Rayleigh Dog Training

Rayleigh Dog Training

Dog training & behaviour in Rayleigh

Dog Training in Rayleigh, Essex
Christina is based in Rayleigh and is delighted to be able to offer dog training classes, private lessons, behavioural consultations and workshops. For more information about training and behaviour please see below, and for information about Christina's experience, training and approach to teaching dogs please see 'About Us' on the 'Home' page. Any other questions, please ask!

Booking & Payment - You can book on this web-site to reserve your place.
  1. Click on the small payment box of the class / mini workshop you wish to book
  2. You will then see a shopping basket in the corner of your screen - click on that
  3. Click on 'checkout'
  4. Choose your payment method - 'Phone order' isn't phone, it's a cheque or BACS payment (details are given.) The easiest way to pay is 'credit or debit card.' We use Ecwid secure payment system meaning that we cannot see any of your details and your payment is secure.
  5. If you get stuck, contact us - we're here to help!
  • Diary Dates
    • Weds 26th Feb - 12:45pm - Lunchtime Bronze
    • Weds 26th Feb - 1:45pm - Daytime Puppy / Foundation Course
    • Weds 26th Feb - 4:00pm - Afternoon Bronze
    • Weds 26th Feb - 7:45pm - Evening Bronze
    • Fri 28th Feb - 7:30pm - Evening Bronze
    • Sat 29th Feb - Workshop - Just Mooching (for dogs that bark / lunge) - FULL (this event will be repeated so let us know if you'd like a place)
    • Weds 11th March - 8:45pm - Evening Foundation Course
    • 14th March - HTM Training Show
    • Weds 25th March, 7:45pm (then 15th-17th April, 7pm) - Puppy Intensive with Intro
    • Weds 25th March, 8:45pm (then 15th-17th April, 8pm) - Foundation Intensive with Intro
    • More dates to follow…
  • Dog Training and Behaviour Talk and Demo
    FREE - Dog Training and Behaviour Talk and Demo - Next Date TBC…
    At - Holy Trinity Cloister Hall, Rayleigh, SS6 8BB
    Instructor - Christina Oxtoby

    Christina has been doing these talks for many years as a way of giving owners essential information that is generally not taught elsewhere.

    The workshop will cover -
    • How dogs learn
    • Reading dogs’ body language (with video clips)
    • Clicker training (with demos from Christina’s dogs)
    • Cause and effects of stress on dogs

    NOTE - Please do not bring your own dog to these talks.

    This event is being offered free as a way of meeting dog owners, vets and other dog-friendly people in the area, and helping you to get to know us. We won't ask you to sign up to anything or buy anything, we will simply leave businesses cards and if you're interested you're welcome to come to any of our courses. We let the evenings speak for themselves (we were rather inundated with enquiries after the last 2 talk evenings!) we aim for them to be both fun and informative.

    Price - FREE but booking is required

  • 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 between 12 to 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 (if we get chatting it may last a little longer, but the price will stay the same,) 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!)

      Prices -
      • Initial 2 hour consultation in your home - £75
      • Half hour follow up sessions at our training centre (if needed) - £20
      • (One hour follow ups are also available. They cost £45 in your home, or £35 at our centre. We usually encourage half hour follow ups though, so you have time to work on things in-between training sessions. Also, we like to keep the cost for you as low as possible.)
      • Note - for lessons in your own 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.
      To book a behavioural consultation please contact us.
  • Private Lessons
      Private lessons are available for -
      • Puppy training
      • Recall training (coming when called)
      • Walking on the lead without pulling
      • General pet dog training
      • Behavioural follow-up (including barking at other dogs)
      • Agility
      • HTM (Heelwork-to-Music / Freestyle)
      • Rally (learn the rally obedience signs and negotiate interesting courses together with your dog)
      • Tricks and fun (learn fun, new things 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!)

      Prices -
      • One hour in your home - £45
      • One hour at our training centre in Rayleigh - £35
      • Half hour at our training centre in Rayleigh - £20
      • Note - for lessons in your own 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.
      To book a behavioural consultation please contact us.
  • Puppy Foundation Training
      Puppy Foundation Course (Obedience, Socialisation and Life Skills)

      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 our puppy course.

      Christina is very experienced at training puppies 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.

      We don't expect you to have a fully trained puppy at the end of this course, however we will have introduced you to the techniques you need to be able to train your dog, which can then be built upon in our follow-on courses should you wish to do so. As well as the usual basic training that many dog training courses cover, we also include motivation (to get your dog to WANT to work with you,) handling techniques (very rarely taught elsewhere, but incredibly useful,) as well as an introduction to practical uses for clicker training.

      This puppy foundation course covers -
      • Motivation
      • Focus with distractions
      • Clicker training
      • Sensible socialisation
      • Sit
      • Down
      • Stays
      • Settle on a mat
      • Walking on a loose lead
      • Recall
      • Handling techniques
      • Play
      • Obstacle courses
      • Puppy biting
      • Chewing
      • House training
      • Not jumping up
      • General advice about food

      Note - This course is open to puppies who have finished their vaccinations with an upper age limit of 20 weeks old at the start of the course. If your puppy will be older than that they are technically an ‘adolescent’ and are better suited to our ‘Pet Dog Foundation’ Course. (If your puppy is only a few weeks older please contact us so we can help you decide which course would be best for them.)

      When - all courses have the same content, the only difference is whether the classes are once a week, once a fortnight, all fitted within a single week (intensive) or one lesson then a few weeks to practice then the rest of the course within a week (intensive with intro.)
      • Puppy Intensive Week (The puppy course all within 1 week - get your training off to a flying start!) Mon 17th February, Weds 19th, Thurs 20th, Fri 21st - 7:00pm (Venue - Holy Trinity Church Hall, Rayleigh. SS6 8BB)
      • Wednesdays 1:45pm - starting 26th February (once a fortnight - 26 Feb / 11 March / 25 March / 8 April) (Venue - Holy Trinity Church Hall, Rayleigh. SS6 8BB) Please note this is a joint puppy / pet dog foundation course.
      • Puppy Intensive With Intro (The first session of the puppy course, a few weeks to practice then Weds-Fri for the rest of the course - get your training off to a flying start!) Weds 25th March - 7:45pm, then Weds 15th, Thurs 16th, Fri 17th April - 7:00pm (Venue - Holy Trinity Church Hall, Rayleigh. SS6 8BB)

      Price - £49 for 4 classes (classes are 55 mins long with a maximum of 6 dogs per class)

      Puppy Plus! - If you need help with your puppy before you are able to start a puppy course we are very happy to help you with a private lesson (see above.) If your puppy has not finished their vaccines or you specifically need help in your own home please book an hour in your own home, or if they have finished their vaccinations feel free to book either 30 mins or an hour at our training centre in Rayleigh. If your puppy has finished their vaccinations this lesson can include socialisation time with Christina’s friendly adult dogs (the best teachers of good manners to puppies!) We will help you understand your pup’s temperament and body language so you specifically know how best to help them develop into a friendly adult dog. (The ideal time for this is around 10-14 weeks old.)
  • Pet Dog Foundation Training
      Pet Dog Foundation Course (Obedience and Life Skills)

      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.

      We don't expect you to have a fully trained dog at the end of this course, however we will have introduced you to the techniques you need to be able to train your dog, which can then be built upon in our follow-on courses should you wish to do so. As well as the usual basic training that many dog training courses cover, we also include motivation (to get your dog to WANT to work with you,) handling techniques (very rarely taught elsewhere, but incredibly useful,) as well as an introduction to practical uses for clicker training.

      This foundation course covers -
      • Motivation
      • Focus with distractions
      • Clicker training
      • Sit
      • Down
      • Stays
      • Settle on a mat
      • Walking on a loose lead
      • Recall
      • Handling techniques
      • Play
      • Obstacle courses
      • Not jumping up
      • General advice about food

      Note - This course is not suitable for dogs that are likely to bark at other dogs, and we would recommend our 'Just Mooching' course for these dogs (having first had a private lesson or behavioural consultation.) If you are unsure which would be the best course for your dog please contact us before booking.

      When - all courses have the same content, the only difference is whether the classes are once a week, once a fortnight, all fitted within a single week (intensive) or one lesson then a few weeks to practice then the rest of the course within a week (intensive with intro.)
      • Wednesdays 1:45pm - starting 26th February (once a fortnight - 26 Feb / 11 March / 25 March / 8 April) (Venue - Holy Trinity Church Hall, Rayleigh. SS6 8BB) Please note this particular class is a joint puppy / pet dog foundation course and therefore is not suitable for dogs that might frighten younger puppies - if you're not sure please ask.
      • Wednesdays 8:45pm - starting 11th March (Dates - 11 March / 18 March / 25 March / 8 April) (Venue - Holy Trinity Church Hall, Rayleigh. SS6 8BB)
      • Foundation Intensive With Intro (The first session of the foundation course, a few weeks to practice then Weds-Fri for the rest of the course - get your training off to a flying start!) Weds 25th March - 8:45pm, then Weds 15th, Thurs 16th, Fri 17th April - 8:00pm (Venue - Holy Trinity Church Hall, Rayleigh. SS6 8BB)

      Price - £49 for 4 classes (classes are 55 mins long with a maximum of 6 dogs per class)
  • Pet Dog Follow-On
    As soon as dogs have completed their foundation course they are very welcome to move into our follow-on classes - Event Dogs Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards. If dogs have had their foundation training elsewhere they are welcome to join us in our follow-on classes, however if you think you might have missed something we cover in our foundation courses (we include things that most other training centres don't) you may wish to book a 30 min private lesson for us to catch you up.
    • Event Dogs Bronze Award
        The Event Dogs Bronze Award follows on from the puppy and pet dog foundation courses as we continue to work on motivation, teamwork and engagement. We continue clicker training (either with a clicker or a marker word,) and help you understand more fully how to help your dog think for themselves during their training, whilst coming up with the solutions you would like them to! We also work on training dogs without food in our hands so that they are not lured (unless learning a brand new training exercise,) or bribed, and instead choose to trust and work with you knowing that they will still be rewarded for the right behaviour.

        The course incorporates exercises taken from the Kennel Club Good Citizen Scheme syllabus. It mixes these with other exercises to teach dogs to pay attention in a wide variety of circumstances, including everyday life situations, competitive obedience exercises, an introduction to agility and HTM, rally, tricks and games to keep dogs and owners on their toes. It's amazing how many dogs are very quickly bored with sit stays but really start to pay attention again when you throw in the odd twirl here and there! The classes also recognise the social side of dog training for both dogs and owners and are designed to be fun.

        NOTE - The Bronze course is an ongoing course that takes longer than 4 lessons, however we have found that many people find it easier to plan and pay for 4 weeks at a time.

        When -

        • Wednesdays 12:45pm - starting 26th February (once a fortnight - 26 Feb / 11 March / 25 March / 8 April) (Venue - Holy Trinity Church Hall, Rayleigh. SS6 8BB)
        • Wednesdays 4:00pm - starting 26th February (once a fortnight - 26 Feb / 11 March / 25 March / 8 April) (Venue - Holy Trinity Church Hall, Rayleigh. SS6 8BB)
        • Wednesdays 7:45pm - starting 26th February (Venue - Holy Trinity Church Hall, Rayleigh. SS6 8BB)
        • Fridays 7:30pm - starting 28th February (Note - due to Crufts there will be no lesson on the 6th March) (Venue - Holy Trinity Church Hall, Rayleigh. SS6 8BB)

        Price - £49 for 4 classes (classes are 55 mins long with a maximum of 6 dogs per class)
    • Event Dogs Silver Award
        The Event Dogs Silver Award follows on from the Bronze classes (above) and is designed to build upon the dogs' earlier learning. It combines pet dog training and the Kennel Club Good Citizen Scheme with other exercises to teach dogs to pay attention in a wide variety of circumstances, including everyday life situations. The exercises include everyday life situations, competitive obedience exercises, a follow-on in agility and HTM, rally, tricks and games to keep dogs and owners on their toes. It's amazing how many dogs are very quickly bored with sit stays but really start to pay attention again when you throw in the odd twirl here and there! Our games include our now famous 'Supermarket Sweep'. (Technically it may be practicing heelwork, concentration and stays with huge distractions but everyone's having so much fun that they forget that!)

        We also concentrate on helping owners learn how to teach their dog various exercises from scratch thus helping owner's training and handling skills. By the time that dogs reach these classes they will have a good level of basic training. The classes also recognise the social side of dog training for both dogs and owners and are designed to be fun.

        When - Coming very soon! Because our courses are unique to Event Dogs, dogs need to have completed our bronze course before being allowed onto our silver or gold course. However, we also don't believe is holding dogs back, so if you have a dog that is probably a silver or gold level dog, book onto the bronze course and we'll fast track you through that and start you on the Silver / Gold syllabus as soon as you've finished the Bronze, even if you're still technically in the Bronze class. If your dog has been doing more advanced training elsewhere please also let us know at the time of booking so that we're aware of the standard of the dogs in the group and can plan accordingly.

        NOTE - The Silver course is an ongoing course that takes longer than 4 lessons, however we have found that many people find it easier to plan and pay for 4 weeks at a time.

        Price - £49 for 4 classes (classes are 55 mins long with a maximum of 6 dogs per class)
    • Event Dogs Gold Award
        The Event Dogs Gold Award is the highest award that we offer and it follows on from the bronze and silver awards (above.) It combines pet dog training with the Kennel Club Good Citizen Scheme, with other exercises to teach dogs to pay attention in a wide variety of situations and circumstances (now with huge distractions.) This often includes stays and off lead heelwork with decoy people waving flags, running past, waving toys and sausages and other dogs running past. The exercises will include everyday life situations, competitive obedience exercises, a follow-on in agility and HTM, rally, tricks and games to keep dogs and owners on their toes.

        We also expect owners to have a good grasp on how their dog learns and how to break down exercises to teach them to their dog. By the time that dogs reach these classes they will have a very high level of pet dog training and a grounding in competitive obedience, agility, rally, HTM heelwork and freestyle (don't worry - you don't have to dance!) and clicker training problem solving. The classes also recognise the social side of dog training for both dogs and owners and are designed to be fun.

        When - Coming soon. Because our courses are unique to Event Dogs, dogs need to have completed our bronze course before being allowed onto our silver or gold course. However, we also don't believe is holding dogs back, so if you have a dog that is probably a silver or gold level dog, book onto the bronze course and we'll fast track you through that and start you on the Silver / Gold syllabus as soon as you've finished the Bronze, even if you're still technically in the Bronze class. If your dog has been doing more advanced training elsewhere please also let us know at the time of booking so that we're aware of the standard of the dogs in the group and can plan accordingly.

        NOTE - The Gold course is an ongoing course that takes longer than 4 lessons, however we have found that many people find it easier to plan and pay for 4 weeks at a time.

        Price - £49 for 4 classes (classes are 55 mins long with a maximum of 6 dogs per class)
  • Agility
      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 training that safely teaches them to run ahead, turn, change direction and listen to you, all without the need of 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.

      What -
      • Foundation - teach your dog to drive ahead of you, turn and change direction, speed up, slow down, contact targets and front and rear crosses, and most of all to listen to you… all practiced in a heated hall! These are all exercises you can practice with your dog at home and out on walks with little or no special equipment, meaning they are ahead of the game to get started on the agility equipment in the Spring. Suitable for dogs of all ages.
      • Taster Mini Workshop - This is a great taster for dogs and owners to see if they enjoy agility. We'll introduce you to various pieces of agility equipment, and show you how to handle a simple course. Although dogs need to be over 12 months old to do some of the equipment, a lot of the exercises can be adapted to be safe for younger dogs and the agility equipment will be very low meaning that younger dogs are welcome onto this taster workshop on the understanding that the exercises that they do will be adapted to be safe for them.
      • Main Agility Classes / Private Lessons - these have stopped for the winter, however we will be restarting them in the Spring - message us for more info…

      Details -
      • Agility Foundation Course - Saturday 3:30-4:25pm - 8th Feb and 22nd Feb (Venue - Holy Trinity Church Hall, Rayleigh. SS6 8BB) - £25 for the 2 lessons (maximum 6 dogs)
      • Agility Taster Mini Workshop - Spring / Summer 2020 - (let us know if you're interested in this mini workshop and we'll let you know when we arrange the next one.) (Venue - Holy Trinity Rectory Garden, Rayleigh. SS6 8BA) - £20 (2 hours, maximum 6 dogs)
      • Private lessons - £20 per 30 mins / £35 per hour. (You are welcome to share a private lesson with a friend) - due to the weather these are not available at our venue until the Spring, however if you have your own venue and equipment Christina is happy to come to you.

      For more info please contact us.
  • Mantrailing
      Mantrailing teaches dogs to follow the scent of one specific person and trail that scent until they find the person, whether they are hidden in a wood, or in a busy town centre. In contrast to air scenting where dogs search off lead and are often out of sight, mantrailing dogs are on a harness and line and any dog of any breed is welcome to see if they enjoy it. (You'll find most dogs love it, and it is especially great for working with dogs that often find their noses get them into trouble on walks, for example hounds or some gun dogs, because they can work on a long line and learn to work in partnership with their person.) In other countries mantrailing is used to find missing people, and the UK is starting to train Search and Rescue dogs in Mantrailing as well as the more commonly used free searching air scenting.

      From time to time we arrange workshops with Moira from Mantrailing Scent Dogs, who was one of the very first people in the UK to train dogs in Mantrailing over a decade ago (and has gone on to teach many dog and handler teams since then.)

      Our new course will introduce mantrailing from the very beginning and all ages and abilities of dogs and handlers are very welcome to join us!

      When -

      • Saturdays 10:00am - approx. 12:00pm (Venue - Through the winter we will mostly meet at Sweyne Park Carpark, Downhall Park Way, Rayleigh. In the event of very bad weather lessons will be postponed.) (Dates - 25 Jan / 8 Feb / 22 Feb)

      Price - £37.50 for 3 classes (If pre-booked classes are sometimes able to be booked as individual lessons at £12.50 each)
  • HTM (Heelwork-to-Music)
      HTM (Heelwork-to-Music / Canine Freestyle) - please see the separate HTM page for more info…
  • Barking / Reactive Dog (Just Mooching) Workshop
      'Just Mooching' Workshop

      Since 2004 Christina has helped train a LOT of dogs to stop barking or lunging at other dogs. She remembers one particular conversation when talking to an owner when she asked them what they wanted their dog to do. They answered that they didn't want them to bark and lunge. Christina answered, 'yes, but what DO you want them to do?' So often owners become so stressed by the problem that it then becomes the only thing they can focus on. There is always a reason for dogs to bark at other dogs, and (unlike some other trainers) we don't try to punish the problem (remember that your dog is HAVING a problem with other dogs, and is trying to communicate that, not just that they are BEING a problem to you!) Instead we try to teach dogs solutions. This class helps owners to teach their dogs to relax around other dogs, hence the name 'Just Mooching'.

      There will be times when we gradually teach dogs to be able to be around other dogs (at whatever distance they feel comfortable,) and just to 'mooch' and other times when we teach them to ignore other dogs and focus on their person (useful on walks when other dogs end up coming closer than you would like them to.) We will look at handling techniques to avoid problems, and others to help remove our dogs quickly and safely from situations we'd rather they weren't in. We will also help owners to switch into 'trainer' mode, rather than worried owner mode!

      Some dogs will be at the workshop because they get very over excited when they see other dogs and they need to learn some self control to be able to greet their new friends in a more appropriate manner. Others may be frustrated around other dogs, and others may be very worried about other dogs and our aim with them is to take away their fear. Clearly it is not wise to put all of these dogs together and expect them to happily get on with it. Initially dogs will be working with one of Christina's dogs, as we gradually add other dogs (on lead) into the group.

      This workshop is designed to help owners support each other. In the morning you won't be working with your dog as we will be covering theory and practicing some of the skills needed with Christina's dogs. We will then have an hour and a half's lunch break (if you live further away let us know and we will probably be able to work around that) for you to collect your dog for the afternoon practical session. You won't be working your dog the whole time as initially we will work just 2 dogs at a time, and build the numbers up gradually, however you will learn to read dog's body language (often much easier to do without trying to teach your own dog at the same time!) which will really help you to handle your own dog. Your dog will NOT be wearing a choke chain, prong collar, shock collar, etc. but they will probably be wearing a flat collar and harness, or head collar and harness.

      When -

      • Saturday 29th February 9:30am-4:30pm (Venue - Holy Trinity Rectory, Rayleigh. SS6 8BA. In the event of very bad weather the practical session will be postponed.)

      Price - £65 per handler place (maximum 6 dogs per workshop,) £20 per spectator. (Note - more than one member from the same household is welcome per handler place as long as they are only working with one dog. For two dogs, please book two handler places.)
  • Recall Short Course
    Teach your dog to RUN back to you! This short course will teach you the tricks of the trade that dogs will love to come back for, and owners will love the results. We will also teach you the steps to a reliable recall (including assessing situations and being realistic about whether it is safe to let your dog completely off lead at that time.) Having a reliable recall is the MOST important thing you will ever teach your dog.

    Is this suitable for my dog? This course is NOT suitable for dogs that bark or growl at other dogs or people, or those that have issues with aggression. If your dog has trouble with these issues we would recommend a one to one behavioural consultation, and coming on this course as a spectator without your dog. Other than that all dogs are welcome!

    The course is in 2 parts -
    • Part 1 is the theory you'll need plus you get to practice with an experienced dog (one of Christina's)
    • Part 2 is practical with your own dog

    When -
    Theory Saturday 25th January, 5:00pm - approx 7:00pm
    Practical Saturday 1st February, 1:00-3:00pm

    Price - £45 per handler place (approx 4 hours in total, maximum 6 dogs per course) £20 per spectator. (Note - more than one member from the same household is welcome per handler place as long as they are only working with one dog. For two dogs, please book two handler places.)
  • Loose Lead Walking Short Course
    Walking on a Loose Lead

    Getting your dog to walk on a lead without pulling is one of the most basic, but also for many dogs one of the most difficult things to teach them. This mini workshop gives you the skills and the theory that you need to teach your dog to walk without pulling, making walks far more enjoyable for both of you. Advice will also be given about harnesses and where appropriate, head collars as and when needed. Your dog will NOT be wearing a choke chain, prong collar, shock collar, etc.

    Is this suitable for my dog? This course is NOT suitable for dogs that bark or growl at other dogs or people, or those that have issues with aggression. If your dog has trouble with these issues we would recommend a one to one behavioural consultation, and coming on this course as a spectator without your dog. Other than that all dogs are welcome!

    The course is in 2 parts -
    • Part 1 is the theory you'll need plus you get to practice with an experienced dog (one of Christina's)
    • Part 2 is practical with your own dog

    When -
    Theory Saturday 25th January, 7:15pm - approx 9:15pm
    Practical Saturday 1st February, 10:00am-12:00pm

    Price - £45 per handler place (approx 4 hours in total, maximum 6 dogs per course) £20 per spectator. (Note - more than one member from the same household is welcome per handler place as long as they are only working with one dog. For two dogs, please book two handler places.)
  • Clicker Mini Workshop
      Clicker training is a brilliant way of clearly communicating with your dog what you are trying to teach them. This can either be with a clicker or a marker word. What we particularly love about clicker trained dogs is the enthusiasm with which they choose to join in with the training being keen and enthusiastic to learn. The other thing about clicker training is long complex training can easily be broken down plus it also helps to teach distance moves.

      This introduction to clicker training teaches how to clicker train with lots of fun things to practice with your dog. We will be working on focus and engagement as well as fun tricks.

      When - TBC (let us know if you're interested in this mini workshop and we'll let you know when we arrange the next one.)

      Price - £19.50 (1.5 hours, maximum 6 dogs)
      (Venue - Holy Trinity Church Hall, Rayleigh. SS6 8BB)
  • Rally Mini Workshop
      Learn the Rally obedience signs (sits, downs, stays, heelwork, turns, slaloms etc.) and negotiate interesting courses together with your dog. This course covers level 1 signs and is suitable for all dogs with foundation level training and above, however we do ask that dogs are sociable around other dogs. Although we don't have a date for this mini workshop, if you are interested please contact us and we can tell you when we plan the next one.
  • 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.