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    • We both loved the way Sheila Harper presented herself - not to 'tell' or 'advise' us on what to believe or not (like many trainers do in a sometimes intimidating manner) but to allow us to think...
    • It was superbly facilitated and directed with dog handling, case studies, and in-depth perspective being important.
    • Sheila is not into "Sit", "Down", "Stay". The concentration is on having a positive and gentle development with your dog - you are a team - so that you can both enjoy...
    • I have been to presentations before where your attention starts to wander and where you can’t wait for the course to end. I was completely focused on this course for the whole 2 days; there was...
    • “What a weekend that was! Will life with my dog ever be the same again? I hope not! I now have some tools for a new start with my first ever dog who, at 14 months, had lost his trust in me...
    • “I soon realised that my inexperience really didn’t matter, as what we had come to learn about was new to everyone. We all had a similar motivation for doing the course. To do the best...
    • “A wonderfully stimulating and well organised weekend. It exceeded my expectations both in content and presentation.”
    • “I admire Sheila’s passion, calm positive energy and tireless motivation for teaching and sharing her profound, pioneering and unique philosophy and knowledge of dogs and owners.”
    • “I learned a great deal and ‘Bod’ was so relaxed and stress free due to your fantastic organisation. I do so appreciate how much hard work and thought goes into the preparation of...
    • “At that time, I still believed in Pack Leadership, dominance, control and obedience. Sheila opened my eyes and mind to the possibility that there was a different way to work with my three...
    • “I wanted to say a big thank you for the hard work and time put into the courses and for the patience and understanding of where I am at and what I have still to learn. It could be quite...
    • “We haven't been able to stop thinking about what we learnt and we're hungry for more. We bought half a dozen books to keep us going!”

    Practical Work and Wellbeing

    Sheila Harper Ltd. is privileged to have a unique insight into the canine species. The team’s philosophy is dog-centred, encompassing kind, gentle methods with empathy for dog and owner.

    Providing education for all has always been our priority. Through looking at the root cause of behaviour and training problems our aim is to promote an holistic approach, including understanding of canine behaviour and language, kind dog training and humane, gentle methods of handling. We are working towards offering a network of support throughout Europe, extending worldwide.

    Practical work includes observation, discussion, group and pair work, handling skills, training for good behaviour, planning for training and altering behaviour, and problem solving.

    The term “practical work” does not necessarily imply work with dogs, although we aim to have either observation, handling or training sessions with dogs during the course of each seminar. The first two areas of work will mainly involve observation and assessment of dogs, and as the course progresses there will be opportunity for behavioural training. The handling  and natural abilites blocks are devoted entirely to "hands on" work with dogs.

    Handling incorporates a vast number of skills, amongst these being:

    • General handling skills and lead work
    • Activities for a balanced lifestyle: nose work, mental stimulation
    • Building relationships
    • Effective intervention and splitting up
    • Walks for quality socialisation
    • Practical stress reduction skills
    • Dealing with undesirable influences in a social environment
    • Applied behavioural training

    Applied Practical Training: Case studies

    Practical Work & WellbeingThis course is unique in its approach to practical work. Each student is given the opportunity to offer their dog as a case study in order to go through an in-depth behavioural / training review based on their needs and those of their dog. This is an excellent way of acquiring hands on experience and working as a group to problem solve, plan and review. Working in this way gives each student the security to know that their dog will be seen as an individual whose needs will be of paramount importance.
    Each case study will require a unique approach and will be given individual attention. As a result, students will have an opportunity to understand and work with other individuals, giving a wider experience, opportunities for observation and assessment, enabling each student to practise information gathering and group counselling along with planning programmes of behaviour and training and working through issues as well as offering support. This gives each student an opportunity to be on the receiving and supportive ends, ensuring practical knowledge and experience can be gained.
    Case study work is led and guided by the course tutors with students working in groups to give the best possible care and practical help. As skills improve during the course, responsibility is gradually given over to each group, ensuring that students have every opportunity to complete real, valuable work.
     

    Dog Welfare

    Careful consideration has been paid to the way we work with dogs. Experience shows us that it is in the best interest of most dogs to be present for short, calm sessions. Students’ dogs may be introduced to new dogs, people and situations only if appropriate, according to each dog’s needs, and in a way with which he can best cope, and students will also be taught how to take responsibility for this. Dogs must be able to remain happily in the car between practical sessions in order that they can relax, and frequent breaks will be given for owners to see to their dogs’ needs.

    For areas 1 & 2 dogs are not required, although they may be used for observation and assessment if appropriate. This avoids having 15 dogs attending at once, along with all the management and other issues this involves. Therefore it is discussed and agreed amongst students which of their dogs should attend particular areas of study to avoid the stress of having to be in attendance every day of the whole course.

    Each student will be given the opportunity to offer their dog as a case study on a voluntary basis, looking in depth at any behavioural or training issues there may be. This is an excellent way of getting hands on experience and working as a group to problem solve, plan and review. Working in this way gives each student the security to know that their dog will be seen as an individual whose needs will be of paramount importance.

    Each case study will require a unique approach and will be given individual attention. This way, students will have an opportunity to understand and work with other individuals, giving a wider experience, opportunities for observation and enabling each student to practise information gathering and group counselling.

    Students may still attend the course even if they choose not to bring a dog at all although handling at some stage is highly recommended. For those without a dog or who are unable to bring their own dog it may be possible to provide one for you upon request. However, if a student is not in a position to bring a dog and does not participate in handling dogs, this will have implications in the wording on the final certificate of attendance.

    Our Ethos

    One of our prime concerns is to promote a respectful and harmonious relationship between dog and owner and to encourage owners to increase their knowledge and experience. The welfare of animals is of paramount importance; through education dogs and other species in general will be better understood.

    We have many aims including:

    • promoting respect and acceptance for the dog both as a species and as an individual
    • furthering the understanding of the dog’s needs at all life stages and how to achieve an appropriate balance
    • learning from the dog itself through observation and education, thereby advancing knowledge of the species: their behaviour, communication and handling
    • improving mutual relationships between humans and dogs
    • advancing knowledge of dogs for their own benefit and safety, that of the owner and of society in general

    We hope to promote the best possible practices in any canine-human relationship, thereby advancing the well-being of dogs.

    Through the International Programme for Applied Canine Studies, those involved will be encouraged to:

    • deepen and extend their understanding the canine species, not only developing excellent skills but adopting these practices in everyday life
    • develop their powers of critical analysis to be able to question information and to make up their own minds as to good practice
    • adopt an holistic approach to determine the underlying causes of behaviour problems
    • maintain a professional demeanour in any interaction with the general public and form networks of those promoting good practice in related industries

    The IPACS offers students the opportunity to contribute towards promoting the highest standards of welfare, handling and training of dogs.

    Educational opportunities include:

    • the chance to network with other students with varied experience and cultures, sharing ideas, information and knowledge
    • support throughout the course with personal development, practical skills and educational studies
    • further support once students have completed their studies with regular Continued Professional Development and networking