learning community

Can We Do Better Course

12 weeks. Starting TBD

Recent decades have seen a very welcome move towards the use of reinforcement as a primary mode of training dogs. This has broadened the understanding of the technology of learning and advanced the skills required to delivered better results.

But have these improvements made a significant difference for our dogs or are they merely cosmetic? Are our dogs enjoying the experience of learning that they deserve? Does the positive movement go far enough in reaching some of the dark corners of our long history of living with dogs?

It can never be too soon to pay attention to their experience and ask more questions of ourselves and the improvements we can make.


Out of stock

Can we do better for dogs course


discount 20% for setter members

course FAQs

This course will explore:

    • How our cultural history and social norms affect the choices we make in living with our dogs
    • Some ways to question received wisdom and root out the optimum solutions for our dogs
    • Our personal values and how to live in accordance with them
    • What we want for our relationship with dogs and our future together
    • How to develop learning plans and the skills of assessment and reflection
    • The necessity of personal discipline to improve skills and lifestyle
    • Ways of building a learning future in partnership with our dog
    • Methods of navigating future options in lifestyle, careers and connections.

 The course will include:

    • Reading material for discussion and analysis
    • Assessment and evaluation of current training protocols
    • Construction of lifestyle plans that combine quality and compromise
    • Development of skills for resolving conflicting situations
    • Awareness of the effect of social pressures, training pressures and expectations
    • Assessment and evaluation of personal choices (sports participants, social events etc)


Learning surrounds us when we give it space. It is in every minute we are together. This type of learning is a process of thinking as we do the specific activities but also the watching and listening as well as the walking and washing up.

Community learning is about contribution and sharing ideas, reflecting on progress and actively engaging with others …. but dry your hands first please.

Reflection on individual learning is integral with progress and a non-optional requirement. Feedback is dependent on this process.


This course is about building your own confidence to navigate the (mis)information in the world of dogs. Often we are deliberately presented with a sense of discomfort which leads to pressure to conform to a particular lifestyle or viewpoint and can lose sight of our own values and way of connecting with our dogs.

Through this course you will be asked to critique your own choices, standards and find your values; building the skills to remove any doubts or uncomfortable questions about the choices you make.

You will be expected to create your own journal, plans, study videos, training protocols, research and review.

On completion of the course you should feel enthused to seek your own pathway and do better for dogs.

Not for you

If you plan to be a part-time participant, passive spectator, auditor or intend to harvest material generated by the work of others then this course is not for you. You will be given two weeks to demonstrate active participation after which your access to the community will be limited.

If this type of commitment to learning is beyond your interest then please do not join us.

Resources will be in the Learning About Dogs Courses on a weekly basis and lessons for live classes, discussions and feedback held in the Voyage of Discovery forum.

Live classes will be at 1700 GMT and be recorded for participant access.

Participation certificates will be available on completion and require a minimum contribution to the course.

The course will be taught by Kay Laurence and Frances McCormack with equal emphasis on developing critical thinking and application through video &/or written contributions and practical work.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions about the course: email kay

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