What makes us different?

We Offer a range of different ethical and modern approaches and help the dogs in front of us rather than a blanket effect, we teach dogs as individuals and not as a “one size fits all” solution. We use a combination of Force Free training methods for LifeSkills training and a new way of teaching dogs called Free Will Teaching, founded by author and top behaviourist and Canine Expert Kathie Gregory.

Our behaviourist Bethany Bell is one of the only three current Free Will Teachers in the world and offers Free Will Teaching consultations to help with dogs who are suffering with anxiety, reactivity, hyper attachment issues, and low confidence. Bethany does not use treats, lures or punishments, or any old traditional or more common conventional methods,  all of which have proven to not help dogs with behavioural issues and helps dogs and their owners internationally.

Our trainers Caitlin Heasman and Kay Webb offer training classes and one to one reward based force free methods and work around Witney, Oxfordshire and surrounding areas.a

proud dog trainer

What is Free Will Teaching?

Free will teaching offers a completely different way of life with our dogs. It’s a framework for people and dogs to communicate with each other on a complex level. A concept based on comprehensive learning through conversational language and calm communication skills, Free Will Teaching is outside the realm of conventional training methods. Instead of training using lures, cues, hand signals, and treats, with exercises repeated over and over, FWT gives you the ability to teach your dog properly so that you understand each other and be in tune with each other to reach a much more rewarding relationship. Truly kind and compassionate, Free Will Teaching is a new and refreshing way to teach your dog, improving your relationship and bond to nurture and guide you and your dog to a harmonious relationship based on love and trust that wasn’t considered possible a few decades ago. 

Kathie Gregory is the founder of The Academy of Free Will Teaching. I have worked closely with Kathie since 2020 and I have become extremely passionate about Free Will Teaching, as the difference I see in my client’s dogs as well as my own is astronomical! In Kathie’s words:

 

“Free Will Teaching is how we live our life with our dogs. It’s guiding principle is to give dogs the free will to live the life they want to live. However, free will is not just leaving your dog to do what he wants, when he wants, that would result in chaos! Free will is achieved when we understand ourselves and the world around us properly, so we are able to behave, interact, and make decisions that are healthy and mindful to us and to those around us. Spoken language is our main way of communicating with our dog, backed up by our body language. Teaching spoken language gives us the ability to communicate, via conversations, the complexity of subjects that raise dogs to the potential of their species and themselves as an individual, and gives them the ability to understand more than can be conveyed with single words or hand signals. In turn, we must understand our dog’s spoken language and body language so they are an equal participant in the relationship. Our understanding of how the brain functions is well documented and informs best practice in teaching children, but has been completely ignored when it comes to teaching animals. For some reason, we bypass this wealth of knowledge, and instead of teaching dogs, we train them based on a select few experiments done several decades ago, that had nothing to do with teaching in the first place! Those of you with dogs and horses, will have been told many times that you cannot train a horse and a dog in the same way, their brains work differently, so we have reinvented the wheel, and created different methods for each species we interact with! But as the mammalian brain basically works in the same way, there is no logical reason for interacting in a completely different way just because it is a different species. Of course, each species has some differences which we need to take into account. For example, people, horses, and dogs are social species, whereas cats are a solitary species. Instincts and automatic responses are different between species, and that affects the basic perspective of the species. The principles of comprehensive teaching remain the same whether we are teaching dogs, children, or any other mammalian species, but we use our species-specific knowledge to tailor how and what we teach.”

 

Kathie, a qualified behaviourist since 2001, is the author of ‘A Tale of Two Horses’ and ‘A Puppy Called Wolfie.’

 

Dog Behaviour and Obedience Training from Qualified Trainers in Oxfordshire

Based in Oxfordshire, Barking Up The Right Tree is a small family run business who offer you more than just food treats, we offer you solid science! We make sure you are left well informed with the most cutting-edge information on dog behaviour. We teach you how to communicate effectively, and with true understanding so that your dog can read your intentions and you can read theirs. 

We are dog lovers, so we only use kind and ethical approaches! Everything we do is from the dog’s perspective, which is the only true way to change their behaviour and emotional responses. We work with your dog’s emotions and never put them in a situation that makes them uncomfortable. 

Is your dog barking, lunging, or creating a scene around other dogs and strangers? This can be embarrassing and upsetting, it also makes your once pleasurable walks a stressful experience.

You may have felt like giving up hope, but we can help you with our Free Will Teaching techniques. Perhaps you have a new puppy and don’t know where to start. We tailor our training programmes to suit your needs, whether you are a first-time dog owner with a brand-new puppy, or you have a multi-dog household, the training is done at your pace.

We specialise in reactive, nervous and anxious dogs.

Maybe your walks have become stressful because your dog is pulling your arms out of their sockets! Or they’re refusing to return to you when you call them, we know how frustrating that can be! So, we have designed a collection of simple training techniques and fun games to keep your dogs by your side whether they are on or off the lead! 

Do you feel that your dog could benefit from group classes? We offer a range of different group courses for all types of dogs and abilities, all ages and we are family friendly! We currently run outdoor classes in Kidlington at  beautiful fully secure outdoor paddock on a farm, with plenty of friendly farm animals to train around. Our classes are fun, motivating and jam packed full of information to help you in the best possible way. Our venue has plenty of space for dogs who need space, we also work on socialising your dog appropriately so that they are not out of their comfort zone or to over the top. We include life skills training to all of our courses and workshops, and we provide external help and support in-between classes in our members group where you receive free membership. 

Do you struggle to commit to training classes? We all lead busy lives and we understand that time commitment can be difficult, so we have developed an online training academy where you can learn with no time pressure! We have a selection of “ready to go” online courses with step by step video tutorials that you can re-watch as often as you like! Perhaps you find it difficult to meet face to face, but you need 1-1 help? We would not want you to miss out! So, we have designed a simple way to help you 1-1 virtually!

We offer a variety of services to help you and your beloved canine find harmony in your lives. Whatever issues you are facing, we can help you.

We have a variety of classes for all shapes and sizes! Puppies, Teenagers, Adults, Experts or Beginners, we have a class to suit you and your pooch!

Would you rather learn from the comfort of your own home? No problem, we’ve got you covered! We offer a range of options including 1-1 video consultations, virtual sessions and our exclusive online memberships! Learn how to teach your own dog or even become a dog trainer yourself, we cover it all.

Dog, laptop, office, sofa

Our Mission

We believe in dogs! We believe that every single dog deserves the chance to be understood, and we believe that the only way to achieve this is by using modern and ethical teaching methods and learning new information about how dog’s actually think and communicate. There are still many myths and misconceptions surrounding dogs, and our mission is to eradicate those myths by delivering the facts. Our mission has started from a theory, one we are currently testing! We believe that numerous dogs are re-homed due to misunderstood behaviour, that these dogs who have found themselves in rescue centres could have been prevented from developing behavioural issues if the correct information was available from the start. Our aim is to start at the very beginning and provide well-sourced information, in fun and simple formats so that owners can, not just help their dog’s behavioural issues but they could prevent them from occurring in the future. We do not agree that the problem starts with the owner, it runs deeper than this, the problem lies with incorrect information being so freely available and unfortunately still being provided by some unqualified pet professionals.

Our Mission

We believe in dogs! We believe that every single dog deserves the chance to be understood, and we believe that the only way to achieve this is by using modern, force-free training methods and learning new information about how dog’s actually think and communicate. There are still many myths and misconceptions surrounding dogs, and our mission is to eradicate those myths by delivering the facts. Our mission has started from a theory, one we are currently testing! We believe that numerous dogs are re-homed due to misunderstood behaviour, that these dogs who have found themselves in rescue centres could have been prevented from developing behavioural issues if the correct information was available from the start. Our aim is to start at the very beginning and provide well-sourced information, in fun and simple formats so that owners can, not just help their dog’s behavioural issues but they could prevent them from occurring in the future. We do not agree that the problem starts with the owner, it runs deeper than this, the problem lies with incorrect information being so freely available and unfortunately still being provided by some unqualified pet professionals.

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