Dog training clubs and coronavirus



Last updated: 26 June 2020

Regularly check the latest government advice across EnglandScotlandWales and Northern Ireland and continually assess your own situation based on this information and where you are in the UK.

Can I run training classes or one-to-one training at this time?

Please check guidance in your nation and risk assess the individual situation. One-to-one and small group outdoor dog training, as long as the social distance is maintained between separate households at all times is permitted – but numbers may be restricted depending on where you are in the UK. In some instances you may be able to train indoors with some restrictions - please check the links at the top of this page to ensure you’re following the relevant guidance.

You’re also able to conduct work in someone else’s home and the Government has provided guidance for this.

During training, there should be no physical contact between the trainer and client or dog, and social distance should be maintained at all times.

The Kennel Club has also produced guidance to help dog training clubs to assess risk at this time, which is available here.

You must always follow guidance on staying safe outside your home or working safely in other people’s home if you are based in England. If you are in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, please check the relevant advice pages and apply this to your situation.

Can I run training classes online?

Yes, online classes are a great way of keeping in touch with your class members and helping them to train their dogs at this difficult time. With a change in their daily routine, dog training can be a very important ‘at home’ activity at for dogs and their owners during this pandemic.

If and when I am around dogs belonging to others, are there any extra precautions I need to take, in addition to social distancing?

Dog owners, as long as they are well and not showing any symptoms, can now exercise their dog freely – although do use the links at the top of this page to check local guidance regularly.  

Maintain social distancing at all times and wash your hands with soap and water as soon as you get back.

It is also advisable that dogs are exercised on lead to prevent them going close to other people – as this could lead to owners needing to come into close contact with others. Wash your hands with soap and water as soon as you and try not to pet other people’s dogs.

Government advice on staying safe outside your home is available here.

Are dogs at risk of contracting the virus and/or spreading the virus?

No, there is no evidence that dogs can get coronavirus. For further information click here.

Training Club FAQs

My listed status annual renewal is due. With all this disruption how am I going to do this?

If you are concerned about paying your Good Citizen Dog Scheme listed status renewal, please contact the GCDS office by email  For other listed status clubs, please contact

What if my club will not be able to run the required two Good Citizen Dog Scheme testings or courses per year?

An extension will be granted to all GCDS clubs during this difficult period, and will not recommence until clubs are able to start work again. The time period to achieve this will also be extended.

Can we run GCDS Puppy Foundation courses online?

Unfortunately not, as all the Puppy Foundation syllabus exercises cannot be recreated without exposure to dogs and people outside of the family house in terms of social distancing However, there will be an interim GCDS Award available very soon and we will provide further updates on this when we can. 

Can our club hold GCDS Bronze, Silver or Gold tests online?

Unfortunately not, as above - all syllabus exercises cannot be recreated without exposure to other dogs and people which is not possible in the current climate in terms of social distancing

Will my insurance cover me, if things go wrong? 

Your club will need to provide its own risk assessment or disclaimer where applicable and advise participants accordingly. You will also need to contact your insurance provider. 


More information

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