Home - Dog Training and Behaviour

A trained dog is a happy dog!

Paws In Hand provides professional dog behaviourist services throughout Dorset, parts of Wiltshire and the Hampshire border  and runs professional puppy classes and dog training classes with easy access from the towns of Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, Wimborne, Ringwood and Blandford. Please see CLASSES. Many vets recommend us!

We run puppy parties. "Puppy Life Skills" is for puppies which have not yet been vaccinated. We can take them in as soon as you have them and they can attend our Puppy Life Skills course until age 12 weeks. Please go to Puppy Parties for more information. These are held in Ferndown, near Bournemouth and Poole.

Paws in Hand can help hold your paws and hands right through from 8 weeks and beyond so that you can start teaching your puppy and learning how to socialise your new puppy and "Read dog" from the earliest stage. Since we have been doing Puppy Life Skills we have seen improvements in the follow on puppy classes for those puppies that started with us at 8 weeks old. They have improved confidence, are generally calmer, more focussed on their owner, relaxed in the presence of other dogs, learn more quickly and have already learned how to interact appropriately with each other better than most of those that did not attend.

There are very few well trained dogs found in canine rescue centres. A lot of dogs end up in rescue for genuine reasons, however, many dogs end up in rescue centres because of training or behaviour problems. But dog training should be fun for both you and your dog! Using today's techniques there is no need to use harsh techniques or for the dog trainer's bark to be worse than the dog's! Using rewards enables you to have fun watching your dog enjoy and respond to training! Why should you find a dog trainer who uses fair, kind and effective techniques? Well, because if you use punishment or confusing pack theory techniques you risk damaging your relationship with your dog which will impact the effectiveness of training given. Also, if a dog is fearful or confused they cannot learn. The same applies to humans. So it's important that both dog and owner are happy with the environment and the dog trainer's techniques in order to ensure that effective and enjoyable dog training is possible.

Puppy socialisation is such an important part of how well a dog grows up, do read "Want to get a puppy" as this contains essential information for you. Please make sure you especially read the bottom section on puppy socialisation as this contains information which is extremely important. For those who are getting a puppy for the first time I can come to your home for a special puppy consultation to help you to establish the right way of doing things from the outset. Many vets now run puppy parties which are an excellent start to puppy socialisation and training. These are great if the puppies are on lead as this helps them to learn social skills if properly supervised. However, these are not a substitute for puppy socialisation and training classes as socialisation takes much longer than a few puppy parties and it is highly recommended that puppies attend puppy parties, puppy classes and at least one more follow on session taking them over the age of approx 6-7 montsh as intense soicliastion is required during this stage. Not to continue supervised socialisation can lead to puppies becoming fearful and potentially aggressive.

As a qualified dog behaviourist I can help people to have a dog they are happy to take out for a walk and to trust and happily live with again. There are many causes of dog behaviour problems and contrary to the opinions of some unqualified dog behaviourists it is not always the owner's fault or anything to do with being a pack leader! It is the job of an experienced and qualified dog behaviourist to understand the causes of the problem and help the owner to overcome the problems they have. Problem dog? No problem! Just go to dog behaviourist services for more information and to start the journey of restoring confidence in your dog. 

I am a qualified dog behaviourist B.SC (Hons) Applied Animal Behaviour and Dip CABT (Coape). I am an affiliate of COAPE (Centre of Applied Pet Ethology) and a provisional member of the APBC (Association of Behaviour Counsellors). Please see "About us" for more about what this means. I take referrals from Battersea Dogs Home, Waggy Tails Dog Rescue charity and numerous vets in the area.  We specialise in aggressive dog training and offer classes for dog aggressive dogs which we affectionately call the Grumpy Growlers course.

A member of the APDT I also run dog training classes and outdoor training classes in Dorset using fair, kind and effective techniques and I have been assessed in action.  I deliver one to one dog training in Dorset, Wiltshire and Hampshire and no travel charges for one to one dog training in Ferndown, West Moors, Bournemouth, Wimborne, Christchurch, Southbourne, Highcliffe, Mudeford, Ringwood, Kinson, Alderney, Poole, Parkstone, Branksome, St Leonards, St Ives, West Parley, West Moors, Three Legged Cross, Verwood, Holt, Blandford and many other locations in Dorset and Hampshire. If I travel more than 20 miles return I charge .45p per mile over this distance to cover the cost of fuel.  I run dog and puppy training and socialisation classes in Ferndown, Stapehill Wimborne, Poole and St Leonards within easy reach of West Moors, Wimborne, Kinson, Longham, Bournemouth, Alderney, Parkstone,Three Legged Cross, St. Ives, St Leonards, West Parley, Corfe Mullen, Ringwood, Broadstone, Blandford and Verwood. For full details please see "book a class" for more information about all the classes we run and to book. 

A client once asked why she should use food rewards when the farmers of old never used food rewards to train sheep dogs. My response was that for a Border Collie there is nothing more rewarding than herding, so the basic training for this breed is inherently rewarding. We need to bear in mind that if a farmer had a sheep dog that could not be trained the dog was inevitably drowned! There is no argument that the harsh techniques can be successful but not for all dogs! Dogs which are trained using punishment are often soulless as they have had their spirit broken and punishment can make behaviours worse or produce more problems. Don't get me wrong, I do not believe in permissiveness, but punishment should be well thought out and not scary, threatening or painful. Dogs need to understand both what is expected of them and also what is wrong. Punishment is as subtle as ensuring your dog does not profit from an undesirable behaviour. If you want to feel good about your dog, use an approach that is extremely successful and if you want your dog to enjoy life and have a spirit, then find a trainer or behaviourist who uses kind techniques.

If you are looking at this site you have already decided you want to or need to train your puppy/ dog! That's great news and I welcome you. Welcome to a fantastic relationship with your puppy/dog using effective and kind training techniques and I wish you many years of fun and walks with your friend!

I do hope you find the information on this site useful. If there is something you would like to see which isn't there, please Contact me with your suggestions!