Our puppy foundation course is just that: a sound foundation to build upon and an introduction to dog training, for both puppy and owner alike. It's a very well structured course during which all the puppy basics are covered, including: basic commands (sit, down, stand, come, leave, wait, stay, etc), getting (and holding!) your puppy's attention, calling away from distraction, puppy health and well-being, safe and controlled socialisation with other puppies, handling and inspection, road-walking, puppy retrieve, and plenty of fun games through which you and your pup will learn even more.
Katie has written an extensive training manual, which fully complements and supports the course and is included in the course fee - these are handed out during week one of the course.
We only use positive, reward-based training, as it is crucial that the puppies enjoy their training. We help to teach the basic positions (sit, down and stand) as well as how to train your puppy to walk nicely on lead, along with other basic commands, such as the recall, wait, stay and leave, and a large emphasis is placed upon socialisation. We feel it is crucial that a dog is properly socialised from a very young age, as this, along with the teaching of the basic commands, helps to ensure that the dog grows up to be happy and well-adjusted.
Time and again we come across dogs who display aggressive and/or nervous behaviour, and we are often told, "He's not used to other dogs." We believe one of the very best things a new owner can do for his/her puppy is to allow them to mix with other dogs/puppies from a very young age (as soon as the course of vaccinations is complete - usually around 12 weeks), in a safe and controlled environment.
During our puppy classes we do not allow an "off-lead free-for-all" (but never say never, should circumstances arise where this might be appropriate), but we do allow them to mix and mingle and just generally check each other out, as dogs do; they are learning how to "read" the body language of other dogs and they're also learning how to interact with other dogs. It's also important that puppies learn to respond to their owners amidst distraction, and what more inviting distraction for a puppy than another puppy?
Another area we cover in the Puppy Foundation Course is that of responsibilty and care. We'll talk through what this covers, and hand out more information, during the sessions themselves.
At the end of each class, we hold a question and answer session, during which owners are encouraged to ask our advice about any concerns/little problems they might be having, such as issues with toilet training.
There is no assessment evening on the final week of the Puppy Course, as this can sometimes add undue pressure with young puppies, however certificates and rosettes will be presented upon completion of the course.