August 12, 2015

Confidence and Composure Program

A safe learning space for “over the top” pups and pooches 

The Confidence & Composure* program is a unique and comprehensive program that addresses nervousness, anxiety, fear and over-the-top-reactions to what we consider “ordinary things or events”. Of course, we all react to things in our environment but for many dogs their reaction is out of proportion to the “thing” they are reacting too.

Some dogs only exhibit troublesome behaviours while on leash which leads to the common term of “leash reactivity”; or when the behaviour looks aggressive with barking/lunging/growling, it might be called “leash aggression”.

Some dogs display the same types of behaviours as nervous dogs but are not experiencing negative stress at all.  Rather, they experiencing “positive stress”: they are so excited by the environment that they want it “NOW!” and they are frustrated by being held back by the leash (“leash frustration”) or are simply overjoyed and “overly exuberant”.

The Confidence & Composure program will build your dog’s confidence and support both of you towards calm and relaxed life.  Together we will

  • look at the dog’s overall environment and health (sleep, diet, schedule, routine, exercise, etc)
  • learn about your dog’s body language so that we have better communication
  • investigate possible problem areas for your dog in terms of body pain or movement
  • teach your dog to perceive things in their world as non-threatening or not so widly exciting
  • address leash skills & equipment
  • work on self-control exercises
  • learn about brain work for a full and enriching life for your dog
  • learn about the “inside workings” of your dog’s brain and what will help them to be able to be calm

If any of these statements describe you:

  • Are you adjusting your walk time, route or routine just to avoid running into “stuff” that will upset your dog?
  • Are you worried about your dog’s emotional well being?
  • Do you think your dog “loses their mind” sometimes?
  • Do you feel stressed by your dog’s behaviour in the house, outside or on walks?

Then the Confidence & Composure program is the place for you! 

Do any of these behaviours describe your dog?

  • Lunging, barking, or growling at people, dogs, other things
  • Intense reaction to “ordinary” things
  • Nervous, scared, worried, fearful or anxious
  • Submissive (this can include “rolling over for a belly rub” with a stranger)
  • Shies away (or hides) from someone or something
  • Refuses to walk in a given direction or on a certain day
  • Stubborn or hyper-focused
  • Distracted and “can’t pay attention”
  • Sits down frequently on walks
  • Lies down in wait (often to “pounce”)
  • Jumps at you or grabs at you (or the leash) on a walk
  • Likes to play tug while on a walk

Then then Confidence & Composure program is the place for you! 

Take action today by registering online for the Confidence & Composure program ($1200). Or, reach out by phone (613 295 9094) or email (  We will book your initial training and assessment appointment as quickly as possible (generally within 5-7 days).

Then over the next 3 months** together we will have

  • An initial thorough virtual consult (1 x 60-90-min session) to fully scope your situation and devise a personal detailed plan for management and training.
  • A follow up virtual or “in person” session (1 x 45 min) 7-10 days after your initial consult.
  • Weekly check-ins by email, phone or Zoom while you adjust your environment, practice your skills. and follow your training plan.
  • Schedule your remaining 3 sessions (45 min each) on your schedule as needed.  Tweak your plan, review your skills, and address any areas of concern. These sessions can be virtual or in-person; each situation is unique.

Now, give yourself a “cookie” and enjoy your calm and peaceful canine companion. 

Wait! What if you want a little more? Do you want to keep the momentum going? We are happy to help with additional one-on-one sessions ($120 each), or join a specialty group class (package of 3 classes for $150) to work with 3-4 others who understand your journey.  Ready for more real world work? Take your skills on the road in a group setting, join a skill class with “non reactive” dogs, take up a sport, or add in some enrichment like scent work.***

We look forward to being a part of your journey. Get in touch today!

*the Confidence & Composure program was originally developed by master trainer, Paola Hoger of Shake-a-Paw
**All sessions, consultations and packages may be completed virtually, by phone, email, or “in person” and are non-refundable. Transfer among services (private or group classes) is permitted under certain conditions. All sessions of any package must be completed within 8 months from the first session. All prices listed above include HST.
***extra charges apply for additional private sessions or group classes. Email for details. All prices listed above include HST.