t have to be food, although food is often most effective when we are training new behaviours – after all, all dogs need to eat! And food is easier to use if we want to get many quick repetitions into our training.  We can also grade food easily … a low value dry biscuit for an established behaviour in a low distraction environment, but high value chicken if teaching something more difficult, new or if in a very distracting environment.

No, not at all. We generally use lots of rewards when a dog is learning something new, but we reduce the frequency of food rewards once they understand what we would like from them.

The frequency of food rewards is more important than the quantity. Having lots of very small food rewards means you can reward 10 behaviours with the same amount of food as 1 large piece of food.

If you should become concerned about your dogs’ weight, you can simply reduce your dog’s meal time allowance to accommodate for the extras used in the day.

In training we only use tiny pea-sized pieces of food (and even smaller).  The smaller the food pieces the more you can reward.  Dogs don’t mind how much food there is, it’s more about the taste – especially as human foods are much better to use than shop-bought dog treats.  Although we use cheese, cocktail sausages and dried liver quite a lot, dogs will happily enjoy apple, carrots, blueberries and other healthy alternatives.

Not if you train the dog correctly. Food is used to help teach the initial behaviour, but then you’ll wean your dog off the food.

It’s a common perception that using food to train is glorified bribery, however there is a big difference between bribery and reward. The main difference is that a BRIBE comes BEFORE, whereas a REWARD comes AFTER. If a dog is being bribed it will only ‘perform’ when there is food in sight or on offer, whereas a dog who is rewarded will offer a behaviour in the hope of getting something afterwards.

When used effectively a dog will offer things that have been previously rewarded in the hope they will be rewarded again, when your dog is happily offering a behaviour you can reduce how often you reward that behaviour with food or play and begin to use environmental rewards instead.

You won’t need to buy anything in particular for the programme, but a clicker would be useful, a training lead (we like the Halti training lead), a flat collar, and you may choose to buy a harness (we like the Perfect Fit by Dog Games).

A clicker is a tool used to tell your dog ‘yes, you got it.’ It’s an excellent way of marking the precise behaviour you want – then you follow up with a reward.

Some people find clickers hard to coordinate with a treat bag, lead and a dog. In that case, a marker word like “yes!”or “good!” can be used instead of a clicker.

Get in touch if you have any questions not covered or would like more information.