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Hallam's Happy Hounds Training and Behaviour Co. profile image

Hallam's Happy Hounds Training and Behaviour Co.

West Midlands

I offer a tailored programme of training or behaviour modification for your dog(s). It can be starting you and your dog on the right path to build a solid and strong relationship that will last for a lifetime, or it can be to train a dog to do something, that would prevent it from 'doing something else, that you don't want' i.e. an unwanted behaviour. Working with all sorts of breeds, at all different ages and stages of training a start point is identified and clear goals set. These are for the behaviour that you require from your dog, not the time frame in which it is needed as all dogs/owners work differently and make up a very unique combination. I have trained the basics to puppies through to golden oldies, have worked extensively with rescue dogs and can identify why they are sometimes in a position where they have been offered up for rehoming. Behaviour modification is a more intense repeated behaviour such as biting, or an excessive behaviour and requires a more in-depth review of why this is happening and methods to move the dog forward. So I do offer the basics of teaching your dog to sit, down, wait, engaging with you whilst on the lead, recall, manners with visitors, to the more extensive aggression and excessive barking, and working through separation anxiety/distress issues.. I have a family group of 19 dogs at this time made up of 80% rescue dogs, all different breeds, and for all different reasons. Not only has this enabled me to see the impact of living with some intense behaviours it has also enabled me to see how other dogs interact with these dogs to enable them to inhabit the same space with in the family home, which is a medium size 3 bedroom house (no mansion) and an average size garden. With this 'in-house' training that I have received I am in a unique position to help you with your pet. At the end of the day it's about your dog and enabling them to develop 'life skills' to live in the human world.

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What do you love most about your job?

See the eureka moment when the dog gets it and the owner gets it!
Watching the relationship change from one of frustration to one of genuine enjoyment of being with their dog(s) as the owner sees the relevance of clean training cues and the dog begins to seek those cues to do the behaviour that is required. In other words 'What do you want me to do, Mom/Dad?' 'Ok, I get it' relationship.

What inspired you to start your own business?

I have had a different type of business in the UK, and then when I moved to Canada. I set up this business as was working as lecturer/trainer and then Head of School within a local college and wanted to do something that gave me the flexibility to offer the dog training and behaviour services. I had studied during my tenure within the college although according to pictures I was training my Nanna's dogs when I was about 2, later German Shepherd's my father acquired to guard premises, this was from the age of 9, and later Rottweilers from about the age of 14 .

Why should our clients choose you?

I offer a comprehensive back ground in teaching due to undertaking study, I am qualified (post grad) in mentoring and coaching and have undertaken extensive theoretical study to enable a grounded approach to the practical aspect of the owner training their dog. I look at it as teaching the owner the necessary the basic training skills and observation techniques to facilitate the dog building up those life skills.

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Making sure your pup is trained properly really matters. Without the necessary groundwork, you’re risking your dog’s wellness and security, as well as the safety of any other dogs it comes into contact with. It’s also important your dog is trained so that it can integrate properly with you and your family. Keeping it out of trouble will save you a lot of hassle (and potentially costly repairs too).

Making sure your dog listens to commands is very important. Not only will handling it be less stressful, but it can stop dangerous conflict with other animals. Furthermore, if your dog doesn’t want to listen to you, situations such as dealing with traffic can potentially become fatal. On the upside, having a well-trained pup enables you and your pet to socialise properly with other dogs and their owners.

Having a dog that is obedient means that life around the home becomes plain sailing. With good manners, your dog will be able to tell the difference between right and wrong behaviour, while being able to foster good relationships with other members of your family. These connections can help to build a fruitful relationship with your pet as part of the family. Time well spent together will allow you to both grow together, sharing experiences and creating the type of memories that make having a pet so worth it.

How about becoming an authority figure yourself? Although your trainer will help your dog get up to scratch, they will also teach you a great deal about the fundamentals of dog training. This includes not only how to handle your own dog, but principals that you can use to understand and better interact with other dogs too. Being able to help out less-informed dog owners can be a wonderful gift to have, and something that you can take further if you enjoy it.

Having a well-trained dog also means that taking your pet to the veterinarian will be a lot easier than it would be otherwise. Considering the nature and volume of work that they have to do, being a vet is tough, let alone dealing with an uncooperative pet in their surgery. In some cases, dogs can become violent when approached by a vet – definitely something they don’t need. By having your dog properly trained, you can avoid injuries – for both your dog and your vet – as well as unnecessary embarrassment upon visits.

When hiring someone to train your dog, there is plenty to think about. The needs of both you and your pet have to be considered and so taking some time to sit down and work out what is important to you is a must. Down below are a few of the questions you might ask when it comes to finding the right dog trainer –

Should I go for group or private training? Each comes with pros and cons – those with a brand new dog can expect their pet to socialise and start to develop relationships with other dogs.

Does my dog need generalised training or would training in a specific area suit it better? One example of this is if your dog has an issue with barking, or separation anxiety. In these cases, someone that can specialise in tackling these issues would be optimal.

Do I need long-term training or do I need a quick fix? Goals such as conditioning your dog for agility or developing a routine will need more time with a trainer.

You should also take care to see what type of strategies your trainer uses. There are a wide variety of techniques that can be applied in order to change your dog’s behaviour – but not all of these involve kindness and care. It’s good to talk to prospective trainers about the ways in which they choose to teach your dog, including methods of both discipline and praise. Techniques such as positive reinforcement are very beneficial for dogs and are particularly powerful, while being enjoyable for them.

While your dog is your priority, how you communicate with your trainer is important too. Your trainer’s should be able to translate their understanding into constructive advice. A good trainer can tell you both what is working in terms of training your dog, and what isn’t. This includes passing on insights of what to do to correct certain issues, while conveying these ideas in a constructive, friendly way. In order to do this, a trainer needs to not only be able to express themselves clearly, but also be diplomatic and observant.

There are various ways in which you can choose to train your dog. Some owners opt for private lessons, while others will put their dog through group daycare.

Group sessions are valuable not only because they are more budget friendly, but also because they are better as a long-term option. This is because your pet will have time to get to grips with a wider variety of commands. However one-on-one training provides your dog with lessons that are specially tailored to their needs, helping them learn in the best way for them.

There are also the various levels of obedience training to take into account. As well as classes specifically for puppies, there are basic educational classes, adult training, agility and advanced tutoring. Which of these you go for can affect pricing, as well as how quickly your dog learns (depending on its needs and comprehension).

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