As of January 2020, Fingers and Paws is up and running in South Melbourne, Australia! If you are pregnant or have young children in the home with a dog, if you have a new puppy, or if you just need some basic training and personalized support, check out my services and get in touch. If you are in the US and are pregnant or have young children in the home with a dog, check out or contact Family Paws Parent Education directly for help or to connect with someone in your community.
Private services are designed for you.
I recommend private services when specialized training is needed outside of a group class, if a group setting is not appropriate for your dog, or if you simply prefer the focused assistance, in-depth education, and one-on-one attention. If you are thirsty for knowledge about, as well as training for, your dog, then this is a great choice for you.
Follow-up time after an initial consultation is available as a single follow-up, a discounted Time Pack, and lowest rate post-pack time – all designed as positive reinforcement for finding the time to continue training amidst your busy schedule. Click here for Follow-up Options
Private services are available remotely.
Distance and circumstances are not an obstacle to training! Services are adjusted accordingly to achieve your training goals – and, in fact, can be broken into smaller chunks for easier learning and practice, using a combination of live video, phone calls, shared videos and other materials, and regular communication.
Phone Chats are also available for non-clients and for new issues not already covered for existing clients, in 30 minute increments. Call for an initial conversation about your needs and to schedule a more in-depth chat. No registration required. See my Facebook page for details.
Initial Consultations are available for:
You are excitedly expecting a child, but maybe Rocky isn’t quite as certain that this is a good thing. Has he become clingy? Seeking more of your attention? Is he doing things he hasn’t done in a long time? You understand that you are preparing to have a child, but your dog doesn’t! Now is the time to help your dog adjust and to learn or solidify must-have manners, while reassuring him that he is still a much-loved member of the family.
Families with Babies and/or Toddlers
Tulip seemed fine when baby came home, but she might not be so happy now that baby is starting to crawl. A growing baby means constant change for the parents, let alone the dog – and your dog doesn’t have an app for that! She needs guidance and support to help her through this confusing period of child development. Learn how to juggle life with dogs and toddlers and adapt to changing needs with confidence. Lay a strong, age-appropriate foundation for these newly developing relationships that are based on mutual respect and trust and Dog Awareness.
Families with Older Children
Well-meaning people give lots of advice: “Control your dog!” or “Control your children!” But how?! With all the conflicting information out there, it’s hard to know what to do. I can offer family-friendly solutions that are dog-friendly too, based on the latest science and force-free training methods using the principles of classical and operant conditioning. If they are willing, I engage kids through age-appropriate training games that help build their understanding, empathy, respect, and trust.
New Puppy/Adopted Dog and Young Children
If you also have children under 6 years of age in the house, an initial consultation is in order. There are so many more factors when juggling young puppies and young children! Adolescent and especially adult dogs often need additional time to build trust while they settle into their new life, particularly if they’ve been rehomed before. Though they may quickly attach to an adult, they may be a little stressed about children in the home at first, need some space. Adopting dogs usually requires some understanding, patience, and a sense of humor, but with all the conflicting information out there, it’s hard to discern best practices. Having a knowledgeable guide and coach can save you time and give you peace of mind that you are on the right track.
Pre- or New Puppy Primer
Congratulations on your new puppy! Caring for and raising a young puppy into a well-adjusted adult dog is a big responsibility. That first year is critical to ensuring that your dog will be comfortable with the world and understand what is expected of him, but there’s a lot of conflicting information out there. This introduction to raising a puppy will help you navigate through it all and give you practical advice for starting off strong with your puppy in your home.
Topics are adjusted to meet your individual needs but generally include:
- Pre-Puppy Primer: equipment purchases and placement, safety, family expectations, first days and weeks, puppy needs and development, house and chew training, and puppy body language. You can also train and continue to learn all things Puppy with the Puppy Pack!
- New Puppy: the above topics, but prioritized to ensure that everyone is safe and to minimize development of undesired habits as you start to train your pup. Examples might include addressing immediate crying, biting, jumping, or escaping concerns, or excessive house training or chewing issues. The coaching provided by a follow-up Puppy Pack can help you remember what to do and re-prioritize as your puppy grows and changes.
Click here for details of an Initial Consultation and the follow-up Puppy Pack option or REGISTER HERE.
NOTE: I still strongly recommend taking a Social Puppy group class for learning time with your pup’s peers – see the AVSAB (American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior) position statement on Puppy Socialization in the Resources section of my website