Fiona's experience of her first Dog School puppy class!

by Fiona Sinclair // May 2017

My first puppy class

Four weeks into the job of Senior Coach, Dog School Edinburgh and it’s time for a new puppy intake at Barclay Viewforth church. This is my first chance to meet  a fresh group of puppies and watch them develop over the five weeks of classes. And my first chance to be an instructor for Dog School. How exciting!

The puppies arrive and here we go. Our course content is carefully written by our Dogs Trust experts so that every Dog School class can be the same. But no one told the puppies that and of course no two classes are ever the same! Isn’t that what it’s all about - pulling out all of our skills to make sure it’s not a ‘one size fits all’?

We have shy puppies, playful puppies, calm puppies, energetic and excited puppies and all of them have to get the best chance to learn. By watching body language in this new class, we saw that the retriever puppy was feeling a little shy and not ready to interact. The signs are subtle – a slightly tucked tail and a puppy that stays close to her owners rather than greeting everyone else. By keeping her on a nice loose lead in her own space, we let the retriever watch the other puppies from her own safe distance.

By letting her choose, she feels safe and we can hopefully watch her confidence grow in the weeks to come.