Our ethical stance on dog training

Paws 4 me is dedicated to the cause of modern, ethical "force-free" dog training, and bound by the code of ethics set out by the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers (IMDT). We are also a proud member of the Pet Professionals Guild.

You will never be asked to do anything to your dog that will in any way cause him to feel fearful or intimidated, or cause him physical pain by means of 'corrections' and we will not tolerate harsh handling of dogs in our classes.

In our training sessions, we teach you how to effectively train yor dog by harnessing his natural instincts, and using positive reinforecment (often referred to as r+) to teach him which behaviours we would most like him to continue to offer us.

Should your dog have already developed a few bad habits, we can look at a number of means to eliminate these, such as teaching him new and incompatable behaviours, setting up scenarios whereby what we want him to do is more rewarding than what he is already doing. An example of this might be teaching him that running to our placemat when the postman knocks rather than jumping at the door, or showing him that so long as he is behaving as we would like him to, we can have a great time together, but all the fun stops if he breaks the rules. These methods are scientifically proven to be effective, and have no 'fall out', whereas aversive and punishment training might also teach the dog what you do and don't want from him, it may also make him more wary and less trusting, so more likely to act in an unpredictable manner.

What's more, its fun! Its fun to give your dog things he likes, its fun to play games that encourage your dog to want to be part of your team, and its downright fantastic to know that your dog loved the training session too!

Further reading: The Science Dog Blog  |  COAPE  |  Totally Gundogs on 'punishment'



Terms of Service

By making a booking with Paws4me dog training , you acknowledge that you have read, understood and fully accept our terms and conditions as detailed below:

All classes:

It is the client’s responsibility to ensure they attend on the correct date, time and place for the classes according to the instructor’s instructions.

Our training programme is very much about teaching you the techniques you need toeffectively communicate with your dog, so that you can take these methods home with you, refine and work it into your every day routines. To make the most of the classes and achieve optimal results, it is recommended that you read articles as posted frequently on our face book page that relate to how and why we use the training method we do, and practice what you have been taught at home and in as many different places as possible prior to the next class. 

In class, all dogs must remain on lead and kept away from contact with other dogs unless specifically instructed by the instructor. Please do not touch or feed anyone elses dog unless specifically invited to do so - we will sometimes invite dogs with fear issues into our class so long as they pose no threat to other people or dogs, but for their programme to work effectively, they will need to be assured of their personal space.

All instances of accident or injury must be reported to the instructor at the time they occurred.

We use only kind, ethical methods to train our dogs, based on proven scientific study of how dogs learn. In our classes, there is an emphasis on building a mutual communication and teaching our dogs to solve problems for themselves, and so where psossible,  we seek to adopt a more hands off approach and use food and toys to motivate and reward our dogs to make correct choices. To be effective, you will use a lot of food BUT this does not equate to spoiling your dog or contributing to excessive weight gain. Please click here to learn more about how and why we use food in our training.

Head collars may only be worn in class at the discretion of the instructor. While we seek to teach you how to work with your dog so that you have no need for them, in the interests of  human safety is may be of benefit for owners with large dogs or who are physically compromised to undertake some of the class activities with the aid of a head collar. Safety is always paramount.

Harsh handling or intimidation via vocal or physical means will not be permitted in any way in any class. The following items are NOT PERMITTED in our classes under any circumstances: choke chains and/or check chains of any description; electronic training collars including citronella; any other device that causes discomfort, pain or fear to the puppy; prong or pinch collars; any equipment that the trainer deems unacceptable.

Long lines are used (provided) for working with our dogs at distance, and so it is essential that your dog comes to class wearing a properly fitted, comfortable body harness. This should not be of a ‘no pull’ variety, but harnesses that have a d ring fastening on the dog’s chest are a preferred option for very strong dogs. Mekuti, ruffwear and perfect fit are all examples of the type of harnesses I recommend, with the mekuti perhaps being the most helpful for  controlling dogs that tend to lunge forward.

We use biothene long lines in class rather than flexi leads for safety purposes. A good article on flexi leads can be found here: Using Flexileas safely.

If your instructor is not happy that your dog is ready for distance work or does not have a suitable harness for a long line, you will be asked to use the length of your normal lead instead, or the lesson will be adapted in some other way for you to gain the best from it. This is not in anyway personal, it’s about setting your dog up so that they are best able to make ‘good choices’ in order for them to learn more easily and make progress through their training, and of course for safety and welfare is a top priority.

Occasionally, we may find that a class environment does not suit a puppy or owner.  Full discussion over the best way to proceed will be undertaken and this may result in us making alternative arrangements to assist you. 

We make every effort to ensure safety of both clients and puppies during the classes. By making a booking, you are accepting that participating in an activity with dogs, puppies, children and adults poses a risk of injury to yourself and your dog, and you agree to indemnify Paws4me for all personal injury and damage to property owned by you while attending the training classes.  You also agree to make any person who accompanies you to the class aware that they are also there at their own risk.


Children are welcome to come along to classes and will be actively encouraged to participate, but it is preferred that adults are the main handlers of the dogs in our group class environments.

All children must be under the supervision of a responsible adult who must agree to prevent them from disturbing the process of learning during the class.  Instructors reserve the right to ask disruptive children not to attend future classes.  Children under 5 years of age may attend only at the discretion of the Instructor.


It is important both for the welfare of your own dog and for the health and welfare of other dogs in class, that you do not bring dogs who have shown any signs of ill health but especially  diarreah, vomiting, eye or nasal discharge, shivering, coughing, excessive thirst or panting within 48 hours or without seeking veterinary advise to any class.

Bitches in season should not be brought to any class.

However please remember that in our classes, it is not the dogs that we are instructing. There is no reason at all why you should not come along and join in without your dog, indeed, we believe that it is very good for dogs to learn to feel comfortable when handled by strangers, and its good for other owners to appreciate that all dogs are individual characters and are different - so where practical we do 'swap dogs' for some exercises, and of course you can ask questions and practice with your 'invisible dog'.

Puppies must have had at least their first puppy vaccination and veterinary checked prior to their first participation. 'Puppies in arms' (pre-vaccination) are welcome if you are able to carry your puppy, as we believe that early exposure to every day environmental stimulations is vital for helping to develop a good and robust character, but no contact should be made between the puppies and other dogs attending. All older dogs should have completed their initial puppy vaccination course.

Missed classes can usually be taken by joining another group run by the tutor at the appropriate time as providing that there is a spare place and it is not disruptive to other attendees working with more difficult dogs.

We are not in any way veterinary qualified and cannot offer advice on medical concerns, however, if we feel that a dog is not of sound or robust enough conformation to participate in any exercises we will advise that you seek adice from your cet and will alter the exercise for your dog to be less physically demanding.

Drop in bookings:

This option is available to suit those who would like to come along to our classes but perhaps due to work and family constraints might find it more difficult to commit to a full six week block of classes, however class sizes are limited to 8 places, and availability and course bookings will take president over drop in bookings. This option may be offered instead of a full course booking during traditional holiday periods as full courses draw to an end an new term dates have yet to be announced.

The price of this option is slightly more per class than the six week option to encourage people to commit to classes, and it is advised that you text 07979 400 339 to check that the class will be running before attending.

Class fees will be advised on booking and are per dog per person, and are payable on the day if you choose to join us on a drop in  when you can basis, or on the first day / in advance if you choose to book a six week block of lessons.

Course Bookings:

Booking confirms your attendance for the six week course of lessons.  Please make every effort to attend each week. The full course fee must be paid in advance of joining the class. Failure to pay in a timely fashion may result in your place on the course being given to another client.

Refunds and Cancellations:

There is a great deal of background preparation and investment in both time and resources in every course that we offer and classes may be cancelled if there are too few attendees to make  a class viable, and in these circumstances a full refund will be given.

As some classes are held in outdoor venues, adverse weather conditions may mean that a class is postponed. It is your responsibility to check emails and text messages, or check this page for information regarding cancelled classes. You will be credited with an alternative day or venue under these circumstances.

Failure to attend a course that you have booked a place on, but not yet paid for, will result in a request for full payment, which you agree to be liable for.

There will be no partial refunds for missed classes.

All other cancellation and refund requests are at the discretion of Paws4me and dependent on individual circumstances.

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