Our Training Philosophy

Our Training Philosophy

We train using the principles of behaviour modification described by behavioural psychologists.  Simply put, these principles state that your dog’s behaviour is influenced by the consequences of its actions.  So, your dog is more likely to repeat the desired behaviour if it receives a reward such as a tasty treat or a fun game (reinforcement), and less likely to repeat a behaviour if ignored or punished (punishment).  Research has shown that reinforcement is much more effective in training as your dog learns what you want him or her to do, whereas punishment does not help it learn what the correct behaviour is that you want.  We, therefore, teach owners to use a range of techniques that focus on positive reinforcement and consistency of consequences


Most dogs respond to food or toy rewards.  As coming to training is a very exciting experience, particularly for dogs in the basic class, you need to find a treat that is extra special and helps your dog stay focussed on you.


Very few dogs care for the same food they eat at home when they come to club, so you might like to consider leftover chunks of roast meat, raw mince, sausages, or cheese. Each treat portion needs to be small – just enough to give your dog a taste without having to stop and chew the food. Moist food is best for training as it is much easier for the dog to swallow, so we recommend you do not use store-bought dog treats or biscuits.


If your dog has a strong play drive, you can use this to your advantage in training. Pick a toy that is easy for you to carry as you train – please do not use a noisy or squeaky toy that will distract the other dogs. Keep this toy hidden at home, only bring it out for training, and make sure that you control when playtime starts and finishes.

Handling Your Dog

While only one family member can handle your dog in classes at any one time, you are welcome to swap who handles the dog on different nights, and of course, other family members can watch and listen each night. Please note that we do have a minimum age for child handlers for safety reasons – only children aged 12 years and above are permitted to handle dogs in classes.

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