Cambridge Dogs are dedicated to kind, modern and effective methods of training your dog which are based on learning to communicate effectively and building a trusting relationship with each other.
We don't use aversive equipment or techniques in dog training; no harsh handling or punishment that induces pain or fear in your dog. This includes shock collars (e-collars), equipment such as check chains and prong collars and methods based on 'asserting dominance'. Our training methods are based on rewarding appropriate behaviour and listening to your dog's body language to establish trust and understanding between owner and dog.
To build this relationship it is important to be clear and consistent to your dog about what you want from him; we are 'training' every time we interact with our dogs. We must also be prepared to listen when our dogs try to tell you something, and respond appropriately. This will enable you to provide guidance and leadership through mutual trust, confidence and understanding, rather than force and intimidation.
Understanding the natural behaviour of the domestic dog, breed specific traits, the science of learning theory and how humans and dogs communicate with each other are all important in training. It is possible to confuse, distress and depress dogs by behaving inconsistently towards them or not recognizing their real need for social contact and affection. We also have to recognise that our dogs - as well as ourselves - are all individuals so there is no 'one size fits all' method of training. It is worth taking time to understand your dog's personality and what motivates and enthuses them as an individual.
All our trainers hold degree or postgraduate degree level qualifications in animal behaviour. Team members are affiliated with the APDT, APBC and UKRCB; are the leading organisations of dog behaviour and training in the UK and member organisations of the newly formed Animal Behaviour and Training Council which has been set up to help regulate companion animal training and behaviour counselling in the UK following the Companion Animal Welfare Council's report on the Regulation of Trainers and Behaviourists.
We are up-to-date with the latest research into canine behaviour science and training methods (see the Team page for recent courses and conferences attended by the team) and have extensive experience teaching a range of classes from puppies and beginners to agility, bronze and silver, and a variety of sports from TD Rally, Heelwork to Music, Pet dog obedience and agility.
ICC Dog Training was founded by Christina Oxtoby in 2004 to provide kind, stress-free training using modern, positive methods and now has a number of centres in and around Lincolnshire. In 2009 Christina moved to Cambridge for a year and established the ICC Cambridge branch, which has now become Cambridge Dogs. Instructors started off assisting at classes before moving on to instruct classes. You cannot learn to be a dog training instructor in a weekend crash-course or on the internet. Watching and assisting experienced instructors, learning about the different ways that dogs and people best learn, and gaining solid experience under supervision and in a team are essential.
Christina has now moved to Lincolnshire and will be holding occasional workshops here in Cambridge while we continue the training classes under the core principles of kind, stress-free training that ICC prides itself on. We maintain close links with the ICC team and are pleased to continue to be associated with them.
Last update: 9/1/2014