Higher level classes – Improvers and beyond…

We offer a range of higher level classes which you can progress to or start in These are divided roughly by ability, but we will see which class suits you both the best.

Covid update: at present these classes can only run online due to tier 4 restrictions.

New handlers and dogs

If you have come to us and have experience of clicker training, or have trained your dog to a reasonably high level we may put you straight into one of these higher level classes. We will give you additional support in class to enable you to hit the ground running….

What if I have a well-trained dog? Or I’m an experienced handler?

We have lots of people join us who are experienced in teaching their dogs, or may have dogs which have been ‘conventionally’ trained. This doesn’t mean that you can’t enrol in our classes just because we are clicker trainers….

Clicker training is a method of training – you can teach non-clicker trained dogs using this style. Its more about the patience of the handler than the skill level of the dog! It takes time for a dog to learn to use his brain to work out what is needed, and as a handler you have to have patience whilst he learns…Also it can be initially tricky for handlers to allow their dog time to learn. We ourselves were ‘conventional’ dog trainers many years ago and so we remember what its like to go through this process. It’s all about getting your dog to think for himself, so that you can refine and improve what he knows.

Do I need to clicker train?

You can use the technique and use a verbal marker as well or/ instead of the clicker. In fact, we encourage you to use both!

What are the classes? What will we learn?

We run several Improvers classes, a mixed afternoon class and a Top class. Al are set around continuing to work on developing your dogs weaker skills and stretching his stronger skills.

  • In these classes, you continue to work on an individual basis.
  • We tend to teach on a topic basis each term for example directionality, self control, quick response etc
  • We continue to develop your understanding of how your dog learns, body language and how to use these to teach what you want
  • We use agility equipment in these classes – not necessarily to teach agility skills – but because they act as fun ways for you both to learn, and also because they really reinforce self-control.
  • We work on target training – to teach distance and direction (to improve off-lead control)
  • We develop self-control through extending the level of distractions and difficulty in things such as stopping your dog when he is running, leaving food he has food on the floor and so on. We also teach ‘platform’ training which is a fabulous way of improving your dogs learning even more rapidly.
  • We work on aspects of the APDT higher level Good Companion Awards to broaden your skills further (see www.APDT.co.uk)
  • We are developing skills through a dog sport called Rally which is self control based and you work on refining control and communication with your dog. Alongside this we teach some basic ‘Hoopers’ skills (low impact agility) to develop off lead control, distance and direction.