Canine Concerns Dog Training - Class Rules

Class Rules & Procedures

Who should train?
Everyone in the family can attend the classes and learn how to train your dog. This will mean that everyone is consistent with the training methods and rewards. However, only one person should handle the dog during the class - too many handlers at one time will only confuse the dog.


Comfortable clothing is best whilst training. Soft shoes or trainers are preferable – not high heels or sandals. Ladies may be more comfortable wearing trousers as some exercises may require you to get down on the floor with your dog. Some training may be held outside (regardless of the weather) so please bring suitable outdoor clothing and a towel to dry your dog if necessary.

We recommend that dogs wear a Y shaped body harness and a correctly fitting collar & lead for classes. Choke chains are not permitted and extendable leads are not advisable for training purposes. Flat collars are much kinder on the dog and we will advise on training methods to help encourage dogs to walk with you on a slack lead.

Do make sure you have the correct identification details on your dog's tag. Under the ‘Control of Dogs’ Order 1992’ – all dogs in a public place must have a tag with the owners name (not the dogs’ name) and address (including the post code) clearly written or engraved on it. A telephone number is optional – but advisable.  This applies even though your dog is microchipped.

Lead materials which are kinder to the hands are webbing, biothane or soft leather and should be long & wide enough so it is easy for you to hold.  When the dog is by your side, the lead should be relaxed without tension to hand. A lead which is too long can become easily tangled and a lead which is too short will be tight when walking.

Collars can be webbing, biothane, leather, nylon, fleece lined etc but most importantly should fit well around the dogs neck. A collar which is too large can easily slip off  over the dogs head  if he/she pulls back suddenly. Always check sizings to make sure this cannot happen. Choke chains are not permitted as, they can be too severe and cause pain and bruising to the dogs’ neck and throat area.

RewardsDo bring with you some form of reward/motivation for your dog. Toys are acceptable, but must be small, safe play toys – squeaky toys and balls are not suitable reward toys in a class situation as they can easily distract other dogs.

Treats must be small and easily chewed. Cheese, liver or small pieces of meat or sausage are recommended.

Clickers are welcome at class.

Keeping dogs under control
All dogs MUST be kept under control and on a lead except where instructed by staff. You are responsible for the conduct of your dog and we accept no responsibility for loss, injury or damage caused by poor supervision.

To ensure the safety of other dogs in class and that behaviour problems are not increased, dogs that are clearly aggressive towards people or other dogs should not attend a class situation. Moderate forms of reactivity and dogs which are not confident or overly boisterous and disruptive can be offered one – one service.

If you have any concerns regarding your dogs’ behaviour and are not sure if your dog should attend class, please ask. Also please do not get embarrased if your dog is barking during the class, it is the dogs' way of communicating and sometimes indicates the dog is over excited or uncomfortable in this situation. Bring a favourite toy to help distract the dog or pop outside for 2-3 minutes for some 'chill' time with your pet.

Children & Young people at the class
Children are always welcome at the classes – it is important that everyone is aware of how to train the dog. However, for safety and consistency in training, they must be with an adult and be well behaved. Children who make a lot of noise and dash around can teach dogs to chase children!


  • Children under 10 can only handle the dog with the supervision of a parent.
  • Children over the age of 10 can handle their dog within the class under the supervision of a parent.

Dogs that are not in a fit state to attend class due to disease, injury or any other reason may not come to the class. However, you are welcome to attend class without your dog – if deemed suitable – one of the dogs belonging to the staff or instructor may be assigned to you temporarily whilst your own dog is out of action (prior notice must be given).

No dog who has been in contact with another dog infected with a contagious disease may attend class.

Dogs must be fully protected by vaccinations advised by your vet and full proof of vaccinations must be provided on joining the classes.

Bitches in season are NOT permitted to attend a class or test. If a bitch comes into season unexpectedly for the first time - any classes missed (not including test day) will be offered free of charge in the next session of classes booked. After the first season we recommend that all bitches are neutered if you are not planning on breeding, no further free classes will be offered after the first season. We also recommend that male dogs are castrated, but entire dogs are still welcome at class.

Starting time
All classes start on time, therefore it is advisable to arrive a little earlier than the start time for your class to allow the dog to settle and allow him to toilet before entering the class. ALWAYS BRING BAGS TO CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR DOG AND DISPOSE OF DOG WASTE RESPONSIBLY.

All reasonable effort will be made to contact handlers should the class have to be cancelled. Where applicable another date may be arranged or part of the course fee will be refunded if alternative arrangements are not possible.

If you are unable to attend the course for any reason, please let me know as soon as possible. Failure to do so will result in loss of the course fee.

Advice & Support
Do please speak up if you have any concerns about your dogs’ behaviour or the training. We are here to help and are not able to do so effectively if we are not aware of any difficulties you are experiencing. We endeavour to explain all the methods we use and all are designed to be positive for your dog but please do not feel singled out if we suggest a different method for your dog, each dog is an individual and as experienced handlers we appreciate what works for one dog - may not work for another.

We appreciate that time is limited between classes, so please feel welcome to contact the instructor by email or phone.

Whilst the class is underway, it is advisable not to keep talking to another handler whilst the instructor is explaining an exercise or whilst another handler is working through an exercise. Some exercises must be done individually to gain maximum benefit and often you can learn a lot just by watching how someone else performs that exercise. It is also very distracting for the instructor or handler and dog. There is always time to chat and socialise with your classmates before or after class.

Harsh Handling
Don’t punish your dog. Shouting, smacking or any form of harsh behaviour towards your dog in class is not permitted. Always try to think like a dog and if you are having problems speak to your instructor or assistant.

Don’t get frustrated if your dog does not appear to be learning a particular exercise. Remember – all dogs learn at different paces. Even if some other dogs in class are performing an exercise correctly and yours is not – it does not mean he/she will never learn that exercise! It just takes a little more time, patience and persistence and some thought as to why the dog is not getting the message. All good dog trainers will often go back to basics with an exercise in order for a dog to understand it more effectively.


owning a dog is a journey - not a destination

© Canine Concerns 2016