Dogs Trust

Dog School lesson plans and FAQs

Dogs Trust Dog School classes combine training skills and exercises to prepare your dog for everyday life.

We give you lots of information to help you understand your pooch and avoid common behavioural issues.

5 classes on a 5 week programme for only £55

Find your nearest class and enquire now!

Week 1

In Week 1 of Dog School Puppy class

We will start to teach you:

  • Why we use food as a reward
  • About how your puppy learns new things
  • How to deal with some common puppy problems, such as mouthing or chewing.
  • All about socialising your puppy

We will start to teach your puppy:

  • To settle down and relax in class
  • To pay attention to you and respond to their name
  • Sit down and lie down when asked
  • Come back to you when called (to start with from just a very short distance away).

Week 2

In Week 2 of Dog School Puppy Class

We will teach you:

  • To make sure your puppy will be relaxed when left alone.
  • To ‘read’ what your puppy is telling you and recognise if they are worried.
  • How to make sure your puppy has positive interactions with other dogs

We will also work on teaching your puppy:

  • To be handled by you, and if they are doing well, by other people as well
  • To develop more social skills by playing with other puppies.
  • To start to learn how to walk nicely on the lead

Week 3

In Week 3 of Dog School Puppy classes

We will teach you:

  • The importance of being consistent and predictable with your puppy
  • How to deal with some common puppy problems, such as mouthing or chewing.
  • All about house training
  • To set up environments so your puppy easily learns the right response.
  • How to make sure your puppy is not worried about people approaching stuff they value (like their food or toys). 

We will also work on teaching your puppy:

  • How to walk nicely on a lead, with distractions!
  • To get used to more handling, including veterinary type examinations
  • How to come back when called, even when there are other pups to play with!
  • To give up something nice in return for something even nicer!

Week 4

In Week 4 of Dog School puppy class

We will teach you:

  • How to teach your puppy to do ANYTHING.
  • To set up environments so your puppy easily learns the right response.
  • About practicing behaviours in lots of different situations!
  • To teach your puppy house rules and ‘polite’ behaviours 

We will also work on teaching your puppy:

  • To be relaxed with an increasing volume and range of noises
  • Some “tricks”!
  • How to walk nicely on the lead in any situation
  • To get even better at walking on a loose lead and coming back to you whatever is going on!
  • To wait politely before going through a doorway

Week 5

In Week 5 of Dog School Puppy Class

We recap the key messages that have been covered in the previous weeks, and talk about how these skills can be taken forward and developed to make sure your puppy continues to learn as they get older.

We use some time in week 5 to check that you are not having any problems with your puppy so we can give you some more guidance on this if needed.

We also teach you and your puppy:

  • How to wean your puppy off only working for treats
  • How to get your puppy to greet people with four paws on the ground
  • The importance of keeping your puppy’s mind busy

Week 1

In Week 1 of Dog School Adolescent Class

We will teach you:

  • Why we use food as a reward
  • About how your dog learns new things
  • All about your dogs “teenage” phase
  • All about socialising your dog

We will start to teach your dog:

  • To settle down and relax in class
  • To pay attention to you and respond to their name
  • Sit down and lie down when asked
  • To start to learn how to walk nicely on the lead  
  • Come back to you when called (to start with from just a very short distance away).

Week 2

Week 2 of Dog School Adolescent Class

We will teach you:

  • To make sure your dog will be relaxed when left alone.
  • How to deal with some common teenage problems, such as mouthing or chewing.
  • To ‘read’ what your dog is telling you and recognise if they are worried.
  • How to make sure your dog has positive interactions with other dogs

We will also work on teaching your dog:

  • How to play nicely with other dogs
  • Come back to you when called (from a bit further away).
  • How to enjoy being handled

Week 3

In Week 3 of Dog School Adolescent Class

We will teach you:

  • The importance of being consistent and predictable with your dog.
  • The importance of getting your dog used to all sorts of different situations
  • To set up environments so your dog easily learns the right response.
  • How to make sure your dog is not worried about people approaching stuff they value (like their food or toys).

We will also work on teaching your dog:

  • How to walk nicely on a lead, with distractions!
  • To get used to more handling, including veterinary type examinations
  • How to come back when called, even when there are other dogs to play with!
  • To give up something nice in return for something even nicer!

Week 4

In Week 4 of Dog School Adolescent Class

We will teach you:

  • How to teach your dog to do ANYTHING.
  • How to use things such as attention and play as rewards, rather than just treats.
  • About practicing behaviours in lots of different situations!
  • To teach your dog house rules and ‘polite’ behaviours

We will also work on teaching your dog:

  • Some “tricks”!
  • How to walk nicely on the lead in any situation, including the park!
  • To get even better at  coming back to you whatever is going on!
  • To wait politely before going through a doorway

Week 5

In Week 5 of Dog School Adoelscent Class

We recap the key messages that have been covered in the previous weeks, and talk about how these skills can be taken forward and developed to make sure your dog continues to learn as they get older.

We use some time in week 5 to check that you are not having any problems with your dog so we can give you some more guidance on this if needed.

We also teach you and your dog:

  • How to use your attention as a reward
  • How to get your dog to greet people with four paws on the ground
  • The importance of keeping your dog’s mind busy

Week 1

In Week 1 of Dog School Adult Class

We will teach you:

  • Why we use food as a reward
  • About how your dog learns new things
  • All about your dogs “teenage” phase
  • All about socialising your dog

We will start to teach your dog:

  • To settle down and relax in class
  • To pay attention to you and respond to their name
  • Sit down and lie down when asked
  • To start to learn how to walk nicely on the lead  
  • Come back to you when called (to start with from just a very short distance away).

Week 2

In Week 2 of Dog School Adult Class

We will teach you:

  • To make sure your dog will be relaxed when left alone.
  • How to help your dog learn how to play appropriately with other dogs
  • How dogs interact with each other
  • To ‘read’ what your dog is telling you and recognise if they are worried.

We will also work on teaching your dog:

  • How to play nicely with other dogs
  • Come back to you when called (from a bit further away).
  • How to enjoy being handled

Week 3

In Week 3 of Dog School Adult Class

We will teach you:

  • The importance of being consistent and predictable with your dog.
  • The importance of getting your dog used to all sorts of different training equipment
  • To set up environments so your dog easily learns the right response.
  • How to make sure your dog is not worried about people approaching stuff they value (like their food or toys).

We will also work on teaching your dog:

  • How to walk nicely on a lead, with distractions!
  • To get used to more handling, including veterinary type examinations
  • How to come back when called, even when there are other dogs to play with!
  • To give up something nice in return for something even nicer!

Week 4

In Week 4 of Dog School Adult Class

We will teach you:

  • How to teach your dog to do ANYTHING.
  • How to use things such as attention and play as rewards, rather than just treats.
  • About practicing behaviours in lots of different situations!
  • To teach your dog house rules and ‘polite’ behaviours

We will also work on teaching your dog:

  • Some “tricks”!
  • How to walk nicely on the lead in any situation, including the park!
  • To get even better at coming back to you whatever is going on!
  • To wait politely before going through a doorway

Week 5

In Week 5 of Dog School Adult Class

We recap the key messages that have been covered in the previous weeks, and talk about how these skills can be taken forward and developed to make sure your dog continues to learn as they get older.

We use some time in week 5 to check that you are not having any problems with your dog so we can give you some more guidance on this if needed.

We also teach you and your dog:

  • How to use your attention as a reward
  • How to get your dog to greet people with four paws on the ground
  • The importance of keeping your dog’s mind busy

FAQs

  1. Yes! Please feel free to contact your coach between classes if you would like further support or have any questions. The best way of getting in touch is via email so that your coach has the time to give your response their full attention. Your coach will advise you on the best course of action. They should be able to provide you with some basic advice that you can put in place straight away and may recommend a 1-1 session if you require more in depth behavioural or training support.

  2. Our training classes are aimed at giving you information and skills that you can apply to your puppy’s behaviour in any situation. If you have an existing issue that would require help with please contact your local coach and describe the problems you are having. It may be possible for us to help you in a class setting, or it may be that your coach will recommend a 1-1 session with a trainer or behaviourist. We will aim to give you the advice that we believe will be of the greatest benefit to you and your dog. In some cases, the class environment may not be the most suitable for your dog, in which case we will always strive to offer an alternative plan of action!

  3. Please try to let your coach know as soon as possible if you are unable to attend a class. You will be provided with the training guide for the week you missed so that you can catch up at home. We are not able to offer replacement classes or refunds but will help you catch up in time for the following class. If you require help in understanding or practising the guide for the week you missed get in touch with your coach for advice.

  4. At the end of class we will again ask that you keep your distance from other owners and dogs. We will guide you out of the class one at a time, please remember to keep your distance from the other students as you are leaving the building and returning to your cars.

  5. When you arrive to class we ask that you keep your distance from other owners and dogs, we will guide you over to your personal ‘pod’ which will be a small area reserved for you and your dog. This will give your dogs the best chance to feel comfortable and calm at the start of class. Once everyone has settled in their own areas your coach will start the class, there will be some time set aside for practical training and discussing key messages. In puppy classes there will also be some time scheduled for socialising with other class members.

  6. Please bring the following to each class: your dog’s bed/blanket, a selection of your dog’s favourite treats and one or two of his/her favourite toys. If your dog requires any medication or has a specialised diet, please bring these to class – it’s also important to get in touch with your coach to let them know about this before the class as well.

  7. We only use positive training methods supported by the most up to date research on dog behaviour. We will never use methods that intimidate or harm your dog.

  8. We aim to teach you to understand how your dog communicates and learns in a fun, interactive environment.  We will support you in developing the skills needed to help them become happy, confident, well behaved canine citizens. We will achieve this through practical training and support for both you and your dog.

  9. Anybody who is involved in the care of your dog is encouraged to come along to class, including children. Please bear in mind that your coaches will be talking to the class on a group level to teach you valuable key messages about behaviour, so it is important that anybody attending is able to listen quietly (if young children are attending it could be a good idea to bring something to keep them occupied with at these times). Let your coach know if you have any special requirements or will have more than 3 people attending with your dog, so that they can prepare and make sure there is enough space. To make sure you can concentrate on training your puppy, we would ask that you leave any other pets (including other dogs) at home.

  10. Dogs Trust recognise the need for affordable behavioural and training support in the community. We believe that Dog School will help raise awareness of dog behaviour, strengthen the bond between owners and their dogs and help to address and prevent the development of unwanted or problematic behaviours. We are hopeful that this service will improve the welfare of dogs in the UK, both by providing owners with support in the home environment and by reducing the number of dogs being relinquished for behavioural reasons.

  11. We will try our best to make sure you see the same coaches each week for your classes, because we think it is important for us to get to know you and your puppy. The coaches work in teams of three, so you should get to know all the team members over your course. Occasionally there may be a change in one coach because of sickness or holidays, but if this is necessary, we will try to ensure that you are introduced to your new coach the week before the change so that they are familiar with you and your dog.