Classes learning useful things and fun stuff
Courses 2017 classes run every 6 weeks
Beginner classes start at 7pm on either a Tuesday or a Thursday, advanced is at 8pm on Thursdays.
18th and 20th of July -22nd and 24th of August (we’re off last week in August)
5th and 7th of Sept – 10th and 12th October
17th and 19th of October- 21st and 22nd of November
All classes are the same price- £60 per dog for the whole 6 week course.
We’re in Abington Community Centre, Wheatfield Road South, Northampton NN3 2HH (click for a map)
Contact Sue to reserve a place and put your name on The List. (0751 976 2411).
FAQ’s:(Frequently Asked Questions)
What do I need to bring? You turn up on the first day with your dog, their usual collar or harness and lead, some treats you know they like*, a toy (for leave with objects and listening whilst excited) and the £60. Once we’re all together, we take a couple of minutes to fill in the registration forms and then we’re ready to start!
* It may be sensible to bring some of their dinner (if it’s biscuits), especially if you are concerned about additives or their weight.
Can I bring my friend or family along? Of course! Anyone and everyone is welcome. Sensible children too- we charge per dog, not per person.
What if something happened and we had to miss a class or two? It’s OK, you won’t be thrown in the deep end- with a small class and 2 trainers, we will soon have you up to speed.
What if my dog falls ill/ My girl has a season? Don’t worry- just start again on the next course. We wouldn’t charge you if your reasons are genuine.
What will we be learning? With customer feedback, research and experience (as dog owners, walkers and trainers), we have arrived at a comprehensive list of tasks that are either practical or funny. Because we train this way, we find that people are able to pass the equivalent of KC exams very easily and in the beginner class, people take the second level (bronze) test.
For fun we also like to teach cool games to play with your dog, showing how to occupy them so they are tired and content. Every week we do a trick or party piece- it’s great to see owners having a laugh with their dogs and people tell us they love showing off the tricks to their family and friends. As well as the set course material, wherever possible we like to make time in the class to learn any specific trick or game you may like or address any issues you may have-
requests are always welcome.
We encourage people who come to our classes to ring or text us if they ever have a question- we are here to help.
We roughly follow the Kennel Club and ADTB curriculum, but we’ve occasionally thrown the rule book out of the window: we walk our dogs on both sides, teach leave it 2 whole courses sooner than usual and don’t getting hung up on what words anyone uses- the best words are what comes most naturally to each person.
Do not worry if your dog is distracted in class and finds it hard to concentrate: we’d worry if a dog is perfectly behaved. Our classrooms are full of fun distractions (doggie mates and their yummy treats). The first class is always the hardest so we spend much of the first lesson teaching how to gain focus and the beginnings of impulse control, patience and concentration. Coming to class is also great way of realising that you’re not alone and that every dog and owner face similar challenges. If you never made a mistake, you’d never learn!
Classrooms aren’t like the real world, but we do our best to teach things that are useful and practical. We try to make it fun too, so we teach tricks, turn, weave, paw and so on.
With training, dogs and puppies learn commands in games in class which can be adapted to many situations in everyday life. I enjoy seeing the owners and puppies bonding as the classes progress.
We train dogs by the way they learn
with fun and repetition. Animal behaviour studies have worked out that this is the way dogs respond best. It teaches co-operation and is a great way to encourage a happy, trusting bond. Even though we repeat the tasks, usually it won’t take a long time- depending on the dog, the breed and so on, most learn a word rather quickly and a hand signal even faster.
Then we show how to use those tasks to make everyday life easier. We teach how to communicate with your dog, form a loving bond and also how to establish routines that take the hard work out of daily life. This down to earth, practical method has been gained from years of experience and study of canine behaviour articles and papers. Check out this page for info about different training theories and methods.
It’s not only people who remember more when they’re enjoying themselves.
Years of study and experience in canine behaviour guarantees the courses are informative and fun. Being dog breeders as well as dog trainers we recognise the importance of puppy socialisation and dog training.
Socialisation is a very important part of a dog’s development and it is wise to really encourage as much as possible as early as possible- in class puppies learn how to behave with people- the trainers and other owners- and they learn how to interact with other dogs by making friends with their classmates.
When someone passes the beginner bronze course, they are invited to join our Advanced Class, offering Silver and then Gold level training.
We don’t bring our dogs so the class always has our full attention, but anyone wishing to meet Poppy, Willow, Widget, Cookie and Smudge can give us a ring- we’d happily go for a walk with you.
Susan Lyall MA CANTAB, (Affinity Dog Training, Northampton) is a dog trainer qualified as a graduate with the ADTB able to teach and assess puppy – gold levels. I am also qualified to teach with two Cambridge degrees.
Please don’t be alarmed when my hands and feet turn weird colours (anything from gray to red or purple), or if you happen to see me taking (and then hiding) tablets. It may look odd but the tablets are strong so the dogs can’t go near them. I was diagnosed with Causalgia, now CRPS2, in 1981. It’s a pain disease that has been compared to MS. There’s plenty of chairs in the hall it’s easy for me to take a seat next to each dog and owner as we work and play.
Children’s Club … (like the BBC’s “Who let the dogs out?” for beginners)As a qualified teacher I am looking into starting a fun club for children (7 to 14) wishing to train their dogs here in Northampton, possibly on Saturdays.By the way, children are welcome to attend with their parents in all of our classes. Once you’re 15, then you can train your dog in a regular class on your own :)Please contact me if your child is interested. More news (hopefully) soon!
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