Fear-Free Dog Training
Motivating Canine offers a wide range of training services to help your furkid to be a better pet. Apart from general dog training, it specialises in attending to rescued dogs of all ages and rehabilitating them through motivational techniques. These techniques use rewards and positive reinforcement to mould a dog's behaviour, rather than fear and punishment.
Please browse this site to sample the services offered. These are customised and delivered at your home. The FAQ below provides answers to some common questions that dog owners ask; but feel free to make contact to find out more about the pet training services on offer.
A Passion Made Professional
Jennifer Chua owns and runs Motivating Canine. She has been an animal lover all her life and her deep involvement with dogs started in 2016, when she adopted a blind dog named Ray. To translate her affection for dogs into action she began to volunteer in several dog and other Animal Welfare Groups (AWGs). Soon after becoming a volunteer, she was involved in her first search and rescue operation, involving a dog. Rescues and other interactions with canines saw her dealing with up to10 different dogs a day with various temperaments. This familiarised her with the different “personality” types among canines.
In 2017, she quit her job at a medical clinic to work full time on animal welfare. While gaining experience in animal care, Jennifer mentored under a Certified Dog Behaviour Consultant and took dog training courses. She is now an Accredited Dog Trainer with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). She has also obtained the Fear Free Animal Trainer Certification and is a Certified Family Dog Mediator. She is a trainer with the initiative to ADopt and REhome dogs (Project ADORE) and a premium member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT).
Affiliations & Certification
This attends to any challenges or problems faced which require behaviour changes to help both the owners and the dogs to minimise or eliminate issues that can break the owner-dog bond. Some examples of behaviour modification include attending to leash and other reactivities, fear aggression, confidence building for fearful dogs, resource guarding as well as helping the dog cope better with thunder and separation anxieties, etc.
Co-operative Care Preparation
This is also known as husbandry training which involves preparing your dog for a fear free vet or groomer visit. The aim of Cooperative Care is to prevent a fearful or traumatised by visits to a groomer or vet which can lead to fear of strangers, handling and aggression.
Puppy Foundation (10 weeks)
This comprehensive programme trains the puppy to make positive associations with the people and objects in its new home so that the puppy develops into a more confident pet. Training includes socialisation, in which the pet learns how to interact with other living things in and around the home. Habituation – the process by which the puppy learns to ignore irrelevant stimuli, such as everyday sights, sounds and smells – is also included. Hence the puppy will be trained not to react negatively to cooking, the laundry and vacuum machines and children screaming in the playground, for instance. Motivating Canine uses training methods that incentivise the puppy to for the desired behaviour, rather than punishment because punishment does not teach the puppy anything other than creating fear, which can result in cracks in the relationship. Owners will also be taught how to help in the development of their new pet.
This is about preparing the dog for any new living thing that is joining the household. Examples include any new human – such as a baby, domestic helper, long-term guest or partner – or new animal. Integration programme is important to set the dog and the new introduction with a higher success rate. This will allow a smoother integration to prevent stress and potential conflicts.
Basic Dog Handling And Care
This is for new or first-time adult dog owners to learn and understand the basics of dog handling and care. It includes understanding dog body language and communication, leash handling and integrating the new dog into the home environment. It is ideal for owners who have just adopted an adult dog. Owners who want a refresher or to learn about reward-based positive reinforcement training methodology will also find this beneficial.
Project ADORE Programme
Under Project ADORE, HDB flat owners can adopt local mixed breed dogs, also known as Singapore Specials, which are up to 55 cm in height. Interested adopters are allowed to keep only one dog per flat and have to abide by strict rules, including licensing, sterilisation, routine vaccination and micro-chipping the dog. New owners will have to enrol their dogs for obedience training courses at the point of adoption and sign a Code of Responsible Behaviour (CORB) which includes ensuring that their dogs do not become a nuisance to the neighbours. Adopters living in the HDB are required to undergo this programme.
Leon Ng | 11 July 2022
We signed up with Motivating Canine for the Puppy Foundation + Basic Obedience Programme. A huge thank you to Jennifer for helping us to better understand our new puppy. Jennifer is ever patient and really has a special way with dogs. She takes the time to explain in easy to understand terms how to train and address our dog's needs, and offers useful tips on how to deal with specific behavioural issues (every dog is different). She also follows up each lesson with tips and supplementary materials via email so we can remember what to do! Our puppy Abby absolutely loves trainer Jennifer!
Frequently Asked Questions
Have a Question? Here’s an Answer
What is your training methodology?
Motivating Canine uses scientifically proven reward-based positive reinforcement training methodology. The dog is incentivised to behave as desired by items or actions that it likes or enjoys. Motivating Canine does not use or support the use of aversive tools to inflict pain as punishment for undesired behaviour.
Why should I favour reward-based positive reinforcement training methodology?
Reward-based positive reinforcement training helps to enhance the emotional state of the dog. Not only is this methodology more humane, but it also helps to improve the owner-dog relationship.
What is Fear Free?
Fear Free is an American educational institution for veterinary professionals, founded by Dr Marty Becker. He has spent his life working towards better health for pets and the people who love them. Fear Free advocates the use of training methods that do not use fear or punishment to achieve desired behaviour from pets. It teaches and certifies veterinarians and other animal care givers on such training so that pets develop without fear, anxiety and stress.
I have / will be having a new puppy. Must I enrol it in the Puppy Foundation Programme?
A dog will make positive or negative associations with the items and actions in its environment and this, in turn, has a bearing on whether it behaves in a friendly or aggressive/fearful way in the presence of such items and actions. It is important to help a puppy to establish positive associations with the living and non-living things in its new home as soon as possible. See details in the Services section. So a reward-based trainer, who can help establish positive associations, should be there with you on the very day the puppy arrives in the household so as to set it up for success. The Puppy Foundation Programme helps a young dog to make positive associations in its new home. A puppy with seemingly no problems will also benefit as the programme anticipates situations in which it may come under stress, and attends to such situations even before they arise. Such proactive training is better than reactive training.
I have used traditional training methods previously. Can I change to reward-based positive reinforcement training?
Yes. It is never too late to help change your dog into a more motivated and stress-free pet.
Do you conduct group classes?
Motivating Canine recommends private sessions in the dog’s home environment so as to provide a stress and distraction free setting. This allows the owners and the dog to focus on the customised training programme planned. Group classes can be arranged amongst friends upon request; but in the future, when the pandemic situation eases.
Can I cancel and reschedule an appointment?
It is understood that sometimes, an appointment needs to be cancelled and rescheduled. No cancellation fee will be incurred. Motivating Canine does not believe in penalising owners for last minute cancellations or re-schedule requests. However owners are asked to try to make the reschedule or cancel request 24 hours in advance so that the slot can be given up to others.
Can my family join the training sessions?
Sure! In fact, it is most ideal that the whole family – including the domestic helper if there is one – is involved. If the dog has challenging issues that require behaviour modification, the dog walker or pet sitter should also attend the training sessions.
Where is the training conducted?
The training is conducted in the dog’s home environment and outdoor setting around the home, with which the dog is familiar, to minimise stress and distraction.
My dog is not food motivated. Will it affect the training?
It is often misunderstood that reward-based training means only food treats are used. Motivating Canine uses any motivation that the dog likes or desires as reinforcement tools.
Do you accept all breeds?
Yes. All breeds are accepted.
I have a rescued dog, can you help?
Rescued dogs, be they former street dogs or ex-breeding dogs, require more care and sensitivity in handling so that they can integrate better into the new home environment. Having been involved with dog rescue for years, Motivating Canine has special interest in such dogs.
My dog is aggressive, can you help?
Yes. This falls under behaviour modification. Reactive or aggressive dogs require special training plans to modify and manage the dog’s problems so as not to further aggravate the situation.
When should I engage a trainer?
There is never a wrong time to engage a trainer. As the saying goes, “prevention is better than cure”. Hence proactive training is better than reactive training. If there was no previous training and the dog is beginning to show signs of undesired behaviour, engage a reward-based trainer as soon as possible before the behaviour worsens.
Is my dog too old for training?
No dog is too young or too old for training. However, expectations and training targets must be realistic. For example, an old dog with mobility issues or a puppy which is too young cannot be expected to undergo agility training that involves running and jumping.
How long do training sessions last?
Each training session lasts about 1 hour and 15 minutes. The number of sessions depends on the goals requested and challenges faced. Trainers cannot guarantee results as there are many factors to consider, such as the emotional state of the dog, the owners’ adherence to the training plan and the dog’s learning pace.
What forms of payment do you accept and when should the payment be made?
Payment is to be made after each session and can be in the form of Cash, PayNow or PayLah.
I would like to engage you for training services. What should I do next?
Please make contact using the form provided, on the "Get in Touch" page giving brief details of the training needed. You will be sent a questionnaire to obtain relevant information that will allow for an initial assessment of the situation and what is needed, as well as form the foundation for a tailored programme for you.
I would like to purchase a training session as a gift. Do you sell training gift vouchers?
Yes. Please make contact using the form provided, indicating that you would like a gift voucher.