Canine Concerns Dog Training - Class Rules

Class Rules & Procedures

Who should train?
Everyone in the family can attend the general training classes such as Puppy Life Skills & Skill Builder classes to learn how to train your dog. This will mean that everyone is consistent with the training methods and rewards. However, only one person should work with the dog at any one time - too many people to focus on at any one time can cause confusion for out dogs.

Other training courses are often advertised as handler places & designed for handlers only.  There can often be spectator places available to book but this will not always be the case.  When booking a handler place please check before you attend if spectators are allowed & if there is a charge per spectator.


Comfortable clothing is best whilst training. Take into account the type of course you are attending & the environment & ground cover.  Some training is held outside (regardless of the weather) so please bring suitable outdoor clothing and a towel to dry your dog if necessary.

We ask that dogs wear a Y shaped body harness with a "D ring" on the chest and back sections, and a correctly fitting flat collar & training lead for regular training classes. Choke chains, prong collars, shock collars or any equipment we deem to be aversive are not permitted and extendable leads are not accepted for training purposes.

You should also have the correct identification details on your dog's tag (your name & address inc post code). this applies even though your dog is microchipped.

Lead materials which are kinder to the hands are webbing, webbing with fleece, biothane, or soft leather.  The type of lead you use will often vary depending on the activity but for general training your lead should be long enough so that when the dog is by your side, the lead will be relaxed in a "J" shape without tension. We prefer double ended training leads for general training which have have a clip on each end.

Flat collars can be webbing, biothane, leather, nylon, fleece lined etc but most importantly should fit well around the dogs neck. A collar which is too large can easily slip off over the dogs head. Always check your fitting to make sure this can't happen.


You will need to bring reinforcers as motivation for your dog to work well. Toys can be great for rewarding (safe play toys such as tuggies or balls on ropes etc – squeaky toys/balls are not suitable reward toys in a general class situation as they can easily upset the other dogs).

Treats must be high enough in value for the dog, small enough pieces to feed a lot of, and easily chewed. Cheese, liver or small pieces of meat or sausage are some reccommendations.

We tend to use Clickers & Verbal markers for most general training classes so that our dogs have clarity in building/shaping behaviour.

Keeping dogs under control
All dogs MUST be kept under control and on a lead except where instructed. You are responsible for your dogs behaviour & we accept no responsibility for loss, injury or damage caused by poor supervision.

Group classes are aimed at dogs who are sociable with dogs and people. Dogs must be comfortable working in a group class without excessive barking, or fear of people or other dogs. 

If you have any concerns regarding your dogs’ behaviour and are not sure if your dog should attend class, please ask. 

There are plenty of training options available for dogs who may be nervous/sensitive/reactive.  We provide tailored 1-1 training to suit you & your dog.  There are also activities in which dogs work individually such as Scent Detection & Mantrailing which are great for building dogs confidence without the group environment.

Children & Young people at the class
Children are always welcome at the classes – it is important that everyone is aware of how to train the dog. However, for safety and consistency in training, they must be accompanited by an adult and be well behaved.

  • Children under 10 can only handle the dog with the supervision of a parent.
  • Children over the age of 10 can handle their dog within the class under the supervision of a parent.

Dogs that are not fit to attend class due to disease, injury or any other reason may not come to the class. However, you are welcome to attend class without your dog (you can learn a lot from observing others).  

No dog who has been in contact with another dog infected with a contagious disease may attend class.

Dogs must be protected by vaccinations as advised by your vet.

Bitches in season are NOT permitted to attend a class or test. If a bitch comes into season unexpectedly for the first time - any classes missed (not including test day) will be offered free of charge in the next session of classes booked. No further free classes will be offered after the first season. 

Starting time
All classes aim to start on time. It is advisable to arrive a little earlier than the start time for your class but please do not enter the class until everyone from the previous session has gone & you are called in. ALWAYS BRING BAGS TO CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR DOG AND DISPOSE OF DOG WASTE RESPONSIBLY.

All reasonable effort will be made to contact you should the class have to be cancelled. Where applicable another date may be arranged or part of the course fee will be refunded if alternative arrangements are not possible.

If you are unable to attend the course or a class for any reason, please let us know as soon as possible.

Advice & Support
Please let us know if you have any concerns or difficulties during your training. We endeavour to explain all the methods we use so you have the tools to troubleshoot with your own training sessions.  Dogs are individuals so we may suggest different methods for different dogs, this is an important part of being able to adapt to train the dog infront of us.  Do not compare your dog to any other in class, be proud of the dog you have & provide what they need.

Time is limited between classes, so if you need to talk to us please feel welcome to contact your instructors by email or phone rather than taking up precious class time.

Whilst the class is underway, please try not to talk whilst the instructor is explaining an exercise or whilst another handler is working through an exercise. Some exercises must be done individually to gain maximum benefit and often you can learn a lot just by watching how someone else performs that exercise.

Harsh Handling
Don’t use force or punish your dog. Shouting, smacking, lead jerking/popping or any form of harsh behaviour towards your dog in class is not permitted. If you were the dog think how this would make you feel. If you are having problems speak to your instructor.

Don’t get frustrated if your dog does not appear to be learning a particular exercise. Remember – all dogs learn at different paces. If some dogs in class are achieving an exercise and yours is not quite there yet – it does not mean they will never learn that exercise. It just takes a little more time, patience and persistence and a little thought as to why the dog may not be understanding what we want. All good dog trainers will often go back to basics or change how they approach an exercise in order for a dog to understand it more effectively.


Have Fun

All training should be fun for both you & the dog!  If it's not fun we must ask ourselves why & see what we can change to create a better learning experience.



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