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Cool, Calm and Connected

How to live joyfully with your reactive dog

Is having a reactive dog getting you down? Do you have days when you wish you could just go for a walk without planning a military operation? Do you look wistfully at people walking their dogs in the park without a care in the world and think “why can’t my dog just be normal?”

When your dog struggles with other dogs or people, it does make life hard. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With the right mindset, knowledge and tools you can live joyfully with your reactive dog, while you work on helping them to change their behaviour.

This new weekend workshop, designed by the author of the best-selling book Your End of the Lead, brings together elements from Your End of the Lead, Animal Centred Education (ACE), Tellington Touch, and Control Unleashed, to enable you to make a significant shift in how you live and work with your reactive dog. It will help you and your dog build confidence, connection and calmness.

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You will learn

  • how to change your mindset, so that walking and working with your dog is no longer something to dread.
  • how to observe, understand and start to remove all the elements that contribute to your dog’s reactivity, even if you can’t yet leave your home without a reaction.
  • how handle your dog gently and kindly, so that you do not add additional tension to the lead.
  • how to deal with other people and loose dogs and how to protect your dog when out and about.
  • how to calm your dog if they start to get stressed and how to keep yourself calm even when things are challenging.
  • practical and effective training techniques that will keep your dog safe and help change how they feel about their triggers.

"Janet's courses and knowledge have really helped me be a better, more confident owner. I have learnt so much. Thoroughly recommended."

- Kathryn Carter

Can I bring my dog?

This workshop can have up to 20 participants, including up to 6 handler places for those whose dogs can cope within a workshop environment. These dogs may be moderately reactive but need to be able to see other dogs at a distance without becoming overly stressed. The handler places are not suitable for dogs who are people-reactive. If your dog reacts to people, please book a non-handler place and learn the techniques that way.

To help you decide if the workshop will be suitable for your dog ask yourself:

  • Can my dog pay attention to me in a hall with other dogs present, using barriers and food if needed? No dog will be off-lead and no dogs will need to meet but if the presence of other dogs in the room will stress your dog then they may not be ready for this workshop.
  • How quickly does my dog recover if they do react? Dogs attending the workshop may react to other dogs but they will be able to recover quickly and continue working.
  • Will my dog be comfortable resting in my car for part of the day? The nature of this workshop is that parts of it will be for guardians only and parts will involve dogs working individually, so dogs must be happy, safe and comfortable in vehicles (or in a crate in a different room if this can be arranged – please check with the host). We will schedule sessions to ensure that no dog is left for an excessive amount of time.
  • Will my dog be comfortable with other people watching them work? Attending dogs will be demonstrating techniques for the group so need to be comfortable with groups of humans.

If you are still not sure, please ask the host or myself.

Please note: the techniques discussed in this workshop will help more severely reactive dogs than described above, including people-reactive dogs, so please do book on as a non-handler even if your dog doesn’t fit the description above. Everyone will get the chance to practice techniques and be actively involved in the workshop. We limit the level of reactivity in the dogs attending because it is important that dogs who attend are as comfortable as possible.

About your instructor

Dr. Janet Finlay has been working professionally with dogs for more than 15 years and is an Animal Centred Education (ACE) Instructor, a Tellington TTouch Practitioner 3 and an accredited dog trainer with the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (01046). She also has more than 20 years experience in higher education and is a qualified coach for people.

Through her business, Canine Confidence, Janet specialises in working with the guardians of reactive dogs. She teaches internationally and runs a number of successful online programmes. Her recent book, Your End of the Lead, outlines her holistic approach to helping with reactivity.

Janet lives with her two dogs Martha and Otter in Northumberland, where they can often be found exploring the wonderful beaches.

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