Frequently Asked Questions.........
Will I feel anxious?
Yes it's only natural that you may feel a little anxious on your first session. The important thing to remember is that your dog may well be feeling the same way coming into an unusual environment with strange dogs and people. Don't worry - everyone and their dog feels this way. We will do everything to put you both at your ease and you will find after a couple of sessions your dog will relax and enjoy seeing his new found chums.
What do I need to bring with me?
We will provide a mat for your dog to sit and work on and fresh drinking water. We pride ourselves in training you to train your dog in a force free, reward based way. This means your dog will enjoy his training in a stress free way and will never be punished or chastised. So you will need to bring high value treats with you and perhaps one or two of your dogs favourite toys. Also bring a pack of 'pooh' bags with you for every session. Keep a grooming brush in your bag as well.
What treats shall I use?
Treats are used specifically for training so need to be of a higher value than his normal food. This means your dog will LOVE them and will learn quickly that his response will be rewarded with something very exciting! We find that ham, chicken, hot dog sausage, cheese or branded training treats cut into very small pieces are ideal for the job. We would recommend that you reduce your dog's main meal amount on the day he comes to training to allow for the delicious treats that will be coming his way! For the duration of his training only use the treat you have chosen for training purposes both at home and in the sessions, so that the treat remains of high value to your dog. About half a small margarine tub of tiny pieces of your treat should suffice.
What if my dog consistently barks or jumps up in the session.
We are used to it, some dogs do this in training sessions, usually because they are nervous or excited or want to play with the other dogs. We can help if things are uncomfortable for you by providing a private area to start with and by working with you both to help eliminate unwanted behaviour. We also run workshops for specific behaviours in order to help you fast track your dogs training or we can offer 1:1 training at your home if behaviours are really hard-wired.
How should my dog be equipped?
Lead and collar/harness:We would always encourage you to use a flat collar and flat lead. Training becomes much harder with a chain lead and almost impossible with a thin extension lead. We are finding increasingly that a soft well fitted harness with a ring at the chest and on the back and a double ended lead works very well if you have a dog that pulls or jumps up. This combination is also much kinder to a dog and takes away strain and possible injury from the dog’s neck and spine. We can advise you some more at the sessions. We do not condone the use of any aversive equipment, for example a harness that tightens if the dog pulls, or Halti worn on the face.. We would not allow a check chain to be used under any circumstances.
Dog Identity/MicrochipIt is a legal requirement for your dog to be micro-chipped from 8 weeks of age and you can be fined £500 for not complying. See this link for more information: https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/microchipping-your-dog
Dog Identity/Collar Tags: This is the easiest way for your dog to be found by the general public and may save your dog a trip to the dog pound or the vet if he gets lost! If you are attending any of our Kennel Club Good Citizen courses you will require a dog identity tag to take part on the course. You can have these engraved at most good pet shops. Here is a link to what your dog tag should look like:
Do we need to practice at home?
The more you practice at home just regular short five minute sessions in your kitchen, garden or out on walks will make a really big difference to your training progress. It will also help your confidence at the sessions. You hopefully will enjoy a greater bonding with your dog and he/she will be happy that he is active and pleasing you. (Your dog's main aim in life!). Each work you will receive a refresher sheet with the activities to practice at home.
What sort of things will I learn?
Information on our Trick Classes and behaviour specific Workshops will be provided in the course information section of the Fun and Games website.
Our Social Skills, Puppy and Kennel Club Good Citizen Courses will help you to train your dog to learn 'good behaviours' and unlearn any bad habits. Your dog is learning from you so the magic can happen as long as you are committed. Here are justsome of the activities you will learn in manageable stages with lots of fun and games added in to make things enjoyable too:
Sitting, staying and sending to mat/bed.
Food manners and socializing with other dogs and humans.
Walking by your side on a loose lead.
Calling your dog to you and asking him to wait until being called.
Waiting and walking in a controlled way through a gate or doorway.
No jumping - four paws on the floor.
Leave it - readily coming away from things you don't want your dog to go near.
Enjoying and tolerating being gently touched all over or groomed (great for vet visits)
Stress signals and how your dog communicates with you.
What if I fail?
No one really ever fails, we ensure that you are working to the level comfortable for you and your dog and offer top up sessions, 1:1 sessions at your home and even if you fail an award if you do choose to go in for one, it can easily be taken again.
I'm worried that my dog may be aggressive or bark constantly at other dogs?
In some rare circumstances we may not be able to invite your dog to classes but we can do a 1:1 assessment to see if this can work in a class setting or via 1:1 sessions at your home.
Can I bring my partner or someone else who handles my dog?
Yes but please can you contact us in advance to let us know. We do not encourage small children particularly toddlers to be present at training sessions.
More information and documents can be downloaded by following these links:
Kennel Club Good Citizen Puppy Foundation Award Criteria:
Kennel Club Good Citizen Bronze Award Criteria:
Kennel Club Good Citizen Silver Award Criteria:
Kennel Club Good Citizen Gold Award Criteria: