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 work with the dog at any one time - too many people to focus on at any one time will only confuse the dog.


Comfortable clothing is best whilst training. Soft shoes or trainers are preferable – not high heels or sandals. Some exercises may require you to get down on the floor with your dog so always bear this in mind. 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 ask that dogs wear a Y shaped body harness with a "D ring" on the chest and back sections, and a correctly fitting flat collar & training lead for classes. Choke chains, prong collars, shock collars or any equipment we deem to be aversive are not permitted and extendable leads are not accepted for training purposes. 

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, webbing with fleece, biothane, or soft leather.  It should be long enough so that when the dog is by your side, the lead will be relaxed in a "J" shape 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.  We prefer double ended training leads which have have a clip on each end.

Flat 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. Always check sizings to make sure this cannot happen.

Rewards You will need to bring reinforcers as motivation for your dog. Toys are acceptable, safe play toys such as tuggies or balls on ropes etc – squeaky toys/balls are not suitable reward toys in a general class situation as they can easily upset the other dogs.

Treats must be high enough in value for the dog, small and easily chewed. Cheese, liver or small pieces of meat or sausage are some reccommendations.

We tend to use verbal markers for most general training classes but clickers are very 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.

Group classes are aimed at dogs who are sociable with dogs and people. Dogs must be comfortable working in a group class without excessive barking, or fear of people or other dogs. 

If you have any concerns regarding your dogs’ behaviour and are not sure if your dog should attend class, please ask. 

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 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 (you can learn a lot from observing others).  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. No further free classes will be offered after the first season. 

Starting time
All classes aim to start on time. It is advisable to arrive a little earlier than the start time for your class but please do not enter the class until everyone from the previous session has gone & you are called in. ALWAYS BRING BAGS TO CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR DOG AND DISPOSE OF DOG WASTE RESPONSIBLY.

All reasonable effort will be made to contact you 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 or a class for any reason, please let us know as soon as possible.

Advice & Support
Do please speak up if you have any concerns during your 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 but please do not feel singled out if we suggest slightly different methods for different dogs, each dog is an individual and as experienced handlers we appreciate what works for one dog - may not work for another.

Time is limited between classes, so if you need to talk to us please feel welcome to contact your instructors by email or phone rather than taking up precious class time.

Whilst the class is underway, it is advisable not to talk 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. Take some time to chat and socialise with your classmates before or after class.

Harsh Handling
Don’t use force or punish your dog. Shouting, smacking, lead jerking/popping or any form of harsh behaviour towards your dog in class is not permitted. If you were the dog think how this would make you feel. 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. If some dogs in class are achieving an exercise and yours is not quite there yet – it does not mean he/she will never learn that exercise! It just takes a little more time, patience and persistence and a little thought as to why the dog may not be understanding what we want. All good dog trainers will often go back to basics with an exercise in order for a dog to understand it more effectively.



© Canine Concerns 2016