Socialisation and Beginner Training

Fun and supportive socialisation and training- the highest quality training at the fairest prices 

Index: Click on a section or scroll down

* How to go about booking? * What do I bring? * Hints and tips * How old do they have to be? * What things do we teach?  * Assessment  * Map


Courses run every six weeks and are either Tuesdays or Thursdays, 7 to 8pm 

classes due to start with spaces available

Tuesday 4th December- 18th Happy Christmas! 8th – 22nd January

Thursday 6th December 16th December Happy Christmas! 10th- 24th January

It’s £80 per dog for the whole course.

We are  in Abington Community Centre-  Wheatfield Road South, Northampton NN3 2HH (map)

Any dog of any age is welcome, including puppies and older dogs.

It’s a fun 6 weeks, learning tasks that are are practical, useful, fun and cool with down to earth, kind methods. We try hard to make training is enjoyable and useful, showing you how to help your dog have nice manners and appropriate behaviour, how to set boundaries and ensure a safe, loving environment for all of the family. So socialisation goes smoothly, we have access to another room which we use as a “chill out zone” separating the class by energy levels, size or age if necessary.

Please ring us on 0751 976 2411 for more info or to reserve a place

Now including a free printed course guide

All classes now include a free booklet explaining how to do each task and how to level them up. There’s handy hints and tips to make it fun and enjoyable. I’ve written it so that things are as clear and easy to follow as possible.

On line versions are free to all graduates here– please contact us for the passwords.

Class size is limited. With two trainers, everyone gets individual attention. All our classes are an hour long, in courses of 6 weeks which are £80 in total and payment is expected on the first day.

If we mention a website in class, we’ll put a link to it here

We encourage people to ring or text us if they ever need to pick a brain or have a question.

Once you’ve signed up for classes you are under our wing forever. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have a question- whenever your need.  We are here to help.


 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 £80. If a partner, friend, relative or neighbour is interested in coming along, please invite them. Once we’re all together, we take a couple of minutes to fill in the registration forms and then we’re ready to start!

Hints and tips:

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. Remember if you never made a mistake, you’d never learn! 

Remember the golden rule– when your dog gets good at something, you either make it harder or reduce their rewards.

For rewards, use some of their dinner if it’s biscuits, else don’t forget to compensate. Using their dinner will help you monitor calories and additives. Although….

The nicer the rewards, the more likely the are to want to do the task… use this to your advantage and give them their favourite when doing the task they find most difficult. Say coming back in the park is hard (distractions, distractions….) then, when they get it right, that is the ONLY time they get their favourite thing- it will help motivate them.

Try playing the games and doing the exercises in short sharp bursts- they’ll remember better that way. Maybe when the adverts are on….

We leave some dog biscuits by the kettle so that we can train as we wait for the kettle to boil. 

It’s also a good idea to have some treats by the front door to help the dog wait nicely (and not jump up or run off) when a visitor or the postman knocks.

Tasks include:

How to attract your dogs attention and maintain their focus

Gaining control while excited and distractedP1020158

What to do about undesirable behaviour

Impulse control (including the very important leave it &  find/ take it)*

Walk with me nicely, change sides, slow down, speed up and stop

Recall (or coming back to their owner).

Controlled greetings.

Sit, down, stand

Wait and stay

How (and why) we use hand signals

Some fun things like paw, turn, back and find.

Socialisation (and  advice on what to expect from puppies, teenagers and mature dogs)

And any requests or questions that people may have.

* What is impulse control?

Impulse control is teaching your dog patience and self control so that they have good manners and know how to listen to you when there’s exciting things going on around them.

When you walk to the park, impulse control helps them to wait nicely by the road next to the park and not want to rush over. With impulse control you to can get them to leave the squirrel, the mouldy burger or chicken with cooked bones and ignore the grumpy looking dog or person.

Impulse control makes life easier and safer and includes tasks like Oi/ watch me, listen while excited, leave it, wait and stay.


Jabs- What age can they start class?

Recent studies have shown that it is safe for puppies to attend class after their first jab- the only difference between class and a puppy party is the training. Parvovirus danger is from other dogs’ toileting and in the odd time that there is an accident, we ask all owners to clean up after their dogs with our antimicrobial solution.  There’s more info on the Parvo study here and here..

Puppy socialisation and bronze training includes down to earth hints and tips on how to communicate with your dog and how to help then listen while they’re excited. We have found that puppies can learn incredibly quickly and are easily able to reach bronze (tier 2) standard in the six weeks. In addition, we practise impulse control as we think it very important.

The tasks we teach are sensible, practical and useful for any owner and their dog.

When someone passes this course, phone and text support will continue for as long as they need… and there is no such thing as a silly question.

Graduates will be invited to attend the advanced classes.


The Bronze test

Sue will take each dog and their humans into the exam room and after the dog has a good sniff and are able to concentrate, she will say something like: “we’ll take our time so try to relax. Reward with as many treats as you feel are necessary and use the words and hand signals that you prefer“.  

There are 8 tasks, in 6 sections, each section is worth a maximum of 16.6%

1) Sit, lie down, stand  (the order is up to each owner)

2) Walk to heel (roughly 2 widths of the hall, on or off the lead) 

3) Recall and sit to finish (the sit is so they don’t get in the habit of jumping up when they greet- touching their collar is also sensible but not a test requirement)

4) Stay/ wait for 15 seconds at 5 paces

5) The beginnings of an emergency stop…. call the dog to you and ask them to stop. Once the dog is stationary, then reward. I wish there was double points for a nice sit.

6) Leave a piece of food (covered) on the floor whilst sitting/ lying

Please remember we practise all of this in class (as well as much more difficult stuff) so that when the test comes around, eye tests are harder.

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  1. Hi
    I have a 12 week old puppy that I would like to bring to classes if you open up another course this September
    Many thanks

    • Thanks for getting in touch Virginia- I will let you know as things progress. Is there any chance you could text me on 0751 976 2411 please? If we have enough interest I’d like to be able to get in touch with you quickly, as there’s only a few days left. Sue (and Stu)

  2. Please can I reserve a place for the Tuesday class, starting 5th September? tel 01604 890271. I didn’t want to phone on a Bank holiday. Thanks

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