Dog training clubs and coronavirus

Last updated:  2 April 2020

Given the rapidly changing situation, please regularly check the latest government advice and continually assess your own situation based on this information. The Kennel Club is in regular contact with Defra to keep up to date on developments.

The most recent government measures everyone must comply with are:

  • Stay at home
  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or essential work
  • Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

The full guidance on complying with these measures is available on the GOV.UK website:

Announcement - The Kennel Club and The Kennel Club Charities Emergency Relief Initiative

Can I run training classes at an indoor or outdoor or on my private premise at this time?

Unfortunately not - the government measures require you to stay at home and only leave your home for essential reasons, i.e. collecting food and medicine, and one form of exercise a day. You also must always remain 2 metres away from others.

Can one-to-one training carry on?

Unfortunately not - the government measures require you to stay at home and only leave your home for essential reasons, i.e. collecting food and medicine, and one form of exercise a day. You also must always remain 2 metres away from others.

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, and in some cases restricted exercise, 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?

The government measures permit one form of exercise a day such as a run, a walk or a cycle, so dog owners, as long as they are well and not showing any symptoms, can walk their pet once a day as part of these exercising guidelines. Households with two or more adults can take it in turns to walk their dog if they usually go more than once a day. When taking your dog out, no one should be making unessential journeys, so don’t travel in your car to walk your dog, and avoid others, staying at least two metres (around three steps) away.

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 get back from your dog walk and try not to pet other people’s dogs.

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 gcds@thekennelclub.org.uk.  For other listed status clubs, please contact sass@thekennelclub.org.uk.

My dog training business is going to struggle during this time. Can the KC help?

The Kennel Club has set up an emergency relief fund with the Kennel Club Educational Trust. There aren’t endless funds of course, but the Kennel Club is hoping to be able to help where it can and each application will be carefully considered. More information about this fund can be found here.

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. 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.

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. 

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