Our training methods

Wagging School uses humane and practical reward-based training methods.

Kaye Hargreaves is a leading expert and practitioner in the field of reward-based dog training. Her approach is practical and effective. Kaye constantly updates her knowledge and practices by reading, doing research, attending seminars and conferences and critically evaluating the effectiveness of her training program.

If you introduce humane and sensible boundaries, a few house rules and guidelines for how to relate to people, you will have a happy and well-behaved dog. It is not necessary to dominate your dog. True leadership is shown by being calm and humane, and giving your dog a lot of feedback. Interrupt unwanted behaviour and encourage good behaviour – never take it for granted.

Many problems can be avoided if you establish a routine and reward your dog for good behaviour. You can use the motivation of whatever your dog likes to bring about and reinforce the behaviour that you want.

There are many ways to deal with unwanted behaviour including behaviour problems, without resorting to yelling, reprimanding, hitting or harsh leash corrections. Kaye has a detailed knowledge of strategies to change unwanted behaviour – and no, just ignoring the behaviour doesn’t cut it!

Specific methods which we use and teach include:

  • Simple every day life rewards
  • Selecting the highest value reward – whether that is food, play with toys, praise and interaction from you, or permission for your dog to “go and do your own thing”
  • Reinforcement of useful default behaviours
  • Use of a bridge word or marker
  • Lure-reward methods as taught by Dr Ian Dunbar
  • Clicker training, emphasising shaping of behaviours
  • Targeting, using your hand, a target stick or a special marker
  • Introduction of humane and sensible leadership practices in every day life

Kaye’s philosophy is that “there is no one size fits all”. We choose the methods that are most suitable for you, your dog and what you want to achieve in training.

See what the Australian Veterinary Association has to say about dog training methods:

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