Rayleigh Dog Training

Rayleigh Dog Training

Private dog training lessons in Rayleigh

1-2-1 Dog Training in Rayleigh, Essex
In 2018 Christina moved to Rayleigh, Essex. She is currently doing private dog training lessons in Rayleigh, and will also offer dog training and behaviour workshops in Rayleigh in 2019.
  • Puppy Training in Rayleigh

      Young puppies (under the age of 14 weeks) soak up information like a sponge… both the good and the bad! Get your new little one off to the best possible start with private lessons with Christina. These will cover walking on the lead, coming when called, sit, lie down, stay, not jumping up, toilet training, feeding, settling overnight, resting during the day, and not biting and chewing people or things you’d prefer they didn’t! It will also include a time of socialising your puppy with Christina’s own, friendly dogs, training your puppy in the busy town centre, as well as teaching your pup to settle quietly with you whilst you’re at a friend’s for a cuppa and other ‘real life’ training that you need. Christina is very experienced at training puppies (having done so since 2004) and can recognise subtle indicators of potential behaviour problems helping you to handle them correctly from the start and therefore avoid them.

      1-2-1 Puppy Course - for puppies under 6 months old
      Lesson 1 – Christina will come to your home (if you live within 5 miles of Rayleigh, otherwise you are welcome to come to her home.) This lesson will cover some basic training​ as well as talking through everything you need to know to settle your puppy in and get them into a good routine. (If Christina is coming to you, puppies that have not yet finished their vaccines are welcome to have this lesson, in fact the earlier, the better!) Lasts approx. an hour and a half.

      Lesson 2 – You come to Christina’s home in Rayleigh. We will continue your puppy’s training and then will teach them to settle in a new environment whilst you have a cuppa (if you’d like) and we chat through any questions you may have. Lasts approx. 45 mins.

      Lesson 3 - You come to Christina’s home in Rayleigh and we will train in Christina’s large, secure garden for recalls and socialisation time with her own dogs. Lasts approx. 45 mins.

      Lesson 4 - You come to Christina’s home in Rayleigh and we will train around the busy centre of Rayleigh, (getting your puppy used to paying attention with distractions as well as training and socialising.) Lasts approx. 45 mins.
  • Pet Dog Obedience Training in Rayleigh
      Dog Obedience and Life Skills

      Beginner dog training including coming when called, walking on the lead without pulling, sit, down and stays. Also help and advice with any other training areas that you need assistance with. Christina is very experienced at training pet dogs (having done so since 2004, and having overseen a couple of thousand dog’s training.) Her experience means that you can avoid many training problems and she has a variety of ways to train most things meaning that it isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ as every dog and owner combination is different. Her aim, along with most owners' is to help you have a happy, friendly, relaxed dog that you can take anywhere with you. She helps you and your dog love spending time together and learning together, as well as having fun.
  • Dog Behavioural Consultations in and around Rayleigh, Essex
      Dog Behaviour Problems

      Because people and dogs speak different languages and have different ideas about what is socially acceptable problems can sometimes arise. Some problems can be eliminated completely, whilst others can be brought within a more manageable level. Very occasionally Christina cannot help and will give you an honest assessment of the situation if she thinks that it cannot be improved. Usually the sooner that we can start work to overcome the problem the more chance we have in being successful in solving it before it has time to become an ingrained habit.

      Christina is highly experienced in seeing dogs that bark, bounce, chew, don't listen, don't come back, pull on the lead, are not house trained, have fears and phobias, and those that are generally all over the place! She has also seen a lot of aggression cases over many years, both dog to dog aggression and dog to people.

      In some cases it may be that you will be asked to take your dog for a thorough vet examination to make sure that there isn't an underlying health cause for the behaviour (you would be surprised how often this is the case.)

      • Usually there is a communication breakdown somewhere along the lines between the dog and the owners and the aim is to help the owners to understand why their dog is doing what they are doing and also to help the dog to understand what their owners want them to do. This requires owners to be consistent in their approach.
      • We aim for owners to feel calmer and in control and dogs to be calmer and more self-controlled.
      • We aim to build the sort of lifestyle which means that because the dog is getting enough exercise (and the right sort of exercise,) the right sort of training to build understanding and co-operation with their owner, enough mental exercise and enough rest (dogs should sleep for approx. 17 hours out of every 24 hours,) they do not have the need to exhibit the wrong sort of behaviour.
      • Although there may be times when it is necessary to be firm, our aim (unlike some others) is not to punish the problem behaviour. Most problems are due to stress and a lack of understanding (often from both owners and dogs) and aggression in particular is usually fear based. If, for example, you punish growling and the dog is still concerned (probably now more concerned after being punished) they now have no way of telling you how they are feeling and this is how dogs often learn that their only option is to bite with no warning. Christina aims to help dogs overcome their fears so that the behavioural problems go away naturally.
      • Sometimes dogs really are just being very over-excited, silly, giddy and all over the place! (In these cases they are usually going through the adolescent phase of their lives, between 6 months old to 2 years old.) In these cases it may be that owners need be to calm but firm, but this is still possible without inflicting fear or pain. Christina will not use shock collars, spray collars, choke chains, prong collars, rattle cans, training discs, throttling techniques or kicking! When appropriate she will use head collars, harnesses, a firm voice and handling techniques that do not allow the dog to continue the unwanted behaviour. We will also out-think the dog - afterall, we are meant to be the more intelligent of the two species!!!
      • At the end of the day remember what your dog was bred to do and don't be surprised that your terrier has gone 'hunting' and digs in your flower bed, your lurcher is chasing rabbits, your collie is nipping and rounding up the children and your German Shepherd that has never been socialised is barking at strangers when they come to the house. Often (although not always,) these problems can be overcome but it's worth remembering that certain breeds of dog are more prone to certain natural behaviours becoming problems in the wrong settings!

      What to expect -
      • The consultation - Lasts about 2 hours and is usually in your own home. We will look at your dog’s history, experiences, everyday life, training, exercise, food, health (and if need be you will be referred to your vet for further help,) as well as the specific problems that you are having. This gives a complete overall picture of your dog, meaning that we can treat the root cause of the problem, not just the symptoms.
      • We will then look at ways that we can improve things. In some cases this may include ‘first aid’ measures to keep you and your dog safe whilst we are re-training your dog.
      • Will we be using food? Probably. Food is a ‘primary re-inforcer’ that will be used not to bribe your dog (it really isn’t very effective long term being used in this way,) but as a way of clearly communicating to your dog what behaviour you like (behaviour that is re-inforced becomes strengthened and is repeated,) and used in the right way it can also be highly effective in altering emotional responses to different situations.
      • Will you need follow-up sessions? Possibly. We do our best to make these affordable and will only suggest the minimum number that we think you need, and it’s entirely up to you if you decide you need these or not. An example of this would be if your dog barked and lunged at other dogs. We would use some of the time during your initial session to assess exactly what was going on and then if needed you would be shown training and handling techniques for you and your dog to practice calmly at home for a week or so. During a follow up session (possibly 30 mins) you would work with Christina and one of her dogs. During another session you would work with her and one or two of her other dogs and if you wanted a final session out and about with your dog that is also possible. If you decide that you’d like to do any other training after that point it’s entirely up to you. You will probably find that sort of problem would require you and your dog working on it for a little while, however after those initial sessions you should have the skills needed to be able to sort it out without us (that’s our aim - however we’re still here if you need us!)
  • HTM (Heelwork-to-Music)
      HTM (Heelwork-to-Music) Heelwork and Freestyle (Dancing with Dogs) - All are welcome from complete beginners to top competition standard.

      HTM has two categories - Heelwork and Freestyle and Christina judges and competes at advanced level with several of her dogs in both. Freestyle is a series of ‘moves’ that are set to music (don’t worry, you don’t have to dance if you’d rather not!) and Heelwork includes a variety of different heelwork positions and directions that are also set to music.

      HTM is Christina's speciality and greatest love in working with her own dogs, and also her greatest fun in working with other handlers and their dogs. She is an Advanced HTM (Heelwork-to-Music / Freestyle) KC Judge and currently competes at Advanced level in Freestyle and Heelwork. She has wide experience of working with a variety of breeds with her own dogs as well as her many clients' dogs. Caleb, her Great Dane and Asaph, her German Shepherd got her started in HTM and Freestyle, Eze, her Border Collie competed at the Crufts Freestyle Finals 2014 and 2015 finishing 5th in the UK and was also part of the British Team competing at the Open European Championships (EOC) in Holland in 2013 and Germany in 2014. Ru, her current Great Dane is the only Great Dane in the UK to compete in HTM and as far as we are aware the most advanced HTM Great Dane in the world competing at advanced level and qualifying for the 2015 Crufts Semi Finals. Ru has also been  part of the HTM Dog Activities Main Arena Display Team at Crufts for 3 years and although he has pretty much retired now, he still loves to have fun with HTM.  Shai, Christina's current Border Collie is competing at advanced level, and Wilma, her Basset Hound (also the only HTM Basset Hound in the UK - Christina likes a challenge!) is about to start competing and has also been part of the Dog Activities HTM Display Team at Crufts. Benji the Chihuahua has just started his training, but has definitely decided that all moves related to running and jumping are fun! (We think he may also choose to be an agility dog!)

      Christina is equally happy to work with complete beginners or advanced level competition handlers. She’s happy to work on moves, heelwork, choreography, drive and motivation, or calm concentration (having had to work on both extremes with her own dogs,) or anything else that you are needing help with. You are welcome to have lessons at Christina’s home (this is probably the  most cost effective way for her to help you with choreography,) or you can work outside or hire a hall or training centre (the cost of which would be extra.)

      Christina also loves taking HTM training days for other dogs trainers, either as a one off or a regular training group. If this is something that you might be interested in please ask.
  • Dog Agility Training
      As with all dog training agility is all about teamwork with your dog… just at a faster pace! Teach your dog to negotiate the obstacles and follow your lead as you aim to get around the courses as fast and accurately as possible.

      Christina loves agility training and successfully competed with Eze (her Border Collie) at KC agility shows (when she found the time!) When time allowed, she trained with previous World Agility Champion, Jo Tristram and she has also been on several Clear Qs specialist agility camps with her dogs. Christina feels very strongly that dogs and handlers need to learn to build a partnership where they understand each other and work together. Teaching your dog consistent handling is vital to this being possible.

      Christina also recognises that many people have no desire to compete in agility and purely want to have fun with their dog. If this is you, you are also VERY welcome! You will still be taught the correct handling and will teach your dog the contact equipment safely. This is also essential so that if at any point you do get the ‘agility bug’ and decide that you want to compete you won’t have any ‘undoing’ to do.

      Please note that safety is of paramount importance to us. Dogs will not be allowed to do ‘proper’ agility until they are at least 12 months old when their joints are relatively developed (for very large breeds this will be older.) We can do puppy and young dog foundation lessons that safely teach them to run ahead, turn, change direction and listen to you, all without the need for any equipment at that stage. We are very happy to do agility with elderly dogs too (Christina’s elderly German Shepherd LOVED her agility - however the jumps were an inch off the floor and she wasn’t allowed to do weave poles or contact equipment for safety’s sake.) Also, please don’t be offended if we gently suggest that your dog may need to loose weight if they are safely to jump full height.

      NOTE - This is slightly weather dependant at the moment and may be a little more expensive depending upon the venue needed (please ask for more information.)
  • Other types of dog training including –
      Tricks and fun – Enjoy a fabulous relationship together with your dog by learning new, fun things together.

      Rally – Learn the Rally obedience signs and negotiate interesting courses together with your dog.

      Assistance Dog Training – From walking sensibly with a wheelchair to emptying the washing machine, taking your socks off to picking up your purse, turning lights on and off to opening and closing doors. You tell us what you need your dog to do, and we’ll teach them to do it.

      Socialising puppies with good adult dogs – Christina has 4 lovely dogs of her own, all of whom are used to mixing in an appropriate manner with puppies. Puppies need to learn how to play, BUT just as importantly they also need to learn to be confident but calm and sensible around other dogs. Well socialised adult dogs are by FAR the best teachers of these skills.

      Dog Owner to be! - We LOVE it when owners do their homework about finding the right dog for them. We’re happy to talk through helping you find the right dog for you, both puppies and rescue dogs. We are also happy to assess local rescue dogs to find the right one for you. In addition we will be able to give you all the information that you need to be able to be ready for when your new 4 legged family member arrives.

      Other – let us know what you need… we’ll let you know if we can help!
  • Client Comments
      These are just a few of the lovely comments Christina's dog training clients have left for her...

      Christina’s Workshops and Talks

      May I say thank you very much for the talk night last Thursday, both my husband and I found it fun, informative and have been studying Jessie ever since. J

      Hello Christina, I just wanted to E-mail you to say a big thank you for the Heelwork-to-Music course yesterday. Willow and I had a great time and learnt so much from you. It is good to be able to talk and get ideas from people who share the same interest. If you do anything similar again we would be very interested. Once again thank you. Regards A and Willow

      Hi Christina, just wanted to say, a little late, many thanks for a fun filled HTM day earlier in the month, we did enjoy ourselves, and Tango slept like a log that night! I would be interested in other days that you are running, such as scent training, as now he is officially retired from his chosen sport of agility, he needs lots to stimulate his mind! Thanks again, K and Tango

      Dog Training Courses

      Dear Christina, I could not say very much at the class as I know I would have ended up crying again, but I just wanted to let you know how much Cara and I have enjoyed your classes and how very much they have changed our life. I know that everyone gets a prize and a certificate but I can't tell you how pleased we are with ours and how much they mean to me. Before I started with you I had seriously considered giving Cara away as I felt that I could not cope with her and that it was not fair for her to have such a weak owner who could not make her behave acceptably.
      I knew however that smacking or any form of hurting was out of the question for me and so I tended to keep her away from situations that might cause a problem, but this obviously made the situation worse. During and since your classes we are a different dog and a different person. People comment on how much Cara has changed, but I know it is me as well. Your patience and guidance has made me even more certain that an owner does not have to be top dog through roughness or hurting them, but neither do I have to allow Cara to get away with bad behaviour though my not being able to cope with her. You have given Cara and I a quality of life now where I TRULY love her and I am sure that she loves me in her doggy way, rather than before when I sometimes in my worst moments had thought well I am stuck with her as she is my responsibility, but I wish I was not! You have also made me realise that all dogs are not like my previous dog Sooty who was gentle and biddable, but that does not make them less lovable - just more challenging.
      I hope that ICC goes from strength to strength and that your way of teaching soon becomes the accepted norm. We are both looking forward to sharing many more of your classes and can't wait to start our next course. With our very warmest thanks, S & Cara

      Dear Christina, Firstly we would like to thank you so much for our first puppy class, we all enjoyed very much and learnt lots of new training methods for Megan's development, which we are busy practising... Once again thank you very much for a very enjoyable and instructive first class and we are all looking forward to this coming Thursday. Yours with thanks, K R and Megan

      Thank you for all your help we have found the puppy classes invaluable and Megan is responding so well and so much fun to be with. I was absolutely in awe of your Great Dane and the standard of obedience you have achieved, and hope over the next 2-3 years you can teach B and I to achieve the same with Megan.

      Hi Christina, I wanted to thank you for the brilliant puppy classes, Polly and I really enjoyed them, and she is turning into a super responsive hound. S

      Lucy is doing fine by the way, she is really well behaved, something that we can only put down to all the time you and your instructors spent with us. Thanks for all your help. P & A

      Dear Christina, Just to let you know your advice is working with Jack and Megan! Although the behaviour isn't completely eradicated it is much improved - thanks for the help you gave us... Once again many thanks for your help and we look forward to attending your classes in due course. J

      ‘I would like to say thank you very much for everything - you are a really good teacher.’ – U and Kiki

      (E-mail to Christina during a time when E's dog was being a trial!) Thanks, you're better than a bottle of wine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but maybe not chocolate? E

      Hiya! Just thought I'd let you know L. Won starters HTM and came 2nd in starters freestyle on Sunday! ...He was such a star thanks for your hard work with him! Love N. xx

      (From Kennel Club Good Citizen test) Dear Christina, Thank you, and I am exhausted, so I know you will be too. How did you get on? I wanted to say thank you for your support and consideration, I am pleased I was close to you to be able to receive it. I was really nervous. You are a good trainer... K. and S. x

      (From Kennel Club Good Citizen test) Thanks, Christina and well done to you and your little band of pooches too. You worked very hard yesterday having to coordinate three dogs of your own as well as getting the rest of us organised. Much appreciated, lovely lady! See you on Tuesday. J xx

      Home boarding

      THANKS A MILLION! - Christina, thank you so much for the home-boarding for our lively 8-month Springer Spaniel for the week, although he was a handful we could really see the difference in his disposition when we collected him! All the hard work massively appreciated. Your advice and recommendations on how to calm his excitable nature were priceless - the play and feeding techniques you gave us have really helped us to teach him some self-control. He's even following us through the house off the lead, and sitting with us in various rooms without being on the lead - unimaginable a few weeks ago! So once again, thanks a million! Rich and Becca

      Feedback forms from Puppy and Beginner Training Courses
      What do you think that you and your dog have gained from the course? Confidence and enjoyment of working together. What did you think about the structure of the classes? Worked well, right numbers, right length. K
      Did you enjoy the course? Yes, very much. Do you think that your dog enjoyed the course? Yes, she couldn't wait to get through the door each week. What do you think that you and your dog have gained from the course? We as handlers have gained the knowledge of how to persuade and encourage her to do what we want her to do. Did you find the handout sheets helpful? Yes, particularly useful to refer to when problems arise.
      Did you enjoy the course? Yes! I feel I have gained what I hoped from it and more. Do you think that your dog enjoyed the course? Yes, as soon as I pick up my bag to come training he's wagging his tail! What do you think that you and your dog have gained from the course? He has certainly become much calmer and far more responsive when in the company of visitors (dogs and people) which I'm pleased about, as this is what I hoped to gain from the classes. Did you find the handout sheets helpful? Yes, as when I had forgetful moments I could refer to them to check I was doing things correctly. What did you think about the structure of the classes? Good in the way that the dogs and owners are encouraged to remain calm and are talked to and helped individually. Also good that we are spaced out well preventing dogs being too easily distracted! What would you have changed about the course? Nothing, I think it's all well thought out and organised. I would just like to say a big thank you to you for all your help and fun classes and I look forward to your Intermediate Course. S
      Did you enjoy the course? Yes. Do you think that your dog enjoyed the course? Yes, when he settled. What do you think that you and your dog have gained from the course? Skills needed to train new puppies and improve / continue with him. What do you think your dog has gained from the course? More confidence in himself, and I think he's found he enjoys learning! Did you find the handout sheets helpful? Yes, thanks! What did you think about the structure of the classes?Very good, ideal class sizes in a safe and controlled environment. What would you have changed about the course? Nothing, it was very well organised! Thank you for all the help, will hopefully be able to continue his training further with you!

      Talks / Workshops Organised by Christina

      Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed yesterday morning and Fizz came good with what she might be able to do. I am very stiff, need to practice my quick sprints I think! Look forward to next week, regards S

      Christina, Just a quick note to say thank you for arranging the Attila workshop. I thoroughly enjoyed it yesterday and was really impressed with the ability of the other handlers and particularly the talents of all their dogs, especially your Great Dane, you were both a pleasure to watch. Keep up the good work and please let me know of any other workshops you organise in the future. Thanks again. A

      Hi Christina, Just a quick thank you for arranging such an informative workshop with Attila. A and myself thoroughly enjoyed the day and were disappointed to be unable to stay until the end, especially with Attila working his own dog. I hope we did not miss too much. Will you be arranging any more HTM days - presumably not this year but maybe next year. Thanks again - I know how much work is involved with an event like this. L

      Hi Christina, Just thought I'd drop a line to say thanks for organising the workshop today. It was a fascinating day, full of insights. Paddy was a great speaker, and her knowledge and enthusiasm were both clearly apparent. I can't wait for the next one! L

      Hi Christina, Just to say thanks for a really enjoyable day on Saturday. Ness, Allan and myself thought Richard was marvellous and we all learnt a lot. Please let me know if you arrange any other HTM workshops... L

      Many thanks for the lovely training day with Richard. I learned lots. P

      Hi Christina, Thanks for a great day on Saturday, really enjoyed it, even though Diesel spent half the time being a pain. Came away with some great information to put into practice. Cannot wait to get started. Thanks once again, love D

      Many thanks Christina for a fabulous day on Saturday! I was the one with the lights and shadows dog. Chuffed to bits coz we learned to leg weave (something we've previously had trouble with, more to do with my lack of co-ordination than anything else though!), take a bow and on the way home I had a 40 min wait for a train at Driffield station so I taught him to wipe his face too. Now us three from Bishop Burton have to write the notes up for the day to go in the appendix of our training plans, due in a month's time. Hard work this degree, but I'm sure it will be worth it. Greetings to the mouse in the barn, hope he hasn't put a complaint in to enviro health about the noise he had to put up with! Best wishes, B x

      Hi Christina, Just like to say thank-you for a great day on Saturday with the Bob Sharpe agility workshop you put on. Had a great day, Bob is a very good instructor, he tailored the course to everyone's needs, gave some great tips to get dogs working away from owners and to concentrate on the course. I left feeling very inspired and raring to go! Look forward to the next course and hope you do many more. Thanks again D and Diesel P.S. The caterers were great, hope they come again also.

      Christina I just wanted to drop you a note to say how much I really enjoyed the workshop. It was absolutely fascinating, even for a beginner like me and someone with absolutely no ambition in the Doggie Teaching world. It enabled me to glimpse the complex world that is our dogs. I learnt so much about natural behaviour that I shall never look at M. the same way. Even though M. shows no sign of aggression, watching him last night interact with dogs on the walk was a revelation. I also took away some key training points and am going to start today on the "Lift" and "That'll Do" commands. Anne is a fabulous instructor - she has a way of explaining complex information through everyday examples that really enables everyone to understand and engage. Thanks for the positive and rewarding experience. S.

      Hi Christina, Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed today's session, it was very informative even though I had seen some of the info before through the Bishop Burton Course I was able to relate to a lot of what Ann was talking about. Yes, I did have a few light bulb moments and her views on what L. is doing and how to handle her lack of confidence has certainly helped, it's a pity I can't make Sunday as the practical always makes things even clearer - anyway a very good day. Thanks, See you soon, L

      Dear Christina, It was lovely to see you again and I must say the weekend with Anne McBride was brilliant also a lovely group. I wish you and your husband all the best for your new adventure in Cambridge and hopefully see you next year if Anne does a follow up workshop may see you before if I attend any of your other workshops. Take care, L. x

      Hi, Just wanted to say thanks for organising the workshop with Anne McBride, I felt I advanced my understanding of aggression issues so much, and it was good to have the solid theoretical base to work from in looking at resolving issues. I am so glad I've discovered ICC now and hope to get up to some more events soon... Cheers, S.
  • Prices
      At Christina’s home in Rayleigh (includes large enclosed garden / town centre / nearby park)
      • A one off private lesson - £37.50 per hour / £20 half an hour
      • A block of 4 private lessons - must be taken within a 2 month period - £135 for hour lessons / £70 for half hour lessons
      • Follow-on private lessons (after the first block of 4 private lessons, or behavioural consultation) - £35 per hour / £17.50 half an hour

      At your home
      (the first 5 miles from Rayleigh are included in the cost, extra miles will be charged at 45 pence per mile there and back)
      • 1 hour private lesson - £45
      • A block of 4 private one hour lessons - must be taken within a 2 month period - £160
      • 2 Hour Behavioural Consultation in your home - £75
      • Follow-on private lessons (after the first block of 4 private lessons, or behavioural consultation) in your home - £40 per hour

      1-2-1 Puppy Course (must be taken within a 2 month period) - £130