It is important that your puppy receives adequate training and socialisation. Having a well-behaved puppy that leads to a well-behaved dog is what everyone wants.  Putting in the time in the first 6 months to a year will ensure this.  Do your research first and find out the best puppy training classes near to you.  For further information see below ...

Start Training - socialisation
As a starting point to training and socialisation, we recommend you expose your puppy to the sights, sounds, smells and experiences of the world they are living in.  Reputable breeders will raise litters with their mums to the age of 8 weeks before leaving to start their new lives.  The best pups are those raised in a home environment meaning that they have already started to experience home life!

To help you we have a socialisation checklist to guide you through this click here.

What to look for when selecting a training class:
When looking for local dog training classes it is vital that you choose someone who uses reward-based training methods only. This means rewarding dog behaviours that are wanted and that you have requested from the dog.  You are looking for your trainer to show you how to encourage your dog to offer the behaviour you need and not force it, e.g. the dog is when he sits down voluntarily, not when his bottom is forced to the ground with your hand.

Accredited Trainers:
There is no national mandatory body that regulates dog training establishments, but there are organisations that accredit training schools for their positive training methods, through voluntary membership.  This is a useful benchmark and something to bear in mind when you do your research!

Under the umbrella of the organisation, their members follow a set of rules which include a code of conduct to provide puppies and dogs with a reward-based training experience.  Membership also includes periodic reassessment to ensure standard continue to be met.

COAPE Association of Applied Pet Behaviourists and Trainers
COAPE members have to achieve a minimum of a Level 3 diploma and Companion Animal Behaviour and Training.  Students on the Level 5 Diploma course must complete their Level 4. Levels 4 - 6 of the Higher Diploma are regulated by OFQUAL and each level lasts one year.

Membership is restricted so COAPE can guarantee the educational level of their members who follow a code of conduct which members agree to comply with voluntarily.

To visit the COAPE website click here.

Kennel Club - Accredited Instructor KCAI
The Kennel Club runs its own accredited scheme and lists instructors/trainers who are working towards or have completed their KCAI training.  Training involves study, assessments and exams and member need to keep their practice up-to-date.  They are periodically checked to renew their accreditation.  Members can branch out and take further qualifications in specific areas of dog training.

For more information visit the Kennel Club website, click here.

Institute of Modern Dog Trainers - IMDT
IMDT membership is restricted to graduates from their own course.  Members must follow a code of conduct and are reassessed periodically.

Association of Pet Dog Trainers (UK) - APDT
APDT offer training courses for trainers, membership of this association is based upon a rigorous assessment which includes a written, practical and oral assessment.   Members must follow a code of conduct and are reassessed periodically.

To visit the APDT website click here.

Association of Pet Behaviour Councillors - APBC
It's worth noting that the treatment of behaviour problems in dogs (cats, horses and other companion animals) is a highly specialised field that requires qualified professional help.  The APBC represents a network of behaviour counsellors that have achieved the highest proven academic and practical standards available in the field of companion animal behavioural therapy.  Their members abide by a strict code of conduct and continually develop their professional knowledge in the light of new research so that clients and the vets who refer them can be assured they receive the latest expert advice at a reasonable cost.  The APBC is also an educational provider and continues to promote the practice of pet behaviour therapy to improve the welfare of all companion animals.

Members of the APBC are highly respected by the veterinary profession.  Behaviour counsellors will only accept cases following a full clinical examination by a vet and subsequent referral.  Some medical conditions can be the cause of behavioural changes in animals and for the welfare of the pet it is important to rule this out first, this would include medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism, brain conditions and testicular tumours.   There are a number of APBC members how are also veterinary surgeons.

If you need behaviour advice, please contact us first before seeking external help.  Simple behaviour concerns can be dealt with in many cases following advice and support from our staff at our practice.  Otherwise, we would recommend referring you to an APBC pet behaviour counsellor.

To visit the APBC website click here.

Local Training Classes
There are a number of training classes locally.  We strongly recommend you visit the class before bringing your puppy for its first lesson. During the covid pandemic training classes are being offered via video link - please join one and get stuck in!