We get lots of enquiries and we love to hear from you and answer all your questions, but if you've found our FAQ page, hopefully  we can answer some of the more basic questions, and concentrate on your dog to get the right kind of training for you when you contact us.

Why do you need a Professional?

This is a big question!  Lots of people have probably already asked you that, and said things like:

  • 'He's alright, he doesn't need professional training, just a bit of discipline' 
  • 'I don't know why you don't watch a video on YouTube'
  • 'You don't need to spend money - I just did X, Y or Z with my dog'
Does this sound familiar?  If you're looking at our website then you know in your heart that you want the best for you and your dog. 

Training is much more than your pup not peeing on the carpet!  It's a bonding experience, just as if you were bringing up your child, and you will be much closer with your dog for going through this stage together.  With professional coaching, you don't just learn how to get your pup through a difficult phase, be that basic puppy training or behaviour modification, but you learn how to maintain training for the lifetime that you and your dog spend together.

With Muddy Foote Dog Training, we not only provide training for your dog and coaching for you, but give you our full support including practice sheets between each session which are tailored to your own dog's personal issues, and full email and telephone support when you hit a struggle.  This support is not only available during training, but for the lifetime of your dog.

What can we do for you?

At Muddy Foote, we aim to find out what you need to achieve from training with us!  Many people do not have a clearly defined idea of what they want.  In these cases we can help to clarify what you wish the end result to be, walking you through a breed specific programme.  

We understand that people have lives, children and jobs and cannot necessarily put in place complicated training programmes.  We want to help you overcome your difficulties by tailoring a manageable plan around your life that will help you and your dog to achieve his or her goals.  

This doesn't mean that training doesn't require your commitment - it does, and there is no point spending your money if you are not willing to put in the time and effort, but we want to make it as stress-free as possible for both you and your dog, and believe us when we say that the commitment is worth every second when you have overcome the training struggles and can be proud to be your dog's paw-rent!

Why can't we just have a consultation over the phone, and why do we charge?

Many people ask us why we need to have a consultation when they have explained their circumstances over the phone!  

Before we design your training programme, it is vitally important that we assess your dog in his home environment.  This takes about an hour.

  • It allows us to meet your dog on his home ground so that he has met us before, and we are not complete strangers suddenly telling him what to do! (Remember that first nervous day at a new school?)  
  • It allows us to meet you, and vice versa, so that we can discuss the training and we are all clear and confident as to what is going to happen and when.
  • It allows us to get some vital background information on your dog and his individual circumstances e.g. is he a rescue (and where from), has he always had his particular issues, and when did they start?  
  • Hopefully, we get to see some of the behaviour in action, but if not, maybe you can get some video/photographic footage of him before we start training.
  • It gives us the opportunity to ensure you are getting the right service from us.  Training is not 'bog standard' for all dogs, just like humans they are all unique and our training is usually breed specific and often very individual to your own dog.  This face-to-face meeting with your dog is essential so that we can get this advice correct.

Why do we charge?

A consultation usually takes around an hour, maybe more.  For our time and travel we charge just £15, and have often put in quite a bit of thought, and sometimes research just from our initial telephone conversation/email to ensure that you are getting the best service from us.  

The consultation fee is taken at the time of booking by card over the telephone.

'A contract?  For a bit of dog training?'

If you decide to take up our training services we do require you to sign our contract.  This protects both sides in the event of a problem arising.

The contract sets out the obligations for both sides, and ensures that we are providing our services correctly and fairly to you.  

It also shows your commitment to the training programme that we are putting in place for you and your dog, and our commitment to you that we will do everything within our power to ensure your dog receives the best of care.

Why do we take payment up front for training?

Training is not just the number of hourly sessions we attend. It includes research, practice sheets for you to work with when we've gone, email and telephone support if you have any struggles during training and for the lifetime of your dog, our administration and of course our professional knowledge.

From our Consultation with you (and quite often before that) we have already put in a lot of work towards your training programme.  Every dog is an individual to us, as are their issues and we want to do the best for you both.  That often means a lot of research, ensuring that your breed specific programme is correct, that we have assessed and addressed your dogs problems correctly, and that each plan is suitable for your lifestyle so that training becomes manageable.

Why so many sessions?  That bloke on the telly can do it so quickly!

You'd think so, wouldn't you!  Unfortunately the magic of television doesn't show the hours of work put in beforehand, by both trainer and owner to get the dog to respond in what looks like seconds to a single command!

The number of sessions we advise depends on a variety of factors:

  • Severity of issues
  • Number of issues
  • Responsiveness of the dog to training
  • Amount of time that you, as Owner, have to spend on training between sessions.
We are however always mindful of cost to you, and keep sessions to a minimum.

I've got more than one dog that needs training...this could be expensive!

We are very aware that with more than one dog that needs help, things can get pricey.  

If there is an issue that more than one dog shares, hopefully we can give this training at the same time.  If however the issues are different and we find that we can't split the session to get the best from each dog we may have to book a separate session to deal with that problem.  Wherever possible, we will discuss this in advance at Consultation.  

Why do you use a dog whistle?

Everybody seems to have their own varied opinion on the use of dog whistles, some positive, some not so.  Ours is that a whistle makes a very effective training tool if used correctly.

There are many different types of whistle on sale (or you may be able to whistle loudly yourself!).  We use the whistle mainly for recall purposes, as although your dog may answer very well to his name, on a windy day your voice may not carry across a long distance, and on a day to day basis, who wants to walk through the woods shouting for their dog to come back?

What age does my puppy become and adult?

We are often asked if a dog of 6-8 months+ can be considered a puppy as they have no basic training.  The answer to that is no!

For training purposes, we class a puppy as up to 6 months of age.  If your puppy is over 6 months, they have entered adolescence and poor behavioural habits will have set in, making retraining more difficult.  We call this type of training behaviour modification.

Your adolescent dog may require a refresher course on basic training, or maybe you have rescued an older dog.  See our Services page for our range of training.

Muddy Feet Socialisation Walks

Our Socialisation walks are held on the last Sunday of the month in a different location around the Southampton, Eastleigh and Winchester areas.  You are welcome to join in free of charge, and bring friends with dog's too!

All dog's need and love socialisation, from puppy to senior.  Muddy Feet walks are designed with this in mind, and whilst we are more than happy to give advice, this is a fun time, not a training session, and your dog will be your responsibility throughout.  

If you think your dog might not be as sociable as you would like, we would recommend keeping him/her on the lead until he gets used to walking with others. We also recommend only bringing along fully vaccinated puppies, and bear in mind how far you are walking them so they are not too worn out!

We recommend you wear sensible clothes that you don't mind getting messy, wellies and all the normal items you would normally take on a dog walk such as poo bags, training tools, lead, whistle if you use one, and of course a bottle of water for afterwards.

We love children to be involved, but please remember that they are your full responsibility, and as with all animal contact, they need to be supervised at all times.  We cannot accept liability for any injuries that may occur, whatever the cause.