about the happy hound initiative dog training
The Happy Hound Initiative provides dog training and education services to the greater Hobart area.
I offer dog training and education services to improve the life of both pets and owners using scientifically proven training techniques.
I use only positive reinforcement (reward) training to make learning simple and effective and to build a stronger relationship between dog and human. I will design an easy to understand training program that will set you both up for success.
Science tells us that behaviour that is rewarded is repeated. Training should be a fun and rewarding experience for both dog and human with methods that build mutual trust and respect.
I started The Happy Hound Initiative to share my dedication to dogs and to help people create and enhance their bond with their furry companions.
I believe the amazing friendship I share with my dog, Lola, is something that everyone should experience.
Some common behaviour issues I work with are:
- polite greetings (jumping up)
- loose lead walking
- bringing your new puppy/dog home
- rescue dogs
- safe interactions for children and dogs
- resource guarding
- puppy training (mouthing, toilet training, socialisation)
- introducing a new pet into the household (cats, rabbits, chooks etc.)
- mindDog training
- separation issues
- multi dog households
$140 (1.5 hours) - initial
$90 (1 hour) - subsequent
3 consultations (inc. initial) - $270 - save $30
5 consultations (inc. initial) - $430 - save $50
From training tips to make everyday life easier to addressing more complex behaviour issues, private consultations allow you the one-on-one time to ask questions and get expert advice. Most people find this the best way to undergo training as it is individual, specialised and in-depth advice for you and your dog.
Consultations are 1-1.5 hours and include a written report detailing management, training and enrichment advice and access to enrichment items and training equipment.
sit, stand, down
loose leash walking
barking/lunging at other dogs
barking/lunging at people
i Train while you work
Finding time to train your dog on your own or book in multiple consults can be a struggle for everyone. Not everyone enjoys training and so it makes sense to leave it to those who enjoy it and are experts at it.
The ‘I Train While You Work’ program allows you to work together with a trainer to achieve your training goals without adding any extra stress to your life. After an initial consult to work out training goals, management strategies and upkeep tasks, a trainer will then come to your house and train your dog without you needing to be there.
This can be working in your house and yard, going for walks, checking in/feeding your puppy, taking your dog to the park, playing with them, setting up enrichment activities or anything else you need.
Monday - closed
Tuesday - 9am - 5.30pm
Wednesday - closed
Thursday - 9am - 6pm
Friday - 9am - 6pm
Saturday - 9am - 4pm
Sunday - closed
Hobart Animal Hospital - Wednesday 6.30pm
Kingston Animal Hospital - Saturday 2.00pm
Kingston Sea Scout Hall - Monday 6.00pm
Contact me for bookings
There are few things as exciting and intense as getting a new puppy! It is a time of learning for both puppy and human and having guidance in this time is crucial. This begins before puppy comes home so that we can set them up for success. Training should start as soon as possible to make the most of your puppy's socialisation window. Puppy training focuses on education, training sessions and socialisation to give your puppy the best possible start in life.
toilet training (inc. crate training)
puppies and babies/kids
Snuffle mats are a fantastic way for dogs of all ages and sizes to express their seek and search desires. They are a great enrichment tool to use as an every day feeding tool, to distract, to distribute treats, for car trips or any other occasion! They come in a variety of colours and sizes and can also be made to order.
Snuffle mats are made with durable rubber and polar fleece, making them easy to wash and dry.
40cm x 35cm - $55
Other sizes made to order.
Training packs (balance harness + double ended lead)
Black Dog Wear Balance Harnesses are a great tool to assist you in teaching your dog to walk nicely on a lead. This harness can help your dog to balance on all four feet and and not pull on their lead. The harness also protects the sensitive neck area to avoid injuries from pulling.
Black Dog Wear Balance Harnesses come in Mini, Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large in a variety of colours. Harnesses are easy to adjust and have a front and back attach which allows dogs to be walked on a single or double attach lead.
A great enrichment tool for dogs, the Licki Mat is designed to be covered in any type of soft food to provide not only entertainment to your dog but can also help soothe them through repetitive licking. Easy to clean, freezer safe, non-toxic food grade TPR. Each mat is 20cm x 20cm.
$20 - $33
Kongs are designed to either be stuffed with food to get your dogs brain working at dinner time or used on their own as an unpredictable bouncy ball. They are made from natural rubber and come in a variety of sizes and shapes.
I have always had a passion for animals, and I volunteer at a variety of animal based organisations. My passion for dog training grew from being a foster carer for dogs, where I realised the difference that education and training could make in a dog’s life. Fostering around 20 dogs (and counting) over the last three years with different personalities and levels of training has also given me an insight into the difficulties that owners can face.
I began my formal dog training education in 2015 when I commenced a Certificate IV in Companion Animal Management with The Delta Institute. This intensive course allowed me to learn the foundations of dog psychology, learning theory, health management, class management and much more. I am also a member of the Pet Professional Guild Australia and the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Australia Inc., which means I adhere to science-based, force free, positive training methods.
I am a recommended trainer for mindDog Australia training psychiatric assistance dogs, something that gives me immense pride, fulfilment and happiness.
I love working with puppies (who doesn’t), rescue dogs, greyhounds, little dogs, big dogs, medium sized dogs and sometimes even cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and chooks.
I love what I do and look forward to continuing to share my passion with you and your furry friends.
The Happy Hound Initiative Dog Training
“Kat is fantastic , very knowledgeable and extremely professional. Looking forward to put training into practice.”
“Kat is great! Very knowledgeable and experienced and helpful with rescue greyhounds. She gave great advice and easy to understand instructions for speciality training for my dog.”
Diana, Lenah Valley
“Kat changed our doggos lives (dramatic, I know!) Before going to Kat our littlest dog was nearly impossible to walk- constantly pulling and getting under our feet. Kat worked with both our dogs and found an easy solution. Our dogs are much happier, calmer and healthier now. They also love her hand made snuffle mats- our greyhound even uses hers as a pillow when she’s found all the treats.”
Michaela, Mt Stuart
“Amazing training and friend so much passion and patience. I have received my first rescue greyhound, Jasper through Kat and now have a second, Sybil.”
Bridgette, Lenah Valley
“Kat has been an absolute asset to training my dog Franklin as a therapy dog. She has been a constant in his training since he was a puppy. I cannot fault Franklin and I feel that Kat has contributed to this immensely. Franklin would not be such a happy hound without her help. Highly recommend Kat’s skills.”
Let us know how we can help...
What is Positive Training?
by Victoria Stillwell
Positive training is not a scientific term. You will not find it in any scientific journals, and you will regularly hear it being mischaracterized by those who do not fully understand it.
The Four Pillars of Positive Training:
The use of positive reinforcement
Avoiding the use of intimidation, physical punishment or fear
A comprehension of the often misunderstood concept of dominance
A commitment to understanding the canine experience from the dog's point of view
Together, these four elements comprise the Positively concept of positive training. Without any one of them, the philosophy is not complete and is not as powerful and effective in building long-term relationships with your pets based on mutual trust and respect.
PACK THEORY DEBUNKED
By Victoria Stillwell
Do you really need to be the 'Pack Leader' to your dogs?
First of all, that is impossible, since your dogs know perfectly well that you are not, in fact, a dog. But even if you were, the whole concept of 'pack leadership' in domestic dogs as it is commonly understood has long been dismissed by trainers, veterinarians, veterinary behaviorists and modern behavioral science.
Do we need to provide leadership and guidance for our dogs? Of course.
Do we need to force them to be 'submissive' to us and view us as a 'dominant' figure in their lives to suppress their supposed natural instinct to take over our relationships, our households and our world? No.
Let's Just Be Humans Training Dogs
By Dr. Ian Dunbar
Basing dog training on a misunderstanding of wolf behavior is as useful as basing human education on a misunderstanding of chimpanzee behavior.
Dogs are not wolves and dog behavior is not the same as wolf behavior. In fact, the most striking difference between dog and wolf behavior is their interaction with people. Wolves have been naturally selected to grow up to be wary of people, whereas dogs have been artificially selected for their ease of socialization towards people. Consequently, it is hardly sound to use wolf behavior as a template for dog training.
Also, dog-dog interactions are very different from wolf-wolf interactions. Dog behavior is like watching simplified wolf behavior in slow motion. By and large, dogs are easy to read and usually give ample warning (intention signals) of their actions and reactions, whereas watching wolves requires a brain with a few more GHz and a bunch more Gigabytes.
before you get a puppy
By Dr. Ian Dunbar
Congratulations on beginning your search for a puppy. Please take your time making your decision. Your puppy’s quality of life as an adult dog pretty much depends on his socialization and training during his first few weeks in your home. Puppies grow up fast. One day you have a bumbling ball of fur and the next you have a raging adolescent. It is essential that you know how to raise and train a puppy before you get one. The first three months of their lives are a critical period for socialization and training, during which time they will develop the foundation of their lifelong behavior and temperament. You need to be aware of their developmental priorities as well as the basics of raising a puppy and teaching manners and obedience.
canine stress signs
By Lisa Mullinax
Stress is a normal part of life for any animal. Hunger is a form of stress that reminds us to eat, fear is an emotion that helps us avoid potentially harmful situations. However, when a dog repeatedly experiences in stressful situations that they cannot avoid or escape, problem behaviors can occur. Stress in the form of fear, anxiety, frustration, even excitement, all have the same effects in the brain, releasing cortisol and adrenaline.
Dogs experience stress at various degrees, just as humans do. You might be anxious about starting a new job, but still able to get dressed, drive to the office, and start your first day, while other people experience anxiety at a level that interferes with their ability to function and engage in normal social activities. The same is true for dogs. For some dogs, their stress levels are so high that going for walks or meeting new people is more than they can tolerate and problem behaviors occur.
why do dogs need enrichment?
By Shay Kelly
Turn the clock back just 40 or 50 years and life for pet dogs looked very different. They often came and went as they pleased, wandering the neighbourhood and meeting up with other local dogs. Thinking back to my own childhood, I don’t remember anybody in my street who used to take their dog for a walk. The dogs took themselves for a walk and they were far more streetwise for the experience. They didn’t have a meltdown at the sight of another dog, they understood canine body language and behaviour problems were virtually unheard of.
Times have changed. Now dogs are kept safely indoors and the lucky ones might get to go for a walk with their human each day. But what do they do for the rest of their time? How do they fill the activity void? Where do they get their mental stimulation? Look at the work ethic of some of the working breeds such as the Boarder Collie or Springer Spaniel. Is it really likely that our pet dogs are so far removed from the working lines that they are happy to do absolutely nothing with their life.
5 steps to living with babies and dogs
By Cannon Dog Training
Babies and dogs: a topic too serious to be avoided. Are you a parent? Please read this.
The internet is filled with pictures of babies and dogs together. While most people’s reaction is “AWWW HOW CUTE”, dog trainers cringe at the sight of such proximity. Why? Because… dogs bite. “Oh but mine doesn’t”. That’s what I hear in many of the cases I had in my years of practice as a dog trainer: “He was fine for 3 years, now all of a sudden he bit Johnny in the face”. Dogs are fine until they aren’t. Maybe they were giving signals all along, maybe the last time baby pulled Fluffy’s ear was the last drop.
To be clear: Babies and toddlers are not doing anything wrong. They are taught by their parents to be magnetized to dogs from a young age. “Johnny, look, a DOGGIE!!”. We dog trainers advise against doing this. For more on this topic, PLEASE go visit this amazing blog series HERE. Please also buy some good baby-dog books.
The question is, how can you make it work? You live in a small space, you have a dog, you are planning on having a baby or already have one. Here are some steps that will help you!
Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Get “Magnetized” to Dogs
By Madeline Gabriel
What Does it Mean to Be “Magnetized?” I use the term, “magnetized,” to refer to how babies end up where they CANNOT stay away from dogs. I’m sure you’ve seen it — the kids who make a beeline for dogs in the park or who are always messing with their own dog or wanting to pet other people’s dogs.
I discussed some of this in a previous post about babies that “love” dogs. The main issue is the lack of self-control inherent in a magnetized young child. If a toddler or preschooler could turn it on and off, maybe, but reliable on/off switches are not what toddlerhood is all about.
My last five clients have had house training concerns. Their dogs ranged in age from five months to seven years old and some were from breeders and some were from rescues. This example shows that house training is a common problem and frustration across the board for dog owners. House training doesn’t need to be complicated and it definitely shouldn’t be a long lasting battle. I’ll share some common mistakes and simple changes so you can turn those mistakes into successes. Whether you’ve just brought home a puppy or you’ve rescued an older dog from a shelter, this post will help take you step by step to house training success.
What Does Flooding Have To Do With Aggression In Dogs?
By Jill Breitner
Flooding is a technique used to force dogs to be in the proximity of something that they are afraid of. Many people and trainers use it without having a clear understanding of how negatively it effects dogs. All too often, it’s done without even knowing they are flooding them. This is the most dangerous and how aggression ties in with flooding.
What happens after a dog has been flooded, is that the stress of being forced into a scary situation builds up to a point where they may and often do lash out at a person, dog, child, etc. and this often won’t happen while a dog is being flooded, but after. It could be a couple of hours after, a day later or even longer for some.