August 12, 2015

Confidence and Composure

A Safe Learning Environment for the Socially Challenged Dog

The Confidence & Composure program is a unique and comprehensive 3-step program that addresses “aggressive” behaviours displayed by your dog while walking on leash. (Or “leash reactivity” as we prefer to say.)

Dogs that are overly reactive and “aggressive” are often nervous or scared. They need to build their confidence when faced with what they perceive as a “scary thing” and learn new behaviours at the same time.

Confidence & Composure has a proven track record and was developed here in the  Ottawa Valley by master trainer, Paola Hoger of Shake-a-Paw

“Urban life is a reality for a lot of dogs today. Walking calmly on leash is a basic requirement for their everyday lives. Walking our dog is one of the reasons we have them in the first place and it’s supposed to be fun. I want all dog owners to experience a calm and relaxed walk.”

If any of these statements describe you:

  • Do you avoid meeting other dogs or people?
  • Are you adjusting your walk time or routine just to avoid running into “stuff” that will upset your dog?
  • Are you at the end of your leash?

Then Confidence & Composure is the place for you!   

Do any of these behaviours describe your dog?

  • Lunging, Barking, Growling
  • Intense, over-reaction to ordinary things
  • Nervous or Scared
  • Worried or Fearful
  • Submissive

Then Confidence & Composure is the place for you!   Start today …peaceful and relaxing walks are within your grasp. 

Registration is now open for spring session beginning April 7th, 2018 

Level 1: Calming the Reaction (cost of $299.00; 7 weeks including 1 private session and 6 week group class)

After your private assessment session, join a group class of 4-6 dogs and owners just like you.   Here you will build a history of success with the other participants so you (and your dog) can relax in everyday life situations involving other dogs and exciting stimuli. You will know what to do and you will both be prepared.

This intensive class will teach your dog

  • how to change his/her reaction at the sight of another dog (or other stimuli).
  • how to remain calm with his/her brain engaged
  • new behaviours that will make your walk enjoyable once again.

You will learn the skills that you need to minimize your dog’s reaction and get him/her back under control.  Some basic obedience skills will also be reviewed so that your dog will learn to function (as we say, “keep the brain in the body”) while faced with heavy distractions.

Champlain Park Field House:

April 7 – May 12                                9:00 am – 9:45 am                    Private sessions on March 17th.  Please email Carol to assess your suitability for this class and to register.

Level 2: Build the Skill (cost of $190.00; 6 week group class)

Level 2 is all about strengthening your relationship with your dog and pushing your learning to the next level. Build on your achievements from Level 1. Now that your dog understands what is expected, we want to challenge them to perform regardless of the distraction.  Recall and good leash walking skills will be the focus but tricks and games will also be covered during this 6-week class.

Champlain Park Field House:

April 7 – May 12                                10:00 am – 10:45 am                    Please email Carol to assess your suitability for this class and to register.

Level 3: Take it to the Streets and work in the “real world” …ongoing (cost of $39.00 per session or book 6 for $190.00)  

Hone your new skills in an urban setting …the real, everyday world! Each group gathering provides supervised intensive practice for 4-6 graduates. Challenge your dog in the highest intensity environments such as city streets, outside the dog park or a busy neighbourhood pet store. Join any group in any location throughout the city…come as often as you like! Refresh, trouble-shoot, and practice, practice, practice!


How to avoid Leash Aggression and Reactivity …build confidence from the beginning, join our new class for young dogs:

Puppy Socialization Class for Nervous Pups (6 weeks to 11 months)   

Does your puppy shy away from people or experiences?  Startle easily? Would you describe your pup as nervous, scared or submissive? Then this class is for both of you!

This unique class for the young worried pup, we will walk you through the steps of building a confident dog. You will learn how to support your pup to build their courage and overcome their fear. We will also be working on basic skills that your pup will need (come when called, sit & stay, how to walk nicely on a leash, etc.) to grow up to be a wonderful family member and to have the confidence to face the challenges of city living in a human world. (Note: all dogs are on leash for this class.)

Champlain Park Field House:

April 7 – May 12                                11:00 am – 11:45 am                    Private sessions on March 17th.  Please email Carol to assess your suitability for this class and to register.


Registration for all Group Classes: These group classes will be held in various central and west-central Ottawa locations and are generally held on Saturday or Sunday mornings.  Winter classes are held at Champlain Park Field House.  Classes are ongoing so please contact Carol for further information by email or by phone: 613-295-9094.

All classes are offered jointly by Carol the Dog Trainer and Shake-a-Paw dog training.

Peaceful and relaxing walks are within your grasp!