Dog School: Training the Trainers

by Caroline Bradford // August 2017

Dog School: Training the Trainers

Dog School Coaches Nathalie from Glasgow Dog School and I (Caroline from Edinburgh Dog School) went to the Dogs Trust Harefield Rehoming Centre in London for the Dog School Coach training event. All Dog School coaches attend this training so that all 22 Dog Schools across the UK are offering the same high standard of training classes.

Harefield is a beautiful centre with lovely walks, waterfalls and a sensory garden.


We were lucky enough to have a tour of the centre to meet all the wonderful dogs there waiting for their forever homes. I'm not biased but they were all beautiful and looked so happy.

We then sat down to some serious training with colleagues from other Dog Schools. There were six of us in total, all eager to enhance all of the skills we have picked up already about being a good coach.

Our trainer Rachel Kitson is the expert on the Dog School course content and her job is to teach our coaches what the Dog School Classes cover and the importance of each exercise to your dogs.  Rachel’s dog Skye was our demo dog, showing us exactly how everything should be done. She was the sweetest girl and would take it in turns to sit with each of us so we could all have a ‘dog fix’.

Anyone who has come to Dog School classes will know that we start with focus and attention to name; this is the basis for most of the exercises we teach.

One of the first things we work on in our classes is ‘sit’. Many of our adult dogs and puppies can already ‘sit’ so we help those owners to build on their sit and see how useful this is in lots of different day to day situations; for example, as an alternative to jumping up when greeting people or a polite way to wait to be released to go through the door, or for starting to learn ‘stay’ so that your dog will stay where they are until you come back. Sit is also useful for good manners and safety!

The Rehoming Centre provided two lovely dogs for us to work with: Sapphire (who was adopted so quickly she never made it to the website) and Kingsley the Pug Cross (who has since been adopted). They were wonderful students.


After the training was over it was time for Nathalie and I to make our way back up to Bonnie Scotland, we had so much fun meeting all the other coaches from Essex, Sussex, East Midlands and put all of our learning into practice! We hope you will come along to one of our classes to find out for yourself!