Why train your dog?
This is the really fun and most rewarding part of owning a dog!
Training your new friend needs to be high on your list of
priorities as soon as you have decided to own a new dog.
No dog is too old to learn and training classes are available
for every age and ability, pedigrees, crossbreeds and rescue dogs
are all welcomed. You will also meet like-minded people and share
in a common aim to have well behaved dogs that are a pleasure to
own. Puppies can usually begin as soon as they have had their
course of vaccinations.
Training is an obligation all dog owners need to fulfil for the
community they live in and the welfare of the dog. By going to
classes you can meet the ethical and moral responsibilities of dog
ownership and promote the benefits that dogs can bring to peoples'
Finding a dog training club
There are many different types of classes available and
activities that you can do with your dog but the first step should
be finding a Kennel Club approved organisation. These will vary in
types of classes and methods of training but all have to abide by
the Kennel Club's codes of conduct.
Training clubs that run the Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme
- the largest dog training programme in the UK are a sensible place
to begin. Here you will learn about every aspect of dog ownership
from the Puppy Foundation Courses through to Bronze, Silver and
Gold award levels. Go to GCDS Training Clubs in your County to find
one near to you or email the GCDS Team
(firstname.lastname@example.org) or call 0207 518 1011.
A training class is not there to train your dog. Its purpose is
to teach you to train your dog so you will need to be committed to
train your dog for short sessions (5 minutes) several times a day
rather than just simply turn up for classes! This little bit of
training everyday will be repaid with a lifetime of living with a
well behaved dog. You will also learn to avoid problems before they
begin as well as receive help to overcome any that you already have
with your dog.
Before enrolling with a particular club contact them and ask if
you can go to watch a class without your dog. This will help you
decide if this is the right environment for you and your dog. Some
clubs have waiting lists and you will need to book ahead, some
accept people on a roll on roll off basis. Prices will vary from a
joining fee and then weekly payments to a one off fee for a certain
length of training.
What should I look for at a dog training club?
- Are you made welcome and are the trainers friendly and
- Do the people and their dogs look as if they are enjoying the
- Are the dogs focused on the task with their owner?
- Are the instructors giving lots of encouragement and
information? Are they helping the owners to correct problems that
- Are the instructors maintaining a safe, controlled
- Is everyone in the class receiving equal help as well as
meeting the needs of the whole class?
- Remember that a free for all group of puppies playing happily
off the lead may seem attractive but can very quickly become out of
hand and even frighten your puppy. The same applies to older dogs
that certainly benefit from socialising and playing as a reward but
only if they respond immediately to the owners command.
- Before you make your decision ask the owners if they enjoy the
Some training tips:
- Never be afraid to ask the instructor questions and never feel
compelled to do anything that you don't understand or feel happy
- Always be consistent to avoid confusing your dog.
- Start as you mean to go on. Set your own boundaries for your
own dog and stick to them, make sure everyone in the household
agrees to do this.
- Your dog needs to know its name so that it responds to you.
After this you will be able to gain its attention and teach new
commands and body signals.
- Keep in mind that dogs do not speak English so the different
tones of your voice and body movements are better understood so the
actual command words are of less importance.
- Be patient. If you find yourself getting frustrated and annoyed
with your dog, stop and walk away. Do something different for a
while. Later begin again with a clear frame of mind.
- Train for short spells on a regular daily basis. This way the
dog remains interested and you will progress faster.
- Understand your dog and learn to anticipate its next move.
- Handle and stroke and groom your dog every day with constant
praise so it gets very used to being handled.
- Play adds an extra dimension to a dog's life and can make
training fun when used as a reward.
- Persevere ,don't compare your dog to anyone else's, all dogs
are individuals and keep in mind your goal that a well-trained dog
is a happy dog and a pleasure to live with.