Puppy Classes and Dog Training Classes
I offer 10% off all one-to-one dog training services, Zooms and classes for NHS, emergency services, armed forces staff and other Blue Light card holders. Please email me with details to claim your discount on your booking.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I take my puppy to a puppy class?
Research shows that puppies who have attended a puppy class are less likely to show nervousness or fear responses than those who don't. Following lockdown, we have certainly seen evidence of this, with a significant increase in enquiries for help with adolescents who were struggling. But it's not just about exposing them to lots of things, experiences must be positive. Negative experiences in the first 16 weeks can have lifelong effects. Prevention is both easier and less expensive then cure (a block of 6 classes is typically similar in cost to a single one-to-one behaviour consult).
In class, I help you recognise signs of stress or discomfort so you know when they need more help, I will help you understand your puppy as an individual so you can tailor your training to them. I also teach you training techniques that will help pup learn faster and with less frustration. Even dog trainers take their dogs to classes because it benefits the dogs and also, we can all get better with coaching!
What age is best to start puppy classes?
Puppies can start classes from after their first set of vaccinations. The critical period for socialisation is in the first few months, this is when they are learning what is safe and what should be avoided. Experiences during this time can have a life long effect on confidence and behaviour.
The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviour states that behavioural issues not infectious diseases are the number one cause of death for dogs under the age of 3. They say that "the combination of maternal immunity, primary vaccination and appropriate care makes the risk of infection relatively rare compared to the chance of death from a behaviour problem". Link to position statement here
Research by The British Veterinary Association found that almost all companion vets had been asked to euthanise a healthy pet with 98% of those citing the owner's reason as their pet's behaviour. They say these figures overwhelmingly show the importance of adequate socialisation of animals in the first few months of life. Read their article here
Utmost care will be taken with puppies who haven't received their second vaccinations. You will be given a mat to work on, I will ask you to carry pups from the car to your mat and we won't do greetings in the first week. Socialisation is about learning to feel safe around different dogs not meeting every dog so this will not reduce the experience in any way.
If your puppy is older then 5 months please contact me so we can discuss which would be the best class
What classes do you run?
Dog training classes and workshops run throughout the year, to cover the different stages, abilities and client requests. They include Puppy classes (for puppies 5 months and younger), Follow-on classes (6 months plus), Fun Agility sessions for children (school holidays) and workshops for specific skills such as lead walking or recall.
Where are your classes held?
Classes are outdoors and are held at Gang Warily, near Fawley and at a private training ground in West End, Southampton.
What is covered in puppy class?
I will teach you the best ways of training your puppy, according to their individual personality and needs including:
- How to break down skills such as loose lead walking, recall, settle/stay into small achievable steps to set pup up for success
- Answers to frequently asked questions such as how to stop puppy biting, toileting in the house, crying and jumping up and, importantly, understanding why they happen
- Understanding dog body language, so you know what pup is trying to tell you, when they need your help and how to prevent biting getting worse
- Why 'no' is so difficult to teach puppies and what to teach instead
What is covered in the follow on classes for older puppies and dogs?
In the follow on classes we will be working towards the IMDT Partnership Grades
These build on the skills introduced during puppy class, including loose lead walking, recall, impulse control and handling skills. Skills include:
Walking a course with your dog while keeping a loose lead
Remaining in a Sit and Down while you walk away and then return to your dog
Recall from a distance
Handling for husbandry procedures
Certificates will be issued on completion of each level
Can I bring my children to puppy class?
Children are welcome because teaching them how to interact with and understand all dogs (not just their own) is essential I'll also give children their own 'homework' and handouts to help with positive ideas for ways for children to get involved and about how to understand the language of dogs to prevent nips and bites. (There will be times when I will ask adults to keep hold of the lead, both for safety and to prevent pups becoming frustrated)
How much do classes cost?
Classes are £96 for a 6 week course
How many dogs are in the class?
There is a maximum of 5 dogs in any class to ensure that i can give all dogs and handlers the space and attention they need to progress. I also want to ensure I have time to answer everyone's questions.