Socialisation and Beginner Training

There’s been a spike in Covid cases in Abington so the council have postponed reopening of the community centre until week beginning 17th August

We have had so many enquiries that normal classes are full. Extra spaces on WEDNESDAYS (starting 7pm) are now available. Please contact Sue if you wish to reserve a place!

We will start at week 1. Those whose course had just begun will be invited to restart, with no extra charge. Seems sensible to recap as it’s been so long.

Please ring Sue if you want more info, or to be placed on our waiting list, or if you want to book an appointment, pick a brain or talk about dogs!  (0751 976 2411) 

Hope everyone keeps safe and well!


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

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

Index: Click on a section or scroll down

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

Click here to see when this year’s classes start (that have spaces available)

Tuesday August 4th or Thursday 6th August

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 (reasonably and ethically) 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

We have never thrown a dog out for being too badly behaved. It’s a sign that they’re in the right place and we trainers need to roll our sleeves up.

We can sort out many common general behaviour things in class- like jumping up and pulling on the lead. Depending on the issue, sometimes we recommend a one to one (rather than classes) for a behavioural “quirk” or problem. It’s policy that we be honest and say when the cheaper option is best. We’ve found that working on some problems in a concentrated way gives us faster results. Rather than trying to squeeze a few extra quid from people, it is better for you, your dog and our reputation if we help where it’s needed. If you are unsure, please just ask.

Now including a free course guide

Access codes are given out on the first day of class.

All classes now include access codes to our on line library (link here will take you to the page). Each course has a guide which explains how to do each task and how to level them up (as well as when to use them).

There’s handy hints and tips to make it easy, fun and enjoyable or dogs and people. I’ve tried hard to write it so that things are as clear and straightforward and as easy to follow as possible.

If you’re a current student or graduate, please contact me (Sue) for the passwords.

Info sheets:

Free info sheets are available- to anyone who needs help with teething, toilet training, food and establishing good routines.. Feel free to check out our facebook page– I (Sue) post handy hints when I think of them and share new infographics as I make them. I can always message/ email the files if it’s easier!

If there’s a topic you’d like me to write about- please let me know!

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, in their usual collar or harness and lead.

Some treats you know they like,

Something super yum for when they’re distracted.

A toy (for leave with objects and listening whilst excited)

the £80.

If a partner, friend, relative or neighbour is interested in coming along, please invite them. If they can make one session, we recommend activity week (week 4)- that’s the most fun and always our favourite.

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 and wonder why they’re here. 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 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. You can 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.


People are invited to take the Bronze test at the end- ours is slightly different to the KC’s Good citizen scheme. As they are important tasks for safety, we’ve added stop and leave.

Click here for our 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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