We have ISCP Centres at various venues around the UK and in Austria.
These are run by ISCP Principals and tutors and are open to ISCP members
Why learn practical skills
When you have been in the 'dog world' for as long as some of us have, you can be forgiven for being cynical about all the 'new' methods/approaches that are often marketed as being the next best thing.
Everything comes in cycles. Some things become more popular, and others just seem to have mileage because of the number of Facebook shares. Like all social media platforms, it allows the sharing of information, which is great, but it also allows a degree of over-exaggeration of skillsets. We should question everything:
How do they know that? What is the basis for that claim?
The theory side of working with dogs is massively important. After all, look at the damage that can be done when someone really doesn't understand the consequences of the actions that they suggest to guardians, or who mistakes very clear body language signals, or who uses intimidation without understanding that is what they are using - it's a minefield.
Working with dogs is about applying that knowledge and striving to be better.
Within the ISCP, we try to offer practical study days (obviously Covid allowing).These are not compulsory to attend. After all, we have students in over 60 countries, but where possible we encourage you to attend.
About ISCP practical days
So what to expect on a practical day? It's all about observation, getting involved and honing those skills. Our sessions focus on the critical question of 'What does this dog need and how can I support this dog at this moment in time?'
Look out for details of practical days run by the ISCP - they really are not like your average training days, but are designed to put the dogs at the centre of all that we do.
The ISCP practical days are not just about spending time with dogs. We ask students to write a reflective account of their time, identifying anything they have learned. Debra has given permission for hers to be shared.
I have been so fortunate to be able to observe the dogs at Dale’s day care. I think the most beneficial thing for me has been to be able to observe the dog’s individual play styles. It has been so interesting to see how the dogs engage and adapt their play styles to the dogs around them.
I have learned that many dogs will play in different ways in different situations depending on the environment, how many dogs are around, the size of the other dogs and the play style of the other dogs.
I also believe that I am gaining confidence in being able to read the situation much better and am interfering less. It’s been great to be able to learn about the play styles of different breeds and having the opportunity to just simply observe and witness the communications between the dogs has been invaluable.
Being Canine offers home Behaviour Consultations, Group / 121 Training, and provides education events and social walks. Training classes are held at an outside training area in Annbank, and in Kirkoswald. Training classes are not traditional ‘obedience’ focused; we prepare dogs for living in our world, all activities are designed to be fun, support learning in dogs and humans, and to have practical applications in the real world. We use agility equipment (amongst other things) to help dogs to build confidence and to foster a stronger bond with their caregivers.
In addition, we also provide a home boarding service. For this we have purpose-built suites which are designed around the requirements of the dogs. We model the content of the stay around the individual dog, so for those who are more outgoing we have a large paddock where dogs can meet and play; for the dogs who like to potter there are several quieter areas. We plan to include a specific area for serious sniffing, which will include herbs and plants which dogs will find appealing.
We will be planning some practical days in the Lincolnshire area, Covid allowing.
ISCP Austria is run by Patricia Bisztron (www.bisztron.at) and Rosee Riggs (www.good-dog-practice.com / www.good-dog-practice.eu). We are situated in an idyllic part of Lower Austria, just where the Alps start, and near to Semmering, the famous ski and spa resort.We offer practical workshops, and at times work experience, for ISCP students and graduates. We also host CPD (continued professional development) in the form of weekend seminars in both English and German. Some of these are our own lectures, and sometimes we invite well-known speakers who are experts in a particular field. We’ll gladly advise you about where to look for accommodation.
This photo was during the break at one of the sessions when tutor Dale McLelland’s boy, Eric, decided that he would gate-crash. Dale says she can't guarantee that he won't do that at future events, as he does like to be involved!