How do I prepare for my training or behaviour sessions?

Your initial in-person or online appointment will be for approximately 2.5-3 hours. We will begin by sitting down together and chatting about your needs, finding out about your pet and discussing any questions or concerns you may have. We will then make a plan, possibly including starting some foundation training. (Your initial session will be divided over 2-3 appointments, depending on your chosen package.)

This appointment will be followed up with a personalised report (+/- some demo videos to recap) and help you share the information with family. You are also invited to take your own notes during our sessions to help you process and remember information in a way that is useful for you.

All behaviour change plans follow a step-wise process, often involving follow-up (subsequent lessons will be ~1-1.25 hour[s]).

Please be assured, my aim is to help you, and I will take a solution-based approach. (And there is nothing you can’t tell me, if you think it is relevant and will help in your situation.) We will use only kind, positive reinforcement methods to teach your pet, and you - relying on current evidence, and collaborating with your vets as necessary to help your pet.    

Prior to your appointment, please:

  • Confirm your acceptance of the offered appointment time/date(s).
    • Indicate whether you would like to book an initial package, or this single appointment (NB. follow-up is likely to be necessary).
    • If we are starting with a ‘phone consultation, let me know the best ‘phone number to call you on.
  • Contact your vet to have your pet seen to ensure your they are well, and that there are no physical/medical causes or confounders for problem behaviours which need to be addressed.
    • Send your Veterinary Referral Form (follow link) to your vet to complete and ask them to send it directly back to me, being sure to attach your pet's clinical history. 
    • (It is advisable to get the veterinary referral process started ASAP, as vet practices are busy, and it can take some time to get your appointment set-up and for them to return the form to me.)
  • Complete your New Client Registration-History Form (click here), in as much descriptive detail as you can, returning it as soon as is convenient for you - this is due at the time of booking confirmation please.
    • We are aware that the form is long and detailed. It is a necessary part of the diagnostic process, and will assist in creating tailor-made behaviour-change/training plans. Unlike other specialist disciplines who see referrals (e.g. where the diagnostics are done by admitting a pet to the hospital for 1+ days, then treatments are carried out within the clinic and without the caregiver), behavioural treatment involves the caregiver at every stage of the process. In many cases caregivers find completing their pet’s behavioural history form helps them clarify and assess their pet’s behaviours, their own thoughts and priorities, so in and of itself can be a helpful process. Please set aside a few hours to consider and complete the form.
    • (If you are booking for more than one pet, or there are multiple pets being referred, please complete clearly delineate each's details at each pint as you work through the form).
    • Please be sure to read and give agreement to our Terms of Business, Privacy Policy, Pricing Structure-Policy, and Key Facts Parts 1 and Part 2 (this document) by ticking the consent box at the end of the New Client Registration-History Form.
    • Send some short videos of your pet’s problem behaviours +/- their "normal" in problem situations (via WeTransfer [use this email address: linda@inspiringpets.com] or Whatsapp [via my mobile no.: 07985 905 183].
  • Make your payment by BACs (this is due at the time of booking confirmation please).
    • Bank details are as follows: A/c name - Inspiring Pet Teaching; sort code - 090128; a/c no. - 58024255; ref - your pet's name + your surname. 
    • The total is as laid out in your Booking Confirmation email, for your consultation/training fees, + mileage/'phone expenses. Please let me know if you would like a receipt for your pet insurance claim, and I will send this when payment has arrived with me.
    • Please note that if we haven't heard from you to confirm your slot, and your forms and payment are not with us by return [at least 14 days prior to our first appointment], I hope you will understand that we may have to cancel or reschedule your appointment, so as to give you more time to get organised, and to allow another client to benefit form that slot.


Additionally:

  • Before our appointment, try to pay close attention to what allows problem behaviour to occur, then prevent your pet from being in situations that trigger or facilitate unwanted behaviours. Prediction and prevention is key - and never allowing your pet to be "wrong" (whatever you define that to be) is the first step in any behaviour plan, and will ensure the safety and welfare of all are protected until we can devise a specific plan.
  • Try to keep a behavioural diary/short videos (with the caveat that prevention is best, and pets should not be set up to perform problem behaviours just to try and record them!). This will help pinpoint situations, facilitators and causes for behaviours of concern, e.g. what you feel your pet is trying to gain or avoid, how you respond/act, when problem behaviours do and don’t happen, what facilitates them, what helps the situation and what doesn’t, etc.
  • Be sure not to chastise, correct or coerce your pet; and take care not to inadvertently or deliberately reward or punish unwanted behaviours (just prevent them from happening if at all possible).


For the day(s) of our in-person appointment(s):

  • Please prepare lots of tiny, delicious treats that your pet really enjoys, and have them in an easily accessible container (on your person, or near you). Depending on the size, breed, appetite, health and preference of your pet, this could be up to 500g of fresh sweetcorn-kernel-sized easy-to-handle/dispense pieces of meat, cheese, fish, baked egg, etc. in a wide-mouthed, easy-to-hold container. (We might not need them all, so they can be frozen, but having lots of scrumptious titbits to hand is usually very helpful.) 
    • Also, if you could have a favoured toy to hand, but out of sight/reach of your pet initially, that would be ideal.
    • In the case of dogs, ensuring they are wearing a well-fitting collar, is important. And having their lead, and ideally a well-fitting body harness, attached and ready to go would be ideal.
  • In advance of my arrival, ensure your pet is physically comfortable:
    • I will aim to call you upon my approach (mobile reception permitting), so as to make a quick plan.
    • Your pet does not need to be present on my arrival, and should not be encouraged to greet me if they would prefer to retreat. If they are comfortable with strangers in their home, and are not upset or overwhelmed by people entering, AND they have never shown any sign of anxiety or aggression in any situation - i.e. if they have always been relaxed, calm and friendly, and never anything but - they are welcome to be around us, and there is nothing particular you need to do differently from a normal visitor arriving. 
  • Please don’t worry about greeting me initially, simply focus on your pet's needs (+/- I may help by giving you some “on the fly” suggestions/advice), but I will not mind if your attention is on them, and not me! 
    • Also, please do not be offended if I don't make a fuss of your pet - I may calmly greet them (if they invite it and are comfortable), or I may be quiet and still to let them get used to me and asses me in their own time. 
    • When you are ready, I will follow you in to wherever you want us to settle and chat. 
    • In general, as long as it is safe to do so, pets should be allowed to do as they wish, and I will work around them.
  • If your pet is known to be fearful, aggressive +/- overexcited about anything, especially unknown people or new things, it is vital that you let me know. In this case, please ensure that s/he is safely closed away somewhere s/he is happy/relaxed well before I am due to arrive, and ensure they have no access to me
    • (If in any doubt - to ensure my safety, and your pet's welfare - please err on the side of caution and restrict your pet's access/proximity to me.)
    • I recommend that you begin creating a safe/comfortable location in your home ASAP before we meet. This should be an area where your pet will not be able to see or hear me, and where they are physically separated safely away from me or the home’s entrance.
  • Ideally confinement/restriction should be in a space which is familiar to your pet, and out of sight/sound of me, perhaps with a radio on, and left to enjoy a fantastic, long-lasting (safe) chew/frozen Kong (dogs) +/- puzzle feeder and hiding space (cats and dogs) - if you need further help/ideas for this, please let me know. Then we will meet quietly on his/her terms once we have chatted. (At this point I may also take some video.)


Please could you let me know if there’s anything specific I need to know about finding +/- parking at your home (as well as arranging a visitors’ parking permit if necessary)

  • NB: I will always endeavour to be with you as close to your appointment time as possible, but please be aware that I am often travelling from another client's home/appointment, so there may be a little "drift" (never likely to be more than 15 minutes earlier or later than planned) - I will always aim to keep you updated by email/text


Please note:

  • Any/all members of the family +/- the pets’ caregivers are welcome to attend training and behaviour sessions. All must comply with Health and Safety recommendations and any reasonable directions from Inspiring Pet Teaching. We accept no liability for the health and safety of those you choose to attend or be involved. Children must be supervised during sessions, and always when around animals - they should never have responsibility for training or behaviour modification of animals, which should always be carried out under expert guidance.
  • Additionally, it is important to know the law as it pertains to dog owners, and to understand that it your responsibility to ensure that your pet does not harm people, animals or property, so careful supervision and management is essential (with this in mind, and not to negate your responsibilities to maintain safety, you may also wish to take out third party insurance for your pet).
  • It is important to disclose all information regarding your pet’s health and/or existing medical conditions/treatment prior to any consultation, or training, and to inform me know ASAP if your pet is showing signs of ill health at any point during our working relationship, +/- if their health state changes..
  • Also please disclose and describe any injuries, dangerous incidents or aggression showed by your pet (to people, animals or inanimate objects) at any point during the time s/he has been with you; and/or if their general/baseline behaviour changes from their “normal” at any point during our working relationship.


Please feel free to get in touch if you have any further questions re your appointment, +/- require any more information or clarity - I shall be happy to help. Note that I work standard business hours (Monday to Friday, 09.00-17.00, excluding weekends, evenings and holidays). I shall generally respond to you within ~1-2 working days, and will always prioritise more urgent questions and messages within these days/times (but not outwith them). Please use email to contact me in the first instance (&, unless sending requested/relevant videos via WhatsApp, please avoid messaging me via my social media - thanks!). In the case of any queries you feel are urgent, outwith working hours (or if I am away), please contact your veterinary practice in the first instance, who I will be happy to collaborate with. 

Inspiring Pet Teaching’s Terms of Business apply from the beginning of these Services, and remain applicable for all subsequent provision of Services, and training or behaviour-related interactions and advice.

For more info on Inspiring Pet Teaching, please visit www.inspiringpets.com, see our FAQs, and like/follow our Facebook page

Last updated Sept 2020


This web-page/document & all of its content is intended for the recipient only. It is copyright 2020 Linda Ryan, trading as Inspiring Pet Teaching.  Please do not reproduce or share any part of this form or its content. Thank you!  

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Please read the following to prepare for your training/behaviour appointment with Inspiring Pet Teaching
Key Facts - Part 2


CCAB ​Dog Behaviourist, dog trainer CCAB

As Dedicated To Your Pets As You Are!