In Home Training
Welcome to our In Home Training Module. This is designed to help give you insight into what to do when doing basic In Home Visits. This is a guide and each client visit will potentially be very different.
Prior to the appointment
- You will have very little information about what the situation is you are going to – there is a very good reason for this – the way humans aka owners look at issues is very different to the way we look at issues. As a new trainer you will not be sent to a job that will deliberately endanger you. As your skill set increases you will recognize potential dangers very quickly and do what is required to maintain safety.
- Ensure you arrive 5 minutes early – this gives you the opportunity to ensure you have all you need – ie – in home information pack – lead – etc
You have arrived at the location
- If the house is fully fenced – DO NOT WALK IN – If the owner is not waiting then call them to ensure it is safe to enter so you do not get bitten.
- Scope the yard – always ensure you know an emergency exit route if required.
- As you approach the door listen out for what is going on inside – (yelling, barking, talking to the dog etc)
- Look at the door – is it strong and stable – be prepared to have your foot at the base for your safety so if the dog charges the door it doesn’t open and you have a kujo on top of you.
- Knock on the door – press bell etc – Listen to what happens – you know if there is a thud the dog just rammed the door – there will most likely be barking and an owner yelling at the dog – this all starts to form a picture of what is going on.
Owner greets you at the door
- The owner may be in varying states of distress or anxiousness – if there is no dog present simply greet them ask them how they are doing and introduce yourself. If the dog is there ALWAYS look at its behaviour to determine if it is safe to enter whilst it is off lead – if not and is is being aggressive then ask the owner to pop on a lead – safety is always a priority when developing your skills.
Inside the location
- As you go inside this is where you will get 90% of the information you need to make a determination of what is happening.
- Always have in the back of your mind the emergency escape route.
- Ask the owner what is going on and what they would like to achieve. DO NOT acknowledge the dog. If is jumping on you push it down as you have been shown. Watch its behaviours as you are talking to the owner.
- Watch the interactions between the owner and the dog – ie is the owner constantly talking to the dog, patting the dog at inappropriate times etc
- As you enter areas scan them. You are looking for things like a blanket on the lounge, hair on the lounge, multiple toys lying around, food in bowls, water in spray bottles, evidence of multiple pets or humans you havn’t been told about. At the end of this will be a list of things and what they can mean to a trainer.
Start the Training
- Once you have an idea of what is going on you can start the training of the human – notice I said human – dogs are easy – you need to train the owner. We start with the in home information pack and go thru basics with them – major ones are
- Social space
- Dogs don’t understand english
- Your voice is the treat
- You are the object of desire don’t be on tap
- The consequences of reinforcing wrong behaviours by human nurturing
- We want the client to have a big win in the first lesson and generally this means them being able to walk their dog.
- Before you fit the halter make sure you have explained to the client exactly how they work and why they are so much better for the dog as a training tool and the benifits to them
- Explain what the dog is likely to do and why – usually this is a spack out over control and in most instances is resolved in 15minutes to a fairly good extent.
- Have vet wrap on hand – you will learn to read a dog and when to use it but you can always use it straight up till you build your confidence. Explain to the client what it is for and how it works.
- Wrap the dogs paws first – they will be kicking up a stink once the halter is on and it will be more dangerous for you. The wrapping will vary according to how smart the dog is from just dew claws to a full boot.
- It will stop the dog hurting their face thru scratching but will also distract the dog from the control from the halter.
- Fit the halter – always ensure you fit the collar first and make sure there is only room for 2 fingers so it will not come off over the head.
- The next is the nose piece – please use the 3 times method as explained later.
- Once you are connected the dogs response will vary considerably based on many factors including the owner and you – this is why it is so important to explain it prior to the client. You will need to be calm and attentive to the dogs response – this is very important to how quickly the dog will accept control. Please follow the method as shown and again outlined below.
Going on the walk
- Depending on the issues will depend how you approach the walk – unless you are dealing with reactivity issues it will simply be a case of lead control and demonstrating to the client how to do it. You will need to have a level of control first and the dog walking nicely for you prior to giving to the client to learn.
- Add the command Sit to the walk just like in obedience.
- Ensure Client confidence
Mat Training at home
- The next part of the first home lesson is the mat training. Being able to explain this to a client correctly and succinctly is very important. It is the foundation of the respect and control the client needs to be able to progress and for us the starting point of being able to layer everything else in terms of control in and around the home.
- It must be done without the aid of the halter as the halter represents control and we want the human to be in control, the only exception is if the dog is very strong in comparison to the human and we need to create a habit first and more slowly remove the control – this will need to be explained the human as it means training will take a bit longer.
End of session
- The final part to the lesson is making sure the client understands everything you have taught them – reassure them and make sure they have your number if they have concerns. Give them their homework and rebook their next lesson – take payments and let them know what you will be doing in the next lesson.
- The next lesson is purely dependant on the issues that you have gone to see and will vary considerably. As you are starting out it will likely be just basic obedience and manners around the home that you will have to deal with.
Second Visit to the client
- The second visit to the client should be easier – you will see straight away if they have done their homework based on visual improvement.
- Ask them how they have gone since your last visit. This will give you an idea on what you may need to revisit or of issues that may have popped up.
- Ask them to show you how the mat training is going so you can see if you need to add additional help to ensure it is correct.
- Depending on the issues you will now need to vary times and locations of the mat training and start laying in all the other control methods of obedience. This is different to the more serious behavioural issues you will learn as your skill set improves.
- Finalize visit and rebook.
Third Session with the Client
- As per the second visit make sure everything is going well.
- At this stage we want to ask the client if we have so far achieved their expectations and achieved their goals – the big but here is have they been doing as you have asked? this is the opportunity to address this now.
- Continue your planned training
- Schedule your final visit and homework
Final session with the client
- This should be more of a follow up and adherence to what needs to be done.
- If required use this session to proof the dog.
- Give future homework – ask for a review – and congratulate and remind them of how far they have come
What things mean around the home
- Dog food in a bowl – Primary resource – if the dog can access food when it wants on its terms it will start to take control – it will also mean the dog wont eat when required as it can usually eat on its own terms not yours.
- Hair or blankets on the lounge – the dog helps itself to this position when it wants and not on human terms
- Spray bottle of water – High chance it is used as a disciplinary tool rather than a focus breaker – and used incorrectly
- Toys lying everywhere – the dog will not respect the human as the resource controller as it can access these whenever it wants but will also then get bored of them
- Dogs jumping at glass doors barking – high degree of likelihood the dog has been rewarded by this behaviour from the human
- Dogs lying in front of and between you and the owner – Social blocking and claiming of the human as a resource.
Fitting the halter – three times method
- Fit the collar first so it is snug and will not even under force slip over the head.
- Wrap the nose halter part around the nose to give you an estimate of how big it needs to be – this needs to be quick and unwrapped just as quick – praise the dog and adjust halter.
- Repeat the process to get it more exact.
- In this process you are desensitizing the dog partially
- The third time you do this will be when you clip it – you need to have your lead handy to attach immediately as the dog will begin to react within 10 seconds.
After fitting the next 15mins
- Once your lead is attached and the dog starts to react you will need to be very calm. As the dog starts to jump around you will need to be able to move with it but provide control. If it is pawing at its face lift the lead up till they stop. the second they stop release the tension. If they place their paws on the lead then simply hold the lead steady they are just trying to control the lead – they will remove their paws and the second they do the tension is released which equals the reward.
- Once they are calm just stand there for a few minutes praising them for being calm.
- Try to move off calling them – if they react again repeat the above process – after about 15mins or sooner they will start to walk for you.