Canine Coaching Frequently Asked Questions

Concept training focuses on developing qualities (life-skills) like calmness, confidence, or flexibility. So, if your dog is very active, barking a lot, can’t settle down etc, focusing on daily routines, training techniques, and games that build calmness, helps your dog learn to be calmer generally.

Playing games imitates experiences dogs have in real life, however with games the learning is done in stages, in a fun, low pressure way, and away from the real life situation (initially). So, if you play games at home where the dog is rewarded for being close to you, they learn there is value there. This later transfers to loose leash walking, since the dog knows it’s a good thing to be near you.

This is easiest to explain with an example. Let’s say your dog is pessimistic (many dogs are as this is a survival thing) and cautious about new sights, sounds, people or dogs. 

Playing games that involve your dog exploring strange objects, stepping on strange surfaces, making noises themselves – all paired with reward, helps shift the dog’s perspective from pessimistic to more optimistic, essentially re-shaping their brain.

Behaviours like sit, down, come etc, can be developed through games too, however initial focus is on on developing your dog’s life skills (concepts), such as calmness, confidence, and connection. When your dog is calm and confident, teaching things like sit or ‘wait’ is so much easier.

Concept training through games is all about your relationship with your dog. See the dog in front of you = your unique dog. Identify their needs. Play games geared to your dog – games (fun) where your dog makes choices and learns where the value is. You relax and enjoy the experience with your dog since these are games after all. 

Games help with ‘behaviour issues’ the same way they help with ‘regular behaviour’, by reshaping your dog’s brain and experience. Tracey develops a plan with you that targets the key areas creating the problem. So, for your barking dog, this may mean a focus on games that help with calmness, confidence, and disengagement.

Yes and No. While Tracey encourages the family to be part of the training and children are often involved, it really depends on the children’s ages and abilities and the dog’s behaviour and needs. If there are ways the children can be involved, Tracey will encourage this.

Safety for everyone comes first though.

Unfortunately, only private sessions are available at this time. However, if you meet with Tracey to develop a plan for your dog, there is the option of ‘on line’ games based learning that Tracey can connect you to and help you with as needed. This is more economical and flexible as you can watch the lessons and train whenever you like. Tracey can also refer you to good local classes.

Tracey’s goal is to help set you and your dog up for success, so she can guide you to the options that are best for you. There are great free training links on her Resource page. There are also lower cost options that Tracey can talk to you about, to get you started with your dog’s training.

All sessions are paid in advance either through the website or via electronic bank transfer. No refund or credit will be issued for cancellations less than 24 hours in advance of the session.