FAQs

Charges

What are your charges?


This depends on the service that you require. Details can be found in either the 'Private Sessions' section, or the 'Classes & Seminars' section of the website. Plese note that I normally work within a 15 mile radius of my base (SN15 2FF). I charge an additional £1.00 a mile to travel further afield.




Are there any hidden charges?


We will always be honest an upfront with regards to our costs so that you are never in the position where you are suddenly billed for something that you weren’t expecting.




What if I need to cancel


If it becomes necessary for you to cancel a course after you have booked and paid for it but before you have started it we require 10 day’s notice for a refund to be made. Any refund made will be reduced by an administration fee of £15.00. If you start the course and then cancel, fail to turn up to a course or one to one booking no refund will be made. Should a face to face course need to be cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control (such as in the instance of Covid 19), group video sessions will be offered at the same day and time as the original course. Should clients decide not to attend the sessions then no refund will be made. You may cancel your purchase within a period of 14 working days beginning the moment you place your order. However, there is no right of cancellation where the course begins within a 10 day period. If we are hosting another trainer or professional for workshops and training courses, there is a 'no refund' policy applied to these events.





Group Classes

What do I need for my first group class?


Ideally you will need to bring your dog’s bed or a mat to give them a familiar and comfortable place to settle during the class.

Treats are also essential. They need to be tasty and motivating, perhaps something special like chicken, ham, hot-dog sausages, fish or cheese as this will divert your dog’s attention from all the distractions around them. Sadly their mealtime kibble, doesn’t tend to be tempting enough in this busy environment. If possible, bring a variety of treats so that you can swap them in order to keep your dog interest.

Also highly recommended is a toy to keep them busy when they are not actively involved in the session, this will (hopefully) allow you to watch the demonstrations without distraction.

Your dog must wear their collar or harness and be on a lead at all times whilst at the venue.

Please note that flexi leads are not permitted at class as not only are they heavy and make it difficult for handlers to manage the things that they need, but they can also cause injury. Additionally, the varying length of of the lead can cause confusion to the dog, making loose lead walking particularly difficult.




Are your group classes a place where my dog can socialise?


These sessions are to teach both yourself and your dog new behaviours.

Whilst your dog will come into contact with other dogs, they will need to be kept on leads at all times. We do encourage meet and greets but they need to be limited for a few moments at a time so that the experience can be a positive one for both dogs and their owners. This also helps to teach the dog impulse control and the need to be calm around other dogs.




Can I buy treats at your classes?


There will be a small selection of treats available at class




What if my dog misbehaves in class?


Don’t worry, no dog is perfect and this is happens to most people at some point. The beauty of this is that my classes are fully supportive and I will be there to offer you guidance and support.




Does my dog need to be vaccinated to attend classes?


Due to the importance of early socialisation, your puppy is welcome to attend the classes after their first vaccination. However, owners are advised to seek the advice of their Veterinary Surgeon with regard to this.




Are children welcome at the classes?


Of course! I love to have children involved and I recommend that the whole family comes to classes if possible so that you can be sure that you’re all using the strategies consistently with your dog. All I ask is that children are well-behaved and do not approach the other dogs unless the instructor has asked them to do so (with their parents’ permission, of course!)

Please note that children remain the responsibility of their parents and it is recommended that an additional adult attend so that the handler can fully focus on the dog training

Please note that any goverment restrictions relating to Covid will be adhered to, and may mean that only one person per dog may be able to attend




Why do I need to pay for the whole course in advance?


As the classes have specific structures, it is not possible to slot dogs and their owners into classes at the last minute as they will not have had the benefit of the earlier classes.

The Positive Pup also tries to keep class numbers as low as possible which means that profit margins are low




What happens if I can’t make a class?


If you can't make a class, don’t worry, just let us know. You will have access to the online learning portal so that you can practice what we have covered in your absence at home. If you struggle with any of the behaviours, you can get in touch through the week and we can explain them in more depth to you.

Please note that you will not receive a refund for any missed classes.




What do I need to wear in class?


Please wear something comfortable and I recommend flat shoes/ trainers. It is helpful if you avoid wearing scarves or anything which could flap in the face of your dog (they are easily distracted!).




What are your classes like?


I run my classes in a positive and fun way, so both dogs and owners alike are able to enjoy the sessions.




Why are your classes only 45 minutes?


It is important to remember that when dogs are learning they get tired quickly and do their best work when they are feeling fresh. This is why are classes are limited to 45 minutes.




Will my dog be able to play with the other dogs in class?


The simple answer to this is no as we will be focusing on teaching new behaviours.

Whilst we are keen for the dogs to be able to socialise, it is important that they don’t find the situation stressful as this can impact their reactions to other dogs in the future. Because of this we prefer that the owners allow their dogs to greet each other for between 3 and 5 seconds before calling them away, so that leads don’t have a chance to get tangled and the dogs enjoy the experience.




How will I remember everything?


No need to worry as you will have access to an Online Learning Portal that contains resorces relating to each behaviour, so you can easily practice what we have worked though at home




Where are your classes held?


Classes are currently being held at three venues: Chippenham - Pewsham Community Centre, 2 Lodge Rd, Chippenham SN15 3SY - Venue currently closed Calne - Benson Hall, Briar Leaze, Compton Bassett, Calne SN11 8RQ Corsham - Corsham Rugby Football Club, Lacock Road, Corsham, SN13 9QG




My dog isn't great with other dogs, can they still attend the class?


If your dog isn't keen on being around other dogs then putting him or her in a room full of other dogs is not a good idea. It is likely to exacerbate the problem, cause them distress and they will be unable to learn in that situation, which will likely lead to frustration on your part. Addressing the way the dog feels around other dogs is the best option here, so please do get in touch so we can discuss this further.




My dog doesn't like people he/she doesnt know, can they still attend?


If your dog isn't keen on strangers, putting them in a room with lots of strangers (myself, my assistant and the other dog handlers) is likely to exacerbate the problem. It will also mean that the dog will be unable to learn in that environment, which is likely to lead to frustration on your part. Addressing the way that the dog feels around strangers is the best option here, so please do get in touch to discuss this further.




What happens if you are unable to run a class due to Covid 19 Restrictions


If The Positive Pup has to cancel face to face a class(es) due to government restrictions relating to Covid 19, classes will become virtual. Unfortunately The Positive Pup is unable to offer refunds if clients decide not to attend the virtual classes.





Packages

When would someone need a package rather than a group class?


Packages can be used for a number of reasons:

  • You want to fast track your training with one to one support
  • Your dog is reactive with other dogs or people so a group class would be too stressful for him/her and you, and would be detrimental to your dogs rehabilitation
  • Your dog is a little nervous and you feel that more can be achieved in an environment that is less stressful for him/her
  • You prefer to work within a one to one situation rather than within a group




What do I need for the first session of my package?


As these sessions tend to take place in your home, so most of what you need will be readily available. We do recommend that as many people that live in your home attend so that you can be sure that you’re all using the strategies consistently with your dog. A variety of treats will also be needed as a motivator too. They need to be tasty and motivating to encourage your dog to learn.




Where do you conduct the private sessions?


One to ones usually take place in your home or within an outdoor environment depending on your dog's needs. If this is an issue then please do get in touch as I am sure that between us, we can find a solution.




What if I need to cancel?


Please refer to your package documentation for this information




How many sessions will I need?


This depends on the number of things you would like to address, the severity of any issues, and how much time you have to practice with your dog. This will be discussed during your initial call





Positive Reinforcement

What’s wrong with training using dominance?


Recent scientific studies confirm that dominance training increases the likelihood that a dog will be fearful and aggressive rather than teach the behavior that we are aiming to for. Click here to read more about how dominance theory has been disproved.




What if I have been using dominance training methods in the past?


It is important to note that all dogs can respond to positive reinforcement training, regardless of their age or background. This is great as it means that no dog is a ‘lost cause’ and improvement can be made

Additionally, to ease your mind, the skills will be taught in a safe, non-judgemental environment so there is no need to feel concerned or embarrassed whatsoever.




Why do you use treats?


When a dog eats, their brain releases dopamine, which reduces stress and enables them to actively learn. Food is also primary reinforcer and creates a physiological reaction in the dog’s body, which is associated with feeling good.




What exactly is positive reinforcement?


Positive reinforcement is the act of giving your dog a reward when he/she responds to you or offers an action or a behaviour that you like. These rewards can come in the form of praise, food, toys, or anything that your dog values really. A positively reinforced behaviour is a behaviour that is likely to be repeated. In a nutshell it teaches your dog that good things happen when he or she does the thing you like.




Who is Victoria Stilwell?


Born and raised in Wimbledon, England, Victoria Stilwell is one of the world's most recognized and respected dog trainers. Click here to find out more about Victoria and her journey within the industry.





General

What area do you cover?


I normally work within a 15 mile radius of my base (SN15 2FF). If you live outside of the radius please do get in touch and I’d be happy to discuss further. Please note travel charges of £1.00 per mile do apply for journeys over 15 miles.




Where are your classes held?


Classes are currently being held at the following venue:

Corsham - Corsham Rugby Football Club, Lacock Road, Corsham, SN13 9QG




How long will it take to train my dog?


As all dogs and situations are different, it is impossible to tell how long it will take. That said, as long as the work is put in, positive reinforcement as a method gives long lasting results.




Why should I choose you to train my dog?


Finding the right trainer isn’t easy and can be a scary prospect. The last thing you want to do is waste money on the wrong solution and cause any long term problems for your dog, right?

Because of this it will be reassuring to you to know that during my time at the Victoria Stilwell Academy, I have had the benefit of training from some of the best people within the industry.

Even more encouraging is that the positive reinforcement method I have been trained in is backed heaps of by scientific evidence and is proven to be the best method available to achieve outstanding results.

To add to this you can guarantee that your dog will enjoy these sessions and will love to learn!

VSA_Graduate




Marketing / Privacy


The personal information on your booking form will be kept confidential and won’t be passed to any third party.

We may send out occasional emails and marketing to the email address provided. If you would like to opt out of these please let us know.

Photographs are occasionally taken during training sessions to be used on The Positive Pup social media sites and/or the website. If you do not wish for your photographs of you or your dog being used please let us know.

Any written feedback given on the feedback form maybe used for marketing purposes. If you do not wish for your feedback to be used please let me know. Photos and/or videos can only be taken in class at the discretion of The Positive Pup.