Your First Class
Please contact us by email or telephone if you are interested in joining Four Paws. Don't just turn up, unless you simply want to view a class.
You need Adobe Reader to open the links to the forms. If you do not already have Adobe Reader installed, download it free from here:
Please complete both Page 1 and Page 2. We need both pages returned to us.
We will store your information as the paper form and on our electronic database.
Page 2 provides some extra information for you, some of which you will also find on this webpage.
What to bring
Our suggestions, below, will help you make the best of your training from Day one. Don't worry if there is something you haven't heard of, your trainer can tell you what equipment is best for your dog when you meet.
If you haven't sent us a Registration form (see above), it helps if you bring a completed one to your first class.
Clearing up after your dog
Although we have some bags available, please bring something to clear up after your dog if they make a mess.
Please bring your dog's vaccination record to the first session.
We train outside, and in most weathers, so please dress appropriately for this, especially if it is cold or raining! (Very occasionally, we will cancel due to severe weather. Please look out for an email or telephone message, and check the front page of the website, if weather is bad. We will use one or all of those methods to get a message to you.)
Good leads for training are material (or soft leather) leads, at least five feet long. Five feet leads are ideal, but hard to find. Six foot leads are also excellent for training, especially for heel and recall exercises. Note, however, that some pet shops only stock shorter leads (or retractable ones, which are not suitable). Many internet sites sell suitable leads (usually described as 6 foot or 1.8 metres).
Shorter leads are acceptable, but could make some exercises harder to do. A 1.3 metre lead is better than a 1 metre lead.
Chain leads, all-in-one collar with attached lead, and retractable leads are not suitable for training classes. Rope leads are okay, but not as kind on the hands as leads described as weave, webbing, webbed, canvas, nylon, or synthetic!
Do make sure your lead is strong enough for your dog, and not fraying at any point.
We have some leads available for loan. Please return them. In the classes, we may use very long leads for some training exercises. The trainer will supply these.
Nylon, woven and leather collars or harnesses are fine. No check chains please. Half checks are permitted.
Do ensure your dog's collar is fitted well. The collar should not be too tight – you should be able to slip two fingers between the dog's neck and the collar. It should not be too loose – your dog should not be able to get out of the collar by pulling backwards.
Please bring any special training aids if you already use them, such as a gentle leader, halti, or double lead. However, it would be good to bring an ordinary collar or harness as well.
You and your voice! Your pleasure is one of the best rewards for your dog. And its always available, and free. Try praising your dog with a soft but high pitched, encouraging voice. And if your dog likes cuddles ... go ahead! However, we encourage you to bring two other types of reward as well:
Tit-bits. Bring some easily handled tit-bits which you can keep in your pocket. Commercial tit-bits are fine. Other possibilities are cheese, ham, chicken, bacon, or sausage. Pieces about 1/4 inch cubed are good. DO NOT bring tit-bits that crumble because they fall on the ground and distract all the dogs. (A word of warning: check the ingredients of commercial tit-bits. If you want to protect your dog's teeth, avoid giving many tit-bits with sugar in.)
Toys. Bring a toy or two if your dog likes playing. Even if your dog doesn't use toys, you could still bring one – perhaps we can teach you how to use play. We will have a supply of toys available, but your own dog's favourite is best!
Your trainer will show you how to use rewards to train your dog.
When you arrive at our venue, find the canopied stall in the car park, and introduce yourself. We will register you, and direct you to your first class ... and then enjoy training your dog!
It helps if you avoid being close to other dogs until you get to know them. Some dogs find socialising difficult when they first come, and they need space.
Please keep your dog on a lead whenever you are in the car park. That area is not secure.