When you get a new dog – puppy or rescue – one of the most important and beneficial things you can do is to take your new little (or large) family member along to a local dog training class. These are usually weekly, inexpensive and a great opportunity to get your pooch socialised as well as starting to teach them some basic commands.
Depending on the class you find, you and your dog could even work towards Bronze, Silver and Gold Good Citizen Dog Scheme awards as set out by the Kennel Club.
However, whilst you’re at these classes there are usually a few people (and their dogs) that you’re almost guaranteed to meet. Here are my top 5:
• The overly-keen, know-it-all owner with the frustratingly obedient dog who probably could have stopped coming to training classes about 8 months ago.
Easily spotted by: Puffed out chest; loudly commanding his dog in Latin or by saying nothing at all and simply thinking the commands loud enough for the dog to sense them.
• The overbearingly friendly owner who sits right next to you every week even though she could have comfortably sat 4 chairs away. Lets her dog distract yours (against your repeated requests) and makes comments about the trainer under her breath.
Easily spotted by: She’s right next to you. Evoking conversation while you’re trying to listen to the trainer.
• The fantastic, jealousy inducing gay couple with their terribly adorable new border terrier puppy.
Easily spotted by: A beautiful aroma of effortless style and grace fill the room.
• The perfectly prickly teachers pet with the equally perfect pooch that never leaves their side…unless told to do so, naturally.
Easily spotted by: Sits as close to the trainer as possible. Won’t socialise; they’re not there for that after all. May occasionally shoot a knowing look to the overly keen know-it-all.
• Your trainer. A life-saver in all things dog! Gives you the wisdom and knowledge to build and maintain a healthy and confident attitude towards training your new four legged family member.
Easily spotted by: Wearing a bumbag. Smells vaguely of treats. Dogs love her/him.
Of course, this is just a tongue in cheek look at who you might meet at a training class! On a serious note, statistics show that owners who took their dogs to training classes found that they were easier to train than owners who did not attend classes with their dog (research done by Pet365). So get yourself – and your fur baby – along to your nearest class as soon as you can.