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Choosing A Trainer

Dog TrainersTHE DEFINTION OF CLASSES e.g. PUPPY, BEGINNER, INTERMEDIATE, ADVANCED, WILL VARY. ALWAYS ASK THE INDIVIDUAL TRAINER FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THEIR OWN CLASSES.

Puppy Classes

Learning social skills and teaching basic training cannot be started early enough. As soon as your puppy has completed his or her vaccination programme, enrolling with a good puppy class will help you to build your relationship with your dog, understand how he or she learns and help you to teach some basic manners.


Always go to watch a puppy class without your puppy before you book:

  • Exercises should be broken into small sessions suitable for puppies to learn.
  • Puppies and people should look relaxed and happy.
  • Punitive methods or equipment should not be in use. Choke/check chains, tight slip collars and prong collars are not necessary.
  • Noise should be kept to a minimum - shouting is unnecessary and lots of barking can indicate that the dogs are stressed.
  • Instructors should be approachable. Do they appear friendly and caring in the best interests of owner and pup.
  • How many puppies are there in the class? Bear in mind the size of the venue, as well as the number of assistants. Can the instructor keep an eye on everyone.
  • Methods should suit the dog and handler in question. Food and toys are excellent motivators. Not many dogs work for praise alone.
  • Play between puppies should be carefully supervised and controlled and combined with gentle, effective training

For a full list of APDT members who offer puppy classes in your area, send SAE to, APDT, PO Box 17, Fairford GL7 4WZ or go to our dog trainers page.


How to find a kind, fair and effective pet dog training class

Learning how to train your own dog has many benefits - it can help to build and strengthen your relationship with your dog, teach him or her basic social skills and is fun!

A good pet dog training class should concentrate on what you want your dog to learn. It should teach you to train your dog to become a calm, easily controlled and valued member of your family and the community.


Always go to watch a training class without your dog before you book.

  • Dogs and people should look relaxed and happy.
  • Punitive methods or equipment should not be in use. Choke/check chains, tight slip collars and prong collars are not necessary and are totally inappropriate as training equipment in pet dog classes.
  • Noise should be kept to a minimum - shouting is not necessary and lots of barking can indicate that the dogs are stressed.
  • Instructors should be approachable. Do they appear friendly and caring in the best Interests of owner and dog?
  • How many dogs are there in the class? Bear in mind the size of the venue, as well as the number of assistants. Can the instructor keep an eye on everyone?
  • Methods should suit the dog and handler in question. Food and toys are excellent motivators. Not many dogs work for praise alone. Training should be kind, fair and effective.

A training class is not the place to try to solve a behavioural problem with a dog. Aggressive or nervous dogs need individual attention away from the class environment.

Some trainers do offer classes especially designed for dogs who cannot take part in ordinary pet dog classes. This may be for various reasons such as reactivity, fear or aggression.

Before attending any such classes the dog should be properly assessed to see if this environment would be suitable.

Any trainer who offers this type of class should have specialist knowledge of dogs with these problems, and have the skill to be able to teach both dog and handler how to improve and manage each dog’s behaviour.

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