Here is a list of some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) when thinking about training with Positive Pet Training;
How do I contact you?
Call us on 07785 800008 – we try to answer calls but if we are busy training then we will call you back as soon as possible. Please leave a message with your name and the best time to receive a call.
What about for veterinary help?
If you have any veterinary enquiries please call 01538 542009. You can also download the free PawSquad app where you can message Katie directly.
Where are you based?
We are based in Staffordshire Moorlands in Whiston village, between Stoke on Trent and Ashbourne on the main A52 Ashbourne road. If you have an older satnav the postcode ST10 2BF will likely take you into Cheadle instead. If this is the case you can try ST10 2HZ to bring you to Whiston. Stay on the main road in Whiston, don’t turn up Black Lane. We are on the main road with a car park and large Positive Pet Training Dog Academy sign on the building.
Can you do training at my home?
We happily offer training in your own home! This is particularly useful for training specific issues in your home e.g. toilet training, visitors or on your regular walks. We recommend home visits for all of our behaviour consultations and all cat training. We can also start training sooner at home for puppies before they are vaccinated.
What days and times do you offer training?
We can accommodate any time of the week for one-to-one training subject to availability. Our classes are run on a range of times during the week including weekends and weekday evenings. Please contact us to ask about our current classes.
Why should we train with Positive Pet Training?
At Positive Pet Training all of our training is force free (meaning we do nothing to hurt or scare your pets), high welfare and science based training. Our whole background is focused on the science behind training. We are proud to offer extremely high quality training in top of the range facilities! All our trainers are registered with the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and the Animal Behaviour and Training Council (ABTC). This means they have been examined to a high level. Dr Katie Friel-Russell BVSC APDT MRCVS is also a veterinary surgeon.Ian Friel-Russell APDT was a Class One Dog Trainer in the Royal Army Veterinary Corps. We have both been working with and training dogs for over ten years and have a wealth of experience between us.
How is Positive Pet Training different to other trainers?
Firstly we are force free! I know we say this a lot, but it is because it is so important! We are not like old school dog trainers who still hurt and scare pets in order to get the behaviour they want. Our training also focus much more on real life training to help dogs cope in the modern world. We focus on what matters to you and help you understand your dog more. This way we can work on what matters to them too!
Secondly this is our business. Ian is a full time dog trainer and Katie works part time whilst also running our own home visit veterinary practice, PawSquad. Our facilities are top of the range and are purpose designed with your pets in mind. Many other classes are held in village halls but this means very little flexibility for times and often slippery floors. Our purpose designed flooring offers just the right amount of grip for your dogs feet for the best safety available. We also have a secure outdoor training area with purpose designed substrate. This is perfect for all the high impact training like agility work, or for any joint concerns.
We pride ourselves on offering a high, professional training service following years of education and experience.
Why do you ask us to attend a seminar before classes?
Our training is aimed at teaching you to be able to teach your dogs at home. Therefore lots of training is very theoretical rather than practical which can be very boring for our dogs. The seminar is aimed at helping you to understand the science behind training. Which allows us to fit in more practical exercises in class as we have less theory to cover. Seminars are run regularly and you can attend, meet us and see our facilities . We discuss training options if you are unsure what suits you, your family and your dog.
Do you offer training for all breeds and ages?
We certainly do! The saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is completely false! We can teach dogs of any age and any capability. At Positive Pet Training we always recommend starting young where possible. This prevents your dog (and you!) from picking up bad habits. As an introduction we always ask you to attend seminar first. You then progress onto Life Skills course and then APDT Good Companion awards are the next stage!
We also train all breeds of dog and both have a wealth of knowledge working with all breed groups and plenty of fun cross breeds! Science has now shown us that there is more variation in behaviour in one breed than there is between different breeds! There may be certain training you and your dog might find more enjoyable/important due to the job they were bred for.
As Katie is a veterinary surgeon we also specialise in training dogs prior to surgery. If we can help them cope with long periods of enforced rest prior to surgery then the success rates increase. We also specialise in training for dogs with health issues so please get in touch to discuss your dog’s specific requirements.
Do we have to use treats in your class?
We do use lots of treats in class. This is because science shows us that treats are what we call a “primary reinforcer”. Which means that (as long as we find the right treats for the dog) it will be something that makes your dog want to do the behaviour again for that reward. Unfortunately fuss and verbal praise are not primary reinforcers. Through training for many dogs we can train them to see them as secondary reinforcers. This means initially lots of treats still. We discuss this in more depth in our introductory seminar and are happy to cater for any dietary requirements.
What kind of training do you offer?
We offer all sorts of training! First thing to decide is would you prefer one-to-one training or group classes.
- One-to-one training means we can focus exactly on what you and your dog need/want to work on. We have huge flexibility and can fit training in around your work and social life.
- Group classes are at fixed times every week but are a great way to socialise your dog with other pet guardians and dogs. It is great fun to see the whole group progress and it is never a competition between dogs. We all do the same work so we cannot personalise the class to a problem specific to your dog.
Areas of training we offer are;
- Life Skills training – these are like obedience style training but focused on real life situations.
- APDT Good Companion Awards – these are progressive levels continuing and refining the Life Skills training.
- “Just for Fun” training – this includes dog sports such as agility and Treibball. Also trick training, ringcraft, gundog work and Ian’s true specialty scent detection work. These are great if you just want something fun to do with your dog. Or if you’re interested in working towards a goal we are happy to help you progress. This training is currently offered at one-to-one training to help you and your dog focus on what is important to you!
Why and how do I get a veterinary referral for a behaviour consultation?
Many behaviour problems occur due to medical issues. Although I am a vet and will assess your pet in the consult for any medical concerns I have, it is also essential that I have access to all previous medical history. It is also important to have your vet involved in the referral process. They will often be involved in some of the treatment too and need to be aware of any changes being made which could affect future treatments they prescribe for your pet.
If you have any other questions please feel free to contact us!