Running a Gnasher Club 2 day course

Running a Gnasher Club


Presented by Paddy Driscoll MSc (CAB) MAPDT (UK) and Hannah Wright Phd MAPDT (UK)


These 2 days are on running a support group (a “Gnasher Club”) for owners of dogs who lunge and bark or react aggressively towards other dogs out of the home.

They are aimed at dog trainers and behaviourists who are may already be working in the field who want to increase their understanding of dog/dog aggression, are looking for CPD opportunities or are interested in expanding the services they offer to their clients.


What is a Gnasher Club?

The Gnasher Club is aimed specifically at dogs that show aggressive or so-called “reactive” behaviour towards other dogs i.e. behaviour that appears to be motivated by the aggressor appearing to want to create distance from other dogs by barking, lunging and aggressive or threatening displays. It is possible these dogs have attacked and bitten other dogs. It is recognised that the motivation for such behaviour is not easy to assess and can be complicated by other factors (e.g. frustration) and these workshops will address just these kind of issues and where it might – or might not – matter.

The (Lincoln) Gnasher Club

Like the ‘Real World’…but less random

The Gnasher Club in Lincoln was established by dog trainer and behaviour adviser Paddy Driscoll in 2011 in response to the need to be able to bridge the often huge gap between an isolated training environment and the ‘real world’, and the difficulties in finding dogs to work with ethically and safely. It aims to support owners who struggle to gain the confidence to work with their dogs. One to one work can also be very expensive - Gnasher was also intended to be an affordable option for owners at a stage in their training where they needed opportunities to put advice into practice. 

It offers owners of dogs that have issues with other dogs a carefully managed place to work with their dogs in a constructive and supportive environment. Under professional supervision and expert guidance, the Gnasher Club allow owners to put into practice, safe, up to date techniques and strategies with their dogs.

Owners have the opportunity to learn and practice practical on lead exercises, desensitisation, counterconditioning and safe management strategies so when they are out in the real world they stand a better chance of avoiding or dealing with the problems walks can present them with; and learning how to judge best which strategies to adopt. Dogs have the opportunity to become comfortable around other dogs without the danger of unexpected events upsetting the process.

Course content

$1·        Understanding so-called “reactive” or aggressive behaviour in dogs in the context of Gnasher

$1·        Relevant techniques for changing behaviour within the Gnasher environment

$1·        Working with other professionals

$1·        What Gnasher cannot do and the limitations

$1·        Management of Gnasher Club meetings and Gnasher Club members

$1·        Assistants: making the best use of qualified and non-qualified help

$1·        Safe and ethical use of ‘stooge’ dogs

$1·        Throughout the emphasis will be on safety, awareness of the dogs’ welfare needs and taking an ethical approach, embracing positive techniques both for dogs and owners.


There will be practical sessions on both days, some of which will be carried out outside (whatever the weather), so participants need to come prepared.

The course comprises BOTH dates and course bookings are only accepted for both. Certificates of attendance will only be given for attendance at both. At the end of the first date participants will be given projects to complete in preparation for the second.

Given the nature and content of the course, much as Teamwork Training normally want courses to be ‘dog friendly’, participants MAY NOT bring any dog without prior arrangement. It may be possible in some circumstances, so contact Paddy if you would need to.

A closed FaceBook group has been created for participants. Once you have paid your fee please join it. It will be both a practical group to communicate with each other as well as a place to ask questions and discuss topics covered. It will offer support after the course is completed and participants on any future courses will be invited to join.