We offer group classes from Beginners through to Novice. Each class will generally have between 6 and 10 dogs in it. All dogs are trained on lead until the higher levels. Beginners classes are split roughly by size, eg for the young dogs we avoid putting very large and very small pups together. Owners of big and small dogs are still free to mingle outside of class if they choose to. Dogs normally start in Beginners but may be able to start at a higher level if they’ve had prior formal training. Our classes are suitable for adult dogs as well as puppies.
We run 5 sessions each year during February to November. Each session lasts for 8 weeks and ends with an assessment to see which dogs are ready to be promoted to the next level. Our training is designed to allow dogs and owners to progress at their own pace. Dogs are free to repeat a level as often as needed. Annual club membership covers 5 sessions of obedience, which may be made up of whichever levels the dog is able to achieve in that time. The levels normally offered are Beginners, Intermediate, Advanced, Graduate and Novice. For members who are obedience trialing, assistance with higher trialing levels such as Open & UD may be possible depending on instructor availability.
The Beginners level is an introduction to the basics of dog training. We show you how to go about training your dog, including use of the clicker, and can provide advice about common doggy issues and how to better manage your dog at home. Your dog will start learning to walk nicely on lead and will learn to sit, stand and lie down. Although somewhat young and excitable, he will learn not to bounce all over people who pat him and will get used to coming to you when called. There will also be lots of opportunities for you and your dog to make new friends.
Intermediate and Advanced levels build on the skills previously learnt in order to achieve a well-trained dog that will walk reliably on a loose lead even when other people and dogs are around. Dogs also become more proficient at sitting, standing and lying down on command. Over these two levels dogs practice coming when called over longer distances, firstly on a “long line” and ultimately off lead. Dogs also develop the self-control and confidence to undertake group stays, over gradually increasing duration and distance from the handlers. Dogs also become increasingly stable while being patted, allowing the dog to be placed in a sit or stand stay while they are touched and patted by another person. Intermediate and Advanced offer great opportunities for building up teamwork and consistency, and to provide the extra training needed to ensure your dog’s place as a well-mannered member of the family. These levels also provide your dog with ongoing opportunities for socialisation and playing with new friends.
Graduate and Novice give members the opportunity to challenge themselves with a higher level of precision training and can provide an entry point for formal obedience trialing. Graduate level is equivalent to the Community Companion Dog level of obedience trialing. These levels focus on high quality teamwork with the dog working as an enthusiastic partner. Off lead walking is introduced at the Novice level.