Tips & Quips

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How is your class different from other trainers ?
Our classes and consultations consists of 3 aspects : Amichien Bonding, an essential pack leadership program, the Basic Obedience program, and a dog/puppy integration program. In essence you have a comprehensive program which will resolve issues at the root cause and goes beyond just Basic Obedience, which is what other trainers can only offer. We are the only certified JF Dog Listeners to teach Amichien Bonding in Singapore.

Are your Classes & Consultations too short to achieve any results?
Because the program is so effective and efficient, you start to see results almost immediately, hence the number of classess and consultations have been optimised and in essence it also saves you money. We are ethical in that we don’t believe in stretching classes longer than they should, so that we can charge more. Furthermore, all classes and consultations are backed by FREE lifetime support!

How big are your classes ?
Will I get the individual attention? Our class size is never more than 10 participants to ensure enough time is spent on each individual to address their issues. We are also around after class to address your issues more in depth or you can contact us anytime via phone, sms or email.

Can you guarantee results?
Dogs like humans have complex characters and a lot depends on the time and effort put in by the owner as well as the personality traits of the dog. We guarantee that we will work with you till results are achieved.

How soon can I see results?
Because of the effectiveness of the program, generally you can see results almost immediately. A lot also depends on the issues, the personality of the dog and the effort put in by the owner.

How different is your method from say the traditional choke chain method or the newer electric collar method?
Firstly we only use non-violent, positive methods and kind methods of correction. Our method also advocates cooperation from your dog and is not conditioning nor control. Traditional Choke Chain or Electric Collars work on the premise of fear and punishment. There is no cooperation or respect from the dog and once the gadget is not in use, the dog will revert to his old behaviour.

How young can my dog start training?
Dogs can start being cognitive from as young as 2 months, but their attention span is rather short. An ideal age to start teaching your dog is about 3 to 4 months onwards.

My dog is already very old, is it still possible to get rid of his bad habits?
As our methods invoke the natural learning processes of your dog, no dog is too old or young to learn. Our oldest client is 13 yrs old.

My dog is fearful or aggressive outside, can I still join the group classes?
You can still do so, but it may not be so effective, as your dog may be distracted or stressed by the presence of other dogs. For your situation you can consider the Individual Home Based Classes.

Will the Group or home based Individual program be better for my dog?
You can do a simple assessment by listing down the critical issues that you face and whether they occur in the home or outside. If most of the problems occur at home, you do not have a good foundation and it is recommended that you start off with the home based Individual Foundation Program. When things are very stable and you have resolved all the issues at home, the Group Program will then be very effective and beneficial as it focuses on the Socialization aspect. The Group Program will also be offered at a discount to those who have completed the Individual Foundation Program.

Can I make progressive payments after each lesson ?
Our policy is to receive full payment after the 1st lesson because we need you to be fully committed to the program just as we are fully committed to helping you resolve the issues with your dog and achieve a deeper bond

Can I transfer a current program to another dog or to another person ?
The course fees paid apply only to stipulated owner and dog and the program is not transferable to aother dog or owner. Likewise no refund is given in the event the owner decides not to continue with the program or gives up the dog

10 Common problems Dog Owners face & why

Take this simple test to assess if your dog needs obedience training

Is Dog Obedience Training Necessary?

Most people think that puppies will outgrow bad habits like biting and chewing things, rampant defecating, or incessant barking. The reality is that these bad habits if not corrected when young, will become ingrained behaviour which becomes harder to correct as time goes by.

What then can dog obedience training acheive ? It all depends on the depth and scope of the program. Good dog obedience training should go beyond basic obedience commands. Your dog can do a perfect sit but can still act like the hound from hell, so a good dog obedience training program must first and foremost consist of a solid pack leadership program that will provide the anchor and foundation of your relationship with your dog. At the Dog Listener Consultancy in Singapore, we implement a pack leadership program called Amichien Bonding founded by Jan Fennell. It is the most effective program available as it targets the instincts and natural learning processes of the dog, and as such no dog is too young or old to learn !

What types of Dog Training methods will suit your dog?

Dog psychology has advanced and evolved so much in the past decade that now the market is flooded with gadgets, gimmicks, and trainers all trumpeting that they can solve your hound from hell problems.

There are also many dubious and dodgy trainers around, as such, it is always wise to do your own research and get feedback first rather than depend on marketing hype or advertisements. There are also many local pet forums on the internet now that you can pose questions and get accurate feedback

At the end of the day, dog obedience training should be beneficial, both for your dog and yourself but with the overwhelming options out there, how do you know what is helpful for your dog and what is harmful ? We simplify and summarize the various types of training available on the market today and how they can harm or help your dog.

All methods have ultimate objectives which can be broadly categorized as such :

Control – The aim of such methods is basically to control your dog with pain.
If he doesn’t obey, he is punished with something painful or unpleasant that
he will remember and as such will not repeat such behaviour again.

Choker chains which can strangle, electric or stun collars which produce a strong current to ‘electrocute’, collars with sharp prongs or spikes which dig into a dog’s neck, and any kind of contraption that causes pain belong to this category. Methods like these can cause a low confidence, nervous or dominant dog to become worse as he can retaliate by barking or biting. They aim to rule and control by fear and submission.

Conditioning - Teaching by positive associations or rewards is the premise of these methods. By rewarding when your dog performs certain good behaviours, he will then be conditoned over time to know that when he does a certain action, he will receive a reward.

Some dogs are motivated by treats, some by play, some by attention. Dominant dogs will generally assess the benefits first and hence results are inconsistent.This is what people will term their dog ‘stubborn’ or ‘strong willed’ when they obey only when ‘they feel like it’

Cooperation & Communication - The philosphy behind this method is to be a natural leader. If your dog understands and respects you as his leader, he will naturally cooperate with you.

No gadgets and gimmicks are needed but rather the dog alludes to you. Dogs are pack animals by nature, and they have an effective social hierachy with an alpha leader leading the pack. If we can mimic this, then instinctively, he will accept you as his leader.

This is the premise of Amichien Bonding ™ a system developed by Jan Fennell in the UK, an internationally renowned dog behaviourist who had great success helping people overcome issues with their beloved dogs. Our programs are certified and Amichien Bonding ™ is taught in our classes and consultation.

Some dogs are motivated by treats, some by play, some by attention. Dominant dogs will generally assess the benefits first and hence with very good results, helping nervous dogs that bite to dominant dogs. This method provides the foundation of your leadership and relationship with your dog and with this firmly cemented, the other basic obedience methods very easily fall into place.

How can you tell if a Dog Trainer really knows his stuff?

Chances are if you are reading this article on finding the right dog trainer, you need some help with your dog. The first thing is to ask yourself why you are looking for dog obedience training, is it for :

Behavioural issues : Aggression, fussy eating, lack of focus, incessant barking, nipping, and more all of which has been going on for quite some time ?

Home Integration issues : Toilet training, biting/chewing of things, whining which is common when you have just got your dog or puppy

Enhancement of the Bond : Your dog does not have behavioural issues, but you are looking to deepen the bond or realize your dog’s potential, eg, through agility or performance programs or showing your dog

Now that you have the mindset to resolve your dog issues, it is important you choose the right dog trainer and dog training method, else psychological or physical harm may befall your dog, or you may not see any effective, long term results at all.

Based on your needs above, you then ask if the dog trainer you are assessing will meet your needs by using the Checklist below :

Expertise, Knowledge & Application of Training methods
Does the dog training school which the dog trainer come from have a long history and is it accredited ?

Does the school have publications like books, videos, TV presentations ?
Did the dog trainer obtain certification through a hands on program (vs distance learning) ?
Methods Used

Does the dog trainer only use positive methods of training, ie they are not harsh and do not cause any pain ?
Does he have various methods to treat different personailities going beyond basic obedience techniques ?
Does the dog trainer avoid the use of pain causing gadgets or gimmicks ?

Depth, Length of Experience & Understanding
Is the dog trainer actively teaching, training dogs of varied personailites on a day to day basis for at least 3 to 5 years ?

Did the dog trainer encounter difficult dogs on a regular basis and resolved issues permanently, verifiable with real life testimonies ?
Is the dog trainer able to profile your dog accurately and efficiently and explain the gist of his approach to solving the problems ?

It is only with the combination of the above 3 factors that a good dog trainer is able to first accurately and correctly profile the personaility of your dog, as dogs like humans, have varied and complex personalities, and may exhibit different behaviours in different situations. Only with enough depth of experience can a dog trainer truly understand why a dog does what he does, then correctly identify the root cause of the issues you face, and lastly with his vast knowledge of methods and expertise, tailor a program that will ensure your dog understands and accepts without fear or coersion.

It is also important to understand that the program must be carried out by you, as your dog alludes to you. The right dog trainer will patiently nurture both your dog and you, and effectively resolves the issues at the root cause level, with the end result being a deepening of an already beautiful relationship between you and your dog.

There is no one-solution-for-all-problems method and doing so may result in long term psychological damage to your dog. Eg, if your dog has a nervous personality, using harsh, pain causing methods will only make him more fearful and exhibit nervous aggression. And if your dog has a strong personality, trying to force him into submission with pain causing gadgets may rile him into challenging you, again with aggression.

If your answer is Yes to all the questions in the checklist, it is highly likely that this dog trainer will be the One. It is extremely important that you engage a dog trainer that firstly understands your dog well, and also your needs and personality to tailor a program that is practical, effective and efficient.

It is also important to understand that the program must be carried out by you, as your dog alludes to you. The right dog trainer will patiently nuture both your dog and you, and effectively resolves the issues at the root cause level, with the end result being a deepening of an already beautiful relationship between you and your dog.

Why is Puppy Toilet Training so difficult ?

Toilet training a puppy or dog can take as little as 3 days but it can also take up to 3 months, it all depends on your puppy/dog’s frame of mind, his biological development and the approach that you take.

90% of the people who seek our help have been told by the sales person at the pet shop that it is ‘very easy’, buy a cage, stuff your puppy/dog in there and that’s all there is to it. Unfortunately it is not as easy as that. In fact some of these sales people do not even know how to toilet train a puppy/dog, they just want to make it simple to make the sale !

The pet shop/pet farm environment is also very different from your home environment in that the puppies/dogs are usually caged in a small space with hardly any space to move around.

This disastrous arrangement has the puppy eating, sleeping and defacting all in that small space which goes against their natural cleanliness instinct. The wire mesh or metal grating flooring also hurts their sensitive paw pads.

Caging your puppy in this way causes a lot of psychological damage as he has no direct interaction with their pack and builds up a lot of pent up energy, with the result that when he is released, he may ‘go crazy’ and ignorant owners then cage them up again adding to this vicious cycle. He may also be very reluctant to return to his cage of his own accord.

Toilet training requires your dog to be first calm and focused so that he can learn faster and remember. His biological development is also key here, so there are a number of factors which must be taken into account to successfully toilet train your dog.

At our clasess and consultations, we help you to build a solid foundation with your dog so that he becomes calm and focuses on you as the leader. We have a systematic approach to toilet training with progress indicators to monitor how well the training is progressing.

Using the right approach without resorting to harsh methods and with the proper guidance from our experienced trainers, toilet training need not be a nightmare of constant cleaning up of puddles of pee and poo, and once your puppy is properly toilet trained, you can then focus on the bonding aspect and experience the beautiful relationship between your puppy and yourself.