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FAQs

Your dog training and behaviour support questions answered

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A TRAINER AND A BEHAVIOURIST?

We are often asked this question and although they do different jobs there are many cross over areas in what we both do.

  • A dog trainer teaches people how to teach their dogs and depending on the training package you may have booked they sometimes teach your dog for you.

  • A behaviourist uses their extensive knowledge and expertise to understand what is motivating your dog to perform the behaviour you’re worried about. This is critical for your dog to be able to learn new behaviours or coping strategies to cope with difficult challenges e.g. dog to dog issues, human fear issues, barking, poo eating etc.

  • Behaviourists also help you to teach your dog those new behaviours too. They may need to work with your Veterinary Surgeon too and Vets generally refer clients to behaviourists rather than trainers.

  • Many behaviourists are also trainers, such as Sandra Raw. The other trainers at Worcester Dogs also have an excellent understanding of behaviour and canine learning theory.

  • Without a doubt it is a minefield, and anyone can call themselves a Dog Trainer or Behaviourist. Just remember, any good trainer or behaviourist should use kind, reward-based training methods with a behaviourist educated in Canine Behaviour to at least degree or master’s level and use science based compassionate force free methods.

I LIVE OUTSIDE WORCESTER – DO YOU TRAVEL OUTSIDE THIS AREA?

Absolutely we would be very happy to help you and if you are in any doubt please just get in touch. We routinely cover Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, West Midlands but we are happy to discuss travel costs with you. 

WHAT IS YOUR TRAVEL CHARGE FOR HOME VISITS?

We charge an additional 40p per mile for visiting outside a 10-mile radius from our office. But please get in touch to discuss if you need further help with this. We keep our travel charge fair, transparent and reasonable but we need to include it for distances outside our 10-mile radius as this is time, we could have been seeing a client and charging our normal hourly rate. 

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TRAINING AND BEHAVIOUR?

One to One Training sessions with you and your dog. They are for teaching your dog or puppy certain behaviours whereas a Behaviour Consultation is aimed at addressing and changing a problem behaviour.  For example, jumping up or lead walking or recall are considered training issues and, therefore, a one to one training session is appropriate.  

WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE WORCESTER DOGS FOR BEHAVIOUR SUPPORT?

To be able to fully understand and successfully change a dog's behaviour, it requires significantly more expertise than simple training.  Unlike many others, Sandra Raw is qualified to master’s level in canine behaviour.  

DO I NEED TO GET A REFERRAL FROM MY VET TO SEE YOU?

We accept referrals from vets and will ask you to request a referral from your Vets to us if you contact directly. We send you via email a Worcester Dogs referral.   At that point of contact, we will ask for your vet's details so that we can contact them to ask for a medical history to be sent through to us; this should not cost you anything.  In some cases, your vet may ask for you to visit them before our initial consultation in order to rule out potential medical causes (illness or injury, for example) which need to be addressed before behaviour support can begin.  

WILL THE COST BE COVERED BY MY PET INSURANCE?

This is entirely dependent on your insurer and your policy.  Some insurers will pay for our services on vet referral, but you must check this with your insurer first if you plan to make a claim.  We usually only accept payment in advance directly from a client but are happy to provide you with an invoice with which to claim the money back from your insurer). 

In every event, you must ensure that your insurer will cover working with us before engaging our services if you are relying on them to reimburse you.  

WHAT WILL HAPPEN BEFORE THE BEHAVIOUR CONSULTATION?

When you book your Behaviour Consultation, you will be sent a confirmation email containing a questionnaire to be filled in and returned to us.  This gives us your dog’s behaviour history so we can prepare for the consultation and ensures we don’t spend time at the home visit gathering this information and can get started on solutions for the problem.  Of course, at the consultation appointment, there will still be lots of opportunities to discuss the issues or for you to elaborate on the information already provided. We then spend a considerable amount of time analysing all of information we receive beforehand.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN AT THE BEHAVIOUR CONSULTATION?

The Behaviour Consultation will last for approximately 2 hours and will take place in your own home at a mutually convenient time.  We will discuss key points in the information you provided prior to the meeting and your dog's behaviour will be observed and discussed.  You will be given clear advice and any methods or training techniques will be explained/ demonstrated to you (this will also form part of the follow-up session).  The aim of the consultation is to determine the best way to manage and change your dog's behaviour. There is always plenty of opportunities to ask questions.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN AFTER THE BEHAVIOUR CONSULTATION?

After the consultation, a short-written report/ action plan will be forward to you; this will detail what was discussed and observed and will set out how to begin to modify the problem behaviour.  A copy of the report (or a summary of it) will also be sent to your Veterinary Surgeon.  Any follow-up sessions will be an opportunity to review everything and start to put in place some practical steps with our expert guidance. This is essential so that you know exactly how to implement the strategies suggested.  

CAN YOU GUARANTEE THAT YOU CAN SOLVE THE PROBLEM?

Nobody can guarantee anything when it comes to a dog's behaviour because every dog is an individual.   For that reason, you should be very wary of anyone who guarantees to do this for you or to ‘fix the problem’.  The successful outcome of the situation depends on several factors: our assessment of the situation and advice, your own involvement and active participation in the process and your dog's response.  What we can guarantee you is that we will use our skill and expertise to determine the issues and develop a personalised plan based on sound, scientific understanding, using ethical and kind strategies to help you to achieve the outcome that you want.  We also guarantee to provide follow-up support in line with the package that you have chosen.  We are usually able to offer additional follow-up support as an optional extra.

WHAT IF I HAVE MORE THAN ONE DOG?

If you only need to discuss issues with one of your dogs, there is no extra cost, regardless of how many dogs you have.  However, if the problem you need help with specifically involves the relationships between your dog’s please choose the 'household dog conflict' option.  If your dogs have separate issues, please contact us and we will put together a bespoke package to minimise the cost for you, rather than you having to buy separate packages for each dog.  Please just ring us to discuss all the options.

WILL YOU WORK WITH ANY DOG OR BEHAVIOUR PROBELM?

We are generally happy to work with any breed or size of dog across a wide range of behavioural issues. Occasionally in some cases which we may choose not to take on for a variety of reasons.  If this is the case, we always endeavour to suggest an alternative suitably qualified and experienced professional who may be able to help you.

ARE YOU INSURED?

Yes, Worcester Dogs is fully insured with a specialist insurer for animal related businesses. We are insured for all aspects of our training and behaviour work