Call Kaye (03) 9489 5095
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Wagging School with Kaye Hargreaves
– Reward-based Dog Training
♦ Kaye is the founder of Wagging School, and one of Australia’s foremost behavioural dog trainers and authors who specialises in training unruly adolescents and difficult dogs with the use of positive reinforcement. Her methods are humane, sensible, practical and effective. They show her deep understanding of dogs, her life-long love for dogs, as well as a lifetime of learning in behavioural science.
See Chance’s gallery
Read about Kaye’s dog training CV, her experience with Wagging School, her various publications and her dogs.
“After some years of training my own dogs, I began to offer “individual lessons in your own home” in 1989. This came about because I noticed that regular dog obedience clubs were not meeting the needs of pet owners for practical help with managing their dogs especially in the home and in every day life situations.
I began reading widely. I was particularly influenced by the writing of William E. Campbell and his approach to dealing with the causes of behaviour problems and finding non-punitive solutions.
I also became aware of the existence of positive reinforcement training as an alternative to the prevailing “correction” model. I had done some Psychology in my Arts degree, so I was able to find my way around text books going into learning and reinforcement in detail.
In 1993 I went with Wendy Nicholson to the US and attended a seminar with William E. Campbell, and was lucky enough to spend a few days with him. We have remained in touch ever since. I believe his understanding of dogs is profound, and under-recognised.
I also attended several seminars and workshops with Dr Ian Dunbar, who is another major influence, especially in the way he makes training relevant to the real needs of pet dog owners.
I visited, observed and sometimes participated in the activities of several dog training establishments in Los Angeles CA, Bend OR, Denver CO, Rochester NY and Toronto Canada, as well as visiting and assisting in a training session at Dogs for the Deaf in Oregon.
As part of the same study tour, I attended a 5 day Volhard Instructors Camp with Jack and Wendy Volhard. This was valuable, although their methods are not those that I have chosen to follow. I had a valuable discussion with Jack Volhard, who was an administrative law judge in his “day job”. I had at that time just completed my Law degree. I decided on my return to Australia to go into dog training full time. Jack felt that a legal education would not be wasted, as dog training was in great need of people who could bring the skills of systematic thinking and writing to bear on the subject. I have come to believe that this was indeed an important insight.”
Photos for this page will be available shortly.
Kaye demonstrating a Simple Come and Sit with Goldie, Valley, River, Steal and Scoobie.
I am the self-employed proprietor of “Wagging School”, offering individual dog training and behaviour problem consultation, as well as small group classes. I use positive methods, including both clicker and lure-reward training.
I have emphasised practical training of pet dogs, and have designed puppy classes as well as basic, intermediate and advanced level dog training courses.
I also designed and taught Animal Actors training courses, which had four levels, to prepare dogs and handlers for film and television work. I have instructed and supervised handlers doing film work and have trained and handled animals on set myself.
In 2003 I decided to concentrate on doing a limited number of individual consultations and further writing.
In about 2008 I was unable to continue with any dog training because I had severe osteo-arthritis in both hips, which resulted in losing my mobility. However, in 2011 I had two successful hip replacement operations. I am now able to walk again. I am planning now to pass on my knowledge through further writing and by offering Instructor Training seminars and workshops to dog training organisations using positive reinforcement. I have a small group of people who I am mentoring, and they now help to run group classes.
As well as offering individual and small group classes, I have given seminars throughout my dog training career:
1. Understanding Dog Behaviour – An 8 week seminar course for trainers, instructors and people working with dogs (1993)
2. Puppies – their behaviour, socialisation and training – A seminar for veterinary nurses & people working with puppies (1995)
3. Dogs and Small Children – a seminar series for parents (1996)
4. Safer Handling of Difficult Dogs – resources for vet nurses and people working with dogs (1998)
5. New Insights Into Dogs – an intensive course for instructors and advanced handlers (1999)
6. Health and Behaviour : the whole dog – a series of seminars on the relationship between health and behaviour problems (1999)
7. “Do Dogs Think?” – discussion and references provided for a seminar topic for undergraduate students in Psychology at Monash University.
8. What Is Positive Training, and is it what you think it is? Seminar presentation, hosted by PATS (Positive Animal Trainers Society) (2001, repeated in 2002)
9. Aggressive behaviour in dogs: a positive behavioural approach, PATS (VIC) professional development seminar (March 2002)
10. Taking the “nightmare adolescent dog from hell” class – a workshop for dog training instructors. Presented to Hastings Obedience Dog Club (June 2002). Hastings is a positive club.
11. Ask Aunty Kaye, a workshop session conducted for the Southside Dog Club, (a new positive training club) which involved a practical demonstration of training techniques for an unruly adolescent dog that was a challenge for both owner and instructors, as well as answering other training and behaviour questions.
I have designed and conducted these seminars myself, and produced extensive written materials for participants.
In addition, I have conducted workshops, along with other PATS members, on Positive Training (2001 and 2002). I was responsible for giving an overview of positive training techniques, assisting in an advanced clicker training workshop, taking a workshop on teaching tricks and other useful behaviours without the use of a clicker, conducting a session on troubleshooting training problems, and participating in a panel discussion on the introduction on positive training methods.
From 2003 I concentrated on my writing, producing the books and articles that are presented on this and other websites.
I was accepted into membership of the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors (NADOI) in the US, on the basis of a written test, in 1992.
I joined the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) in Toronto, Canada in 1993, and first joined the Australian APDT in February 2000; after leaving the work force for health reasons, I rejoined the Australian APDT in 2013 and also joined the US APDT.
I was an active member and past president of the Positive Animal Trainers Society of Victoria Inc. (PATS) from 2001 ~ 2003.
Over the years I have had quite a few dogs. My first dog after leaving home was Delta, a small mixed breed dog. She was joined by Rock, a Border Collie X from the Lost Dog’s Home. After I lost Delta, Stackpole came along. Then I had River and Valley, both German Shepherds from Narnia Kennels. On the morning after River’s death, Elgar, another GSD turned up as a stray. Then another stray, Nicholas turned up.
River was very focussed on me.
River’s first trophy: German Shepherd Dog Club, 1986, below
River gained her CDX obedience title, below
Say Your Prayers was River’s favourite party trick.
Another one of River’s favorite party tricks was “pick the pocket”. She is seen below relieving Ann of $20.
Being doggy people, we are so focussed on the dogs that we cut people’s heads off. Sorry Ann!
River and Valley used to come to training classes with me, and watch on the sidelines while I took classes.
This is a typical image of them at the scout hall where we trained.
And here is a portrait of them looking quizzical. Probably disapproving of some dog being trained!
And below, a more conventional portrait of River and Valley.
Rock was a Border Collie cross who came from the Lost Dogs Home. It was only after I had done the paperwwork that they told me he was not a lost dog but had been surrendered by his owner for being “uncontrollable”. In fact he was very active, very smart, and very trainable.
Seen here with River and Valley, he lived to the age of 17.
The morning after River died, Elgar showed up, and I adopted him. He was found on Elgar Rd, so I called him Elgar. It turned out he was epileptic.
His favourite position was on the couch watching other dogs being trained. He died in June 2005, aged 11. two days before my father’s death.
AKA “Mr Scruffy”, Nicholas (below) was found as a stray in the grounds of St Nicholas Church, hence the name. (It was actually in Wellington St, but I couldn’t call him Wellington – it seemed far too pompous). He died suddenly in November 2007, aged 11.
His favourite tricks were “Say please” and “Bow”, but he was also good at lying down (See below)!
After Valley and Elgar had died I acquired another German Shepherd, Chance, through a small GSD rescue service run by a woman called Occy. Chance had been surrendered with papers. It turned out she was Valley’s great grand daughter! At present (since Nicholas died in November 2007) she is my only dog.
I have been describing Chance (below) as being “high Prey Drive, nine and a half years old and almost out of the puppy stage”. However, she has just turned ten, and is suddenly starting to show her age. However, she is still full of enthusiasm for walking and playing with her toys.
FOOTNOTE: On 17th December 2013, Chance left us at age ten and a half. See below.
VALE Chance. Died peacefully 17th December 2013.
Another German Shepherd succumbing to hemangiosarcoma.
This is a collage of Chance on her last day, showing no symptoms. That evening she had an abdominal bleed, which is the pattern with this insidious cancer. I chose to have her peacefully euthanised. RIP “Pants”, aka “little dog”.
For more information:
call Kaye on 9489 5095 or 0477 975 012