Private consultations and other frequently asked questions

Private consultation or private training lessons are all about discussing owner’s needs and expectations, turning dog’s undesired behavior into desired one,  watching dog closely and then developing and applying a training plan that suits both owner’s and dog’s unique needs. Let’s talk a bit more in detail about how does private counselling works.

Before the first consultation

After you contact me and leave your email address, you will then get questionnaire that covers different aspects of your dog’s behavior in everyday life. There are no rights or wrongs in whatever answer you would like to give to each question. Your answers will give me good general overview on your dog’s temperament, character and unique aspects of your relationships to get an idea on types of interventions that might be needed to get done during training. As a result, I am able to get ready for the consultation, prepare all the necessary toys and materials, spend less time for asking additional questions and start practical training faster to try my best to get first results by the end of the very first lesson.

After you’ve successfully filled down the questionnaire, please send it back to me. I typically reply in a day to let you know about my upcoming working schedule and available hours to set an appointment.

First appointment

It is better to meet at your place

I highly recommend to meet at your home at the first session at least. That not only makes the first training steps easier for your dog, but lets me observe your dog’s behavior in a familiar environment and help you to do the necessary training arrangements suitable for your house plan or lifestyle if needed.

Dogs are very sensitive to tiny changes in the environment or owner’s behavior. It can be pretty hard for an unexperienced dog to stay attentive and concentrated on training and owner for first few sessions. At the same time we aim to set your dog for success from the very beginning. We want your dog to realise immediately that training is not as hard as it is fun time together with you and it is worth all other activities. That’s why we start easy: in a quite boring place with no distractions aroundI

What to prepare for training

You will need a long leash (better 3 meters long), a collar or (better) a harness, a whole bunch of small treats that your dog loves most and, obviously, your dog 🙂 If your dog enjoys playing with toys, I recommend you to prepare its favourite toy too.

Please don’t feed your dog 2 hours before training, but please be aware that your dog shouldn’t starve too. I would also like to ask you to walk your dog shortly before the training session. The dog should be able to stay concentrated on training instead of only thinking about going out to make its toilet.

Couple words about using treats

There are many things that can be used as a reinforcement in dog training. We will talk about them and we will discuss how to switch from food reinforcement to other types of reinforcement. It is much easier both for the owner and the dog to start training with food or toys to make whole training process fast, easily understandable for dog and effective. Don’t worry, your dog won’t be following your cues only for food. If training is done correctly, it just never happens. What happens is really the opposite.

What will we do

First consultation lasts for 1,5-2 hours.

We will start with discussing your goals in training and possible reasons of your dog’s behavioral problems if there are any. We’ll talk a bit on how dogs learn, so you would understand better what we will be doing while training and why. I will ask  additional questions concerning your dog’s issues if needed. We will develop a training plan that will help you fulfil both your own and your dog’s needs. 

We will also start to practice hands-on training immediately. First, I will show you how the training game or training exercise should be done. Then I will offer you to do it yourself under my supervision until you can continue by yourself. You’ll be surprised how much faster your dog can learn if you explain your goals in a language that your dog naturally understands.

By the end of the lesson I will give you few simple recommendations and will most likely ask you to continue doing the practical exercises 2 or 3 times a day for few minutes together with your dog. Yes, this is not a misprint, you’ve read it right. Training is about being clear and consistent in your explanations. Couple 2-minute training sessions a day (but  on a regular basis!) give much better effect then hours.

Depending on your dog’s issues there might be few exceptions, but this is how behavior modification and training is done in most cases: correct training plan, regular practice with high-value reinforcement (for example, good treats) 2-3 minutes 2-3 times a day. That’s it.

After the first session

At the end of first session we set the time for the next appointment if needed. In most cases it can one session in a week or two.

In 1-2 days after the first session you will most likely get an email from me with the training plan according to each training goal that we’ve set and brief notes on main topics that we’ve discussed during the session. I will attach additional documents or links to training video demos if needed so you can always revise them in between sessions or even long after we’ve finished our lessons in case if you forget anything.

I will kindly ask you to let me know how your training is going like 3-4 days after our first session to control the first training results and correct possible mistakes at the very beginning if needed as well as answer urgent questions if you have any.

What is next?

Second and further sessions last for 1-1,5 hour.

In many cases 1 or 2 training sessions may be enough. In most cases it takes 8-12 sessions (depending on dog’s issues) to either solve the problem, completely or at least to get to a point when you might need some additional time to continue training but don’t need professional trainer’s supervision anymore to eventually accomplish the goal.

If you like to upgrade to further complex training, we may then discuss the possible options that you are interested in.

Do you offer onboard training?

I don’t. It just never works well. Remember, training is more about relationship and an ability to communicate needs between both partners of this communication (owner and the dog). If you leave your dog at my place, it will behave brilliantly in few weeks when I am around because it’ll understand me clearly. But if dog never learns to understand you and vice versa, you will get all the undesired behaviors back in a day or a week after dog comes back to your house. No need to mention about huge stress associated with changing home and risk of negatively affecting bond that dog has to develop towards owner.

I am far from Bodrum peninsula. Can I still apply for a consultation?

I work remotely a lot via Skype. If you feel comfortable using Skype (or any other messenger supporting video calls), you may apply for a remote consultation. You will be surprised but it works even better then offline sessions in many cases. 

You will also need to have a mobile camera to record few short training videos a week to upload them to Google Drive, WeTransfer or Dropbox. You may also send them via WhatsApp or any other messenger that supports file sharing. Thus I will be able to supervise your training process well enough. After each Skype session you will get the links to step-by-step training videos for each of recommended exercises and detailed instructions on how to use them most effectively with your particular dog.

Please contact me for more details to see if it suits you and your dog.

What are your pricing options?

First consultation costs 250 TL (or 45$). Second and further consultations costs 200 TL (35$). (Yalıkavak, Turgutreis, Gümüşlük, Ortakent, Konacık, Bodrum, Torba areas). If you leave further away, I may include road expenses to the bill.

I kindly ask you to pay for each consultation individually, until we’ve agreed on other option.

I accept payments in cash, transfers to bank account or via this form on my website.

Apply for a private consultation