Frequently asked questions
Hopefully you'll find the answer to your questions here, but if you don't we're always happy to answer them for you. If you don't find the question or the answer here then fill out the enquiry form on the contact us page, or call or e-mail Dale!
How old does my dog need to be to be trained?
Well this is an easy one! As soon as you are ready to train .... as long as your puppy has had it's first injections then you are ready to rock and roll! It's never too early to start training your dog. The earlier you begin training the less bad habits your puppy gets into.
Is my dog too old to be trained? Surely you can't teach an old dog new tricks?
No! It's never too late to train your dog! It doesn't matter how old your dog is you can always teach it something new. Sometimes it can take longer to train an older dog, but it isn't impossible. The more bad habits you have to break the longer it will take to train, but it is a perfectly reasonable expectation to expect your older dog to learn new behaviours, or to change old ones. Dales' oldest dog is 13 and is still learning new tricks!
Which service is right for me?
Now that is a very good question! Each of our services have their advantages, and sometimes more than one service may be right for you!
Our classes are great for teaching your dog to listen to you around other dogs, they are also a very cost effective way to train. We have 2 instructors in each class so the ratio of students to teachers is very good, you will get individual attention. Each class has no more than 8 dogs enrolled on the course. Our class contents are based on our own experiences of living with a pet dog so that is what we train! Also all of the dogs in our classes are friendly so you don't need to worry about your dog interacting with the other dogs on the course!
One to ones are a great option if you want to work on a specific behaviour, or have a dog who doesn't like other dogs. If you are having an issue which is not covered in our classes, or feel you need more individual attention then this really is the option for you. We can come to your house or meet you somewhere where you are having the issue. Sometimes working in a classroom environment isn't what you need with your dog, and it can be difficult for the trainer to see the behaviour if you remove the dog from the environment it happens in.
Residential training is a great option if you are struggling to train the dog yourself. Your dog will have several intense training sessions every day in as many different environments as possible. Maybe you have been struggling with your dogs training, and it's just not clicking. Once we've trained your dog we will then train you! Once your dogs training is over we don't just leave you like some other companies do, we offer full support after the training has been done. You can stalk us on the phone, e-mail or Facebook for as long as you need to! And if you need to meet with us for some top up sessions then this is fine, we're happy to help!
Can my children get involved in the training?
Yes! We actively encourage all members of the family to join in with the training. If everyone is doing the same thing then your dog is going to learn faster and the training will be effective. We are a very child friendly club and welcome your children to come to classes, one to ones, or the person training part of the residential training. While you train with us your family is our family!
I've used other trainers before and didn't like their methods .... what methods do you use?
All of our methods are reward based. We help you to train your dog with the same level of care and affection we have used with our own dogs. We use various rewards to reinforce the desired behaviours and a series of penalties to discourage the unwanted behaviours - time outs, redirections, verbal cues (uh uh, or no). We don't use check chain, prong collars or electric collars, and we will never advocate you hitting or pinning your dog to the floor. We believe that by teaching the dog the difference between right and wrong using kind methods we achieve a long lasting training result, where the dog both loves and respects you and will follow your command because it wants to not out of fear or submission.
Other trainers have told me my dog is untrainable, can you help me?
We'll try our best! We don't believe that any dog is untrainable .... it's just a matter of finding the right motivator and technique. It might take a while to find them both, but rest assured that we will always try our best to get you a realistic and achievable result with your dog. Every dog has a motivator and once you've found it training is a piece of cake! We've not sent away an untrained dog yet!
Can I see you train before I book in with you?
We would love you to come and meet us before you book with us. You are welcome to come along to our classes and watch, or come along to a Social Walk or a Workshop. We walk most weeks on a Saturday morning and this is the ideal time to come and meet Dale and her dogs, as well as meeting other clients who you can ask about the service and what they think of it!
Finding a good Dog Trainer seems like a mine field .... how do I know that you are one of the "good ones"?
VIP work very hard to ensure that you are happy with the service. Dale not only has years of experience under her belt she also has a good level of education & qualifications. She is constantly going to courses and seminars to ensure that she is always up to date with the latest methods. Dale is also affiliated to The British Institute of Professional Dog Trainers, a Member of The Guild of Dog Trainers, The Institute of Modern Dog Trainers and The Pet Professional Guild, giving you a guarantee that the methods used at VIP are kind, fair and effective. She is insured and CRB checked, as well as a qualified first aider for people and dogs. Your dogs welfare and education is our priority, we take great care to ensure that everything we do with you and your dog is not only effective but leaves you feeling comfortable. But don't take our word for it that we are good, look at our testimonials page, or come along to a social walk and ask our clients what they think.
How many dogs do you take in for Residential Training at a time?
This is an easy one .... unlike some other companies we only take one dog at a time, or 2 from the same household. We don't feel it is fair when you are paying for personal attention for us to split our attention between your dog and someone else's dog. We also don't feel it is fair on your dog or the trainers dog to expect them to get used to several strange dogs. While your dog is being trainer with the trainer it is very important that your dogs feels comfortable and happy, the welfare of your dog is our priority.
I am interested in the Residential Training, but I'm not sure what to expect .... help?
Residential training isn't a quick fix to your training issues, but is a great way to kick start it. Because we are dealing with a free thinking animal we can't guarantee what your dog will or won't learn during their stay. This is why it's important that we book the right length of stay for your dog. If we book too short a stay then it is possible that your dog won't have learned much and you may be disappointed with the result! It is also good to bear in mind that you will have some teething problems when you get home with your dog, which is why we are always on hand to support and guide you, and why we will book a one to one for a week after you have had the dog back so that we can discuss the difficulties you have been having and help to put them right! We won't just leave you on your own once the stay has finished, we will work with you for as long as needed to make sure you are happy with the result.
My bitch is in heat, can I still attend?
Yes, we would still encourage you to attend classes, or our social walks. Your bitch will come into contact with other dogs while in heat and she needs to learn to listen to you during this time, just as other dogs need to learn to ignore bitches in heat. But if this happens please let the trainer know.
You've trained my dog ... now can you train my husband?
As much as we'd love to be able to say yes, we're not miracle workers! If we could train husbands we wouldn't need to train the dogs .... however, we have found that with the right motivator you can get some basic behaviours from the husband! We can't train them to put their pants and socks in the washing basket, put down the toilet lid or stack the dishwasher ... but with some beer, football and a comfy arm chair we have had a high degree of success with the sit stay!
VIP Dog Training Services
Contact us! Telephone: 07957 806 752 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org