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Puppy Classes




We hope you enjoyed your Induction Meeting.

As a follow-up to the meeting, we have made the videos available, and added a rough map of the site.


The first two videos show an actual class. It was a puppy class, but the sequences of learning are much the same in the novice adult dog class.
The next three videos are an introduction to your training.

You can watch each video by clicking on the video. If you let your cursor linger on the bottom of the video, you will see some icons for watching the video differently. If you prefer to watch on YouTube, click on the YouTube icon. If you want to watch in full screen, click on the little square.


The Down Command: progression through the course.

This video follows one of the commands you will learn: the Down command. We will start with the basics for any command, and then develop it during the course. For example, this video starts off with a demonstration of the Down command. The trainer then shows how to teach the command and the class will practice (not on the video); then they practice at home. The video then shows some handlers practising the command in their class the following week. Note the reward being given to the second dog was hidden from the dog, and given while the dog was still in the Down — excellent work by the handler. With Down, we will then progress to the Down-Stay. Two stages are shown: a short stay, then a longer stay with the handler moving. Note in the video the young dog was still a little hazy with the Down command when first being taught Stay, but the handler persisted without reprimand, and the dog succeeded.

Control on Lead

This video shows some class exercises in control on lead. First we see a young dog practicing his heelwork in class, during the second half of the course. The handler has worked hard between classes, and her dog has already got a good standard of heelwork. Note that the handler helps her dog turn the corner by dropping her hand onto the lead just before turning. The backwards movement with the hand will become a signal to the dog to slow down as the handler turns into the dog. Next we see more advanced heelwork, where the dog must heel while the handler takes a pathway with lots of changes of direction. This time, the handlers are using lures to help their dog achieve, because this is the first time the dogs are attempting this more advanced exercise. As is our usual practice, the trainers are carefully supervising. The third scene is a dog under control as they enter the gate. One trainer is outside to direct as need be. Another trainer is inside — she steps forward to help when she sees a problem (the dog jumping up), but then sees that the handler is coping well and so stops without intervening.

Holding the Lead

If you hold the lead as we show, it makes training heelwork much easier! The first thing is to get a good lead: about 5-6 feet is best. This means you can keep the lead loose, and easily manage corrections in heel without jerking your dog. We encourage you to hold the lead on the opposite side to the one you will walk your dog on. This frees the hand next to the dog to hold a lure and/or encourage the dog to stay by your hand. It also means you cannot resort to using the lead to keep your dog in the heel position, and you work harder at teaching your dog! You should aim for a loop in the lead between yourself and your dog, i.e. the lead is loose. You can adjust the length of the lead to get this loop by doubling it up into the hand that holds the lead. You can see the use of the spare hand and the loop in the lead by watching the video of the class above and the video of teaching heelwork below.

Teaching walking on lead

This video shows one of our trainers training his own young dog, still a puppy when the video was shot. Note how the handler holds the lead. He holds it on the opposite side to the dog, with a loop in the lead when the dog is at his side. With his free hand he is sometimes rewarding his dog for being in the correct position. With time, you can reduce the rewards, only giving a titbit occasionally but still dropping the spare hand to the dog's head to maintain focus on you. As the handler turns round, he uses the spare hand to help the dog notice the change of direction, and so stay in the correct position. The dog then moves forward to a distraction and the handler immediately corrects: he lets the lead go looser so as not to hurt the dog with any jerking, but immediately steps back and encourages the dog back to the correct position. You can correct your dog being too far forward by either stepping back or stopping walking, but do not carry on walking forwards! The reward for the dog getting back in position is that they get to go forward again, plus they get rewards for being in the correct position. Then we see the dog lagging due to a distraction. The handler responds to this by going faster himself, encouraging the dog forwards. Note that whatever the dog does - go too fast or too slow, the handler does the opposite.

The Lure and Reward method of training

This is our most frequently used method of training. The lure is a titbit, toy, or action that entices your dog to do the correct thing. The reward is the titbit, toy, praise or physical contact that rewards the action. We encourage you to use a different reward item to the lure, i.e. rarely actually giving the lure as a reward. This enables you to quickly fade out the lure, so the dog is not dependant on it to perform the action. The reward should be either the same value as the lure or better value — do not disappoint your dog for behaving correctly! The video shows how to use lure and reward for the Sit command. Hold a lure in the hand that will entice the dog. The hand movement you use should soon become your hand signal for the command, and you will soon stop holding the lure. Note how the reward is hidden from the dog while using the lure. Later in training, have any titbits or toys hidden in your pocket, and then produce them after the action. This prevents dependency on seeing a reward before the dog obeys the command. Note also that the handler does not reward until the dog does the correct thing, but he does not get impatient when the dog makes a mistake (this young dog is also learning the Down command, so gets momentarily confused). Also, notice that the reward is given with the dog in the correct position, i.e. ensuring the dog does not stand up before getting the titbit. Keep watching through the white blank screen ... we show you that you can have the lead attached and still use the two-handed lure and reward. Simply place the lead over your wrist, or drop the lead on the ground, and it will not be in your way.


Rough map of the local site in two different formats. Click on each image for a larger view.

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