Obedience - Sundays 2.15pm to 3.15pm (Self service tea /coffee at 3.15pm)
These classes will cover all aspects of obedience training from beginners to advanced level. Training will be suitable for pet dogs as well as those wishing to advance to competitive work. The courses are taught by qualified instructors and the basic idea is that the handler is taught how to train his or her dog using up-to-date methods adapted to suit each dog . Handlers and their dogs move on to higher level classes when the instructors consider they have made progress.
Handlers who reach a high standard with their dogs and have been members over a period of time may be invited to attend the instructors training course which is run by Directors of Training in the various regions of the country.
The club also runs assessments for the Kennel Club Good Citizens Scheme.
Ringcraft (GSD's only) By arrangement. Please contact the secretary for details.
This class is for owners and handlers seeking advice and experience on handling their dog in the ring and entering shows. All types welcome and training is suitable for all types of show from Championship through to local companion and fun shows.
KC Good Citizen Dog Scheme or Agility /Flyball - Sundays 1pm - 2 pm. ( seasonal and weather dependent)
This class teaches "fun agility" and flyball from beginners to advanced level with the training designed to suit the age and physical development of the dog. A degree of control is necessary to join this class. Dog handlers remain in the beginners section until the dog is physically mature enough to take on the more taxing obstacles (usually 12-18 months of age). Once past the beginners stage the dogs are carefully introduced to various other obstacles and taught how to negotiate them safely. Fitness of dog and handler, and also control of the dog are essential in this sport.
Handler and dog must have sufficient obedience training to be able to work with a degree of control.
The KCGCD Scheme classes are run under Kennel Club guidelines and we currently run Bronze and silver classes. Two of our instructors are Qualified judges for the Bronze test.
Puppy Socialisation - Sundays 1pm - 1.45pm
The puppy pen plays a crucial role in introducing the young puppy to the wider world. Ideally, we like them to start as soon as they have completed their vaccinations and have been given the go-ahead by their vets; this is usually between 10 and 12weeks. Of course this is not always the age that they come to us as we do not run set courses, and people turn up at the club with puppies (and adult dogs) of all ages. The classes run on an ongoing basis with the youngsters leaving us at 6 months,when they are ready to go into Class 1.
The training is reward based, with lots of play sessions. The puppies learn to get on with each other and with the other handlers. This socialisation is vital to their development. They are introduced to older dogs as well, and to children. We play a tape of fireworks, thunder, and other loud and potentially “scary” noises, and they are usually so absorbed in their play that they hardly notice it! This is good, for when they encounter the real thing they have no fear of it. We have a game of “pass the puppy” with the pups moving from person to person, the handlers checking ears, eyes, teeth, feet etc. – this prepares them for visits to the vet. In amongst the play, the puppies learn to pay attention to their handler, to Sit, Down and Stand and to come when called.
We teach them the basics of the Stay, holding the position for just 10 seconds to start with, the handlers staying beside them, not moving away – this is the hardest thing to teach the handlers, most of them want to do a Test A Stay before their babies have learnt the foundations of the exercise! Heelwork starts with a few steps forward at the handler’s side, then turning and coming towards the handler as (s)he walks backwards, we then turn the pups on the left side and repeat the exercise. This is done both on and off the lead – the younger the puppy, the easier this is to teach as their natural instinct is to follow their handler.
Working off the lead at this stage will help later on in the dogs’ education when they will have to do it in class on the training field. As they progress they learn to do turns and halts as well. They do a basic puppy Recall and Finish, so that with the Stays that they are learning, they will have all the elements of a Novice Recall when they go into Class 1.
They play with toys and learn to “hold” and to release an article when asked.Our Club participates in the Kennel Club Good Citizen Puppy Foundation Assessment Scheme which promotes responsible dog ownership. To quote from their leaflet “The inclusion of play exercises adds an extra dimension to a dog’s life and can be used to make training fun. Constructive play and suitable incentives are encouraged within this puppy training program”.
All our pups seem to enjoy their time in the Pen, they make lasting friendships and approach the next stage of their training with a positive attitude.