Further training

See Geraldine’s Animal Training website for ideas on more fun training ideas for you and your pup.

Geraldine Wickham (many of you will know her as Gel) has been one of our full time nurses with Hall Vet practice for nearly four years. Many of the dogs and their owners will know her friendly face from puppy school or have met her cuddling the dogs in the waiting room.

Recently, under the tuition of Australia’s top animal trainer, Steve Austin, Geraldine has established her own enterprise specialising in companion based training. The Steve Austin Animal Training system has been developed and refined over a 20 year period and has been well proven in a number of settings. The system offers a number of learning approaches ranging from in-house to group and private sessions.

The cornerstone of the system, however, is in-house training where the animal is lodged in a kennelling environment and intensively trained on a daily basis. The In-house training generally takes two weeks, with the key benefit being that the animal is trained daily by an expert handler to the point where the desired behaviour becomes the norm. Once this has happened, the owner then only needs to keep reinforcing the now stabilised correct behaviour. This training approach results in a lot less stress and anxiety for both the animal and the owner.

Geraldine emphasises that consistent, regular handling is a must to establish desired behavioural patterns. Geraldine explains that in the case of normal obedience training, sessions generally occur for just an hour once a week. The end result is that if the handler doesn’t correctly understand the principals of handling, then over the next week the correct behaviour may not be reinforced, or even worse, incorrect handling may result inan increase in problem behaviour resulting in increased stress for the animal.

Other learning opportunities offered by Geraldine include Group and Private sessions. Geraldine explains that there are two basic differences between the Steve Austin Group training approach and other group based training systems.

First, the classes are considered stand alone. That is, a handler can bring their dog to any single session. There are no bookings required, no waiting lists, no long term commitment required. The benefit of this approach is life style flexibility, you are not committed to a block of time, you can take a break and pick up any time at your convenience. Second, the classes are mixed. Younger dogs can come along primarily for a socialisation experience, and more advanced animals can come along and not only undertake advanced training, but will also be exposed to distractions that do not occur in the training ring. The end result is a system that is flexible and enjoyable for both animal and handler.

Group sessions are run at the Best Friend Pet Centre, 140 Parkwood Road, Macgregor.  Phone Geraldine on 0409 011 530 or visit Geraldine’s Animal Training for more details.

If you are interested in Geraldine’s dog classes or in-house training, feel free to contact her for inquiries through Best Friend Pet Centre or call her directly. She is happy to chat about any of your pet needs and training options. You will continue to see Gels friendly face around Hall Vet Surgery, she loves her patients and the relationships she has made with staff and clients and will not be leaving them yet.

See Geraldine’s Animal Training website for more details.