Classes learning useful things and fun stuff
with practical info and handy tips
All classes are the same price- £60 per dog for the whole 6 week course.
Beginner classes start at 7pm on either a Tuesday or a Thursday, advanced is at 8pm on Thursdays.
We’re in Abington Community Centre, Wheatfield Road South, Northampton NN3 2HH (click here for a map)
Contact Sue to reserve a place and put your name on The List. (0751 976 2411)
Tues 21st and Thurs 23rd Feb – 4th and 6th of April
11th and 13th April – 23rd and 25th May (We cannot use the hall on the 4th of May for an election, so we’ll take that week off)
30th of May and 1st of June – 4 and 6th of July
11th and 13th of July – 15th and 17th of August
(week off 22nd and 24th August)
29 and 31st August – 3rd and 5th October
hasn’t had any training
Silver & Gold levels
(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!
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 tricks and party pieces- 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 or need to pick our brains- 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 teach leave it very early on, (usually the first session) believing that “impulse control” is hugely important for all dogs, especially puppies who put everything in their mouths. It was shocking to use to find out that traditionally, this is not taught until the third course.
* We don’t make people walk their dogs only on the left- in real life this just isn’t always so convenient, so we teach change sides (and heel left and right in the more advanced classes).
* We don’t get hung up on what words you use when teaching your dog- the last thing we need is for an owner to be tongue- tied when issuing an urgent safety command. Say what comes naturally- use the word comes easiest then try to be as consistent as possible- they’ll learn faster. It doesn’t matter what word you use as long as you all know what you mean. You don’t even have to use English, if it is not your first language; that’s cool for us as we get to learn how to say “leave” and “come here” and so on in a variety of languages. After a while dogs can pick up synonyms – ours know “quiet” “shhhh!” and “shut up”!
* People don’t do the tasks one at a time, everyone has a go all at once. Working with the distractions of the other dogs sometimes is really hard, but it is an important lesson for real life.
* 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.
When someone passes the beginner bronze course, they are invited to join our Advanced Class, offering Silver and then Gold level training.
Affinity Dog Training, Northampton only use methods that are known to work, are kind and useful. Our dogs are our best friends.
We train dogs by the way they learn– with fun and repetition. We can teach you how to communicate with your dog and also how to establish routines which make daily life easier. This down to earth, practical method has been gained from years of study and experience. 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.
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- I love to watch as a puppy has the light-bulb moment when they realise that having nice manners gets them lots of treats and fuss.
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. 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.
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) my 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 (9 to 14) wishing to train their dogs here in Northampton, possibly on Saturday mornings.
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!