Dogs Trust is dedicated to helping owners understand their dog’s behaviour and avoid common pitfalls that can lead to problems further down the line.
Our Dog School training course provides essential advice about dog training and behaviour, to help you create a lifelong bond with your dog.
What you get:
- Four training sessions, over four weeks
- Access to an online video that introduces Dog School topics
- Access to the Dog School owner website
- 121 support from Dog School coaches
Length of course: 4 weeks
Start date: find out about Dog School availability near you
Introduction to Dog School topics – video
- Developing a positive relationship with your dog
- The importance of social behaviour in dogs
- Recognising your dog’s body language, and what they’re trying to tell you
- How dogs learn
- Helping dogs learn to cope with being alone
- Dog training: the basics.
Training session: week 1
- Introduction to basic training theory
- How to encourage your dog to settle and relax
- How to play with your dog in a way that won’t encourage problem behaviours
- Teaching your dog a marker word
- Teaching your dog to sit
- Starting to train your dog to come back when called.
Training session: week 2
- How to progress the skills you learn at Dog School
- Getting your dog’s attention when their name is said
- Training your dog to walk nicely on a lead - continued
- Training your dog to come back when called - continued
- Helping your dog be comfortable when being handled (for example, during vet visits or at the groomers)
- Recap and refresher of last week’s skills.
Training session: week 3
- Progressing your Dog School training, and how this links to training in real life
- Starting to use equipment when handling your dog
- Training your dog to walk nicely on a lead – continued
- Training your dog to come back when called – continued
- Start to train your dog to leave things when asked.
Training session: week 4
- Introducing sounds and helping your dog get used to them
- Recap of everything learned at Dog School so far, and how to take your skills further.
Dog School Support Hub access
Dog School owners get access to exclusive training and behaviour content on our website, which will help you build a great relationship with your dog. The content includes:
- Chewing and mouthing
- Toilet training
- Ensuring your dog is happy being left alone
- How to prevent guarding behaviours - for example, guarding food and toys
- How to socialise your dog with other dogs and people
- Introducing your dog to new and novel things.
Support from Dog School coaches
Dog School coaches will be on hand throughout your course to support you on any areas you feel you need help with. Our aim is for you to finish the course feeling confident about what you’ve learnt and how it will help you raise your puppy or dog.
Find out about Dog School availability near you
Read our terms and conditions:
Dog School terms and conditions DOCX 22 KB
*Please note content varies slightly between puppy, adolescent and adult courses. For more information about the differences please see the FAQs.
Dog School FAQs
Why are Dogs Trust running training classes?
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.
I have an existing problem with my puppy's behaviour, are classes suitable for me?
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!
What will I learn about
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.
Who should come to the sessions?
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.
What sort of training methods are used?
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.
What should I bring with me?
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.
Can I contact coaches between classes?
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.
What happens if I miss a class?
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.
Will I see the same coach each week?
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.
What happens at the end of classes?
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.
I have already attended the puppy class, should I now attend the adolescent class?
As our dogs mature they continue to change and develop and it’s important to recognise that our puppies will become adolescents. With this, their training needs can often change. You may have noticed that your young dog is now more confident to move further away from you when off lead or maybe you find yourself calling them more than once. You will find out how to progress the skills you have already learnt in order to develop a further understanding of your dog and their needs.
I have already attended the adolescent class, should I now attend the adult class?
As our dogs mature they continue to change and develop and it’s important to recognise that our adolescents become adults. With this, their training needs can often change. You may have noticed different behaviours developing in your dog or are experiencing a change of routine and require support with this. We are available to discuss whether our adult classes are still the best pathway for you and your dog. Whilst the exercises are taught the same, providing we can help you in class, the focus of our adult class is to further develop your relationship and develop management techniques to help you and your dog.
Do I have to sign up for another course immediately, or can I wait until my dog is older?
You can re-join Dog School classes any time! Your dog’s age at the time of joining will determine what class you will join. Visit the home page for a reminder of how we classify the ages of our classes. Whilst most of the exercises taught are the same across all age brackets, there will be different information delivered that’s appropriate to the age of the dogs, and our coaches will support you through these developmental changes.