12 Dogs of Christmas!

by Shaun Bater & Daniella Gouveia // December 2017

12 Dogs of Christmas!

December has arrived and we are left reflecting on a beautifully manic year at Dog School Essex HQ. This year around 630 dogs have come to join our Dog School family across the county. We have had the privilege of being a part of so many unforgettable moments this year that picking standout moments is completely impossible. Drifting through our own memory pile of photos we spent far too much time away from admin duties “oohing” and “aahing” over more than 600 gorgeous fluffy, slobbering, moustache-wearing, smiling-from-ear-to-ear doggy faces. We have had so many little successes, and some that have been utterly life changing for the dogs and families that have joined our ever growing purple army.

After an afternoon of nostalgia we picked Dog School Essex’s 12 DOGS OF CHRISTMAS – 12 success stories to be thankful for this festive season!

 We’re going to go in descending order for dramatic effect, but of course there is no order in our soppy dog loving hearts!


Mission: Focus around other dogs.

Outcome: Live wire Baxter attended 3 courses back to back to work on his excitement around other dogs. By the end he was recalling across the hall without visiting any doggy neighbors!


Mission: Confidence is everything!

Outcome: With slow and careful management our beautiful little Oscar had made friends not only with us, but had met all of the other puppies in his class with Goliath’esque confidence! No small feat for this tiny guy! We are supremely proud!    


Mission: Tools for everyday life!

Outcome: Big boy George was rehomed from our Dogs Trust Basildon Centre and came straight into classes to get the best start in his new life. He and his humans were like Jedis before long!


Mission: Well mannered world traveler!

Outcome: Spanish rescue Ricco had lived on the streets and would now be living a jet setting high life. He needed the manners to match! He was an absolute star! The Ritz will be happy to have him!


Mission: Loose lead!

Outcome: Gentle giant Max was rehomed from our Basildon Centre to one of our volunteers. Being the size he is, his new family were keen to make sure to get him walking nicely on lead. No need for a chiropractor here thanks!


Mission: Loose lead and recall!

Outcome: Success! Sandy is a gorgeous Dogs Trust failed foster… and a lively jokester! Loose lead and recall were high on the list for adventure seeking Sandy.


Mission: Confidence and good experiences!

Outcome: Bracken is a Romanian rescue who had a tough start in life. Her doggie siblings have all been through our classes but we waited until Bracken was ready. Before long she was friends with all of us and much more confident!


Mission: Calm and focused!

Outcome: Puppy Bella was born in a rescue centre and quickly grew into a lively pup. Good first steps taken during her early learning phase with us means that she is set up for the best chances at success in adult life!


Mission: Focus and handling!

Outcome: Success! Finding things to motivate this gorgeous guy helped him to focus and be excited to learn. We also helped him to be more comfortable with handling while respecting that (although super tempting) he just doesn’t always want to be our teddy bear.

REGGIE (Right) AND BOWIE (left)!

Mission: Reggie’s walking and Bowie’s basics!

Outcome: Reggie was more of a ‘stopper’ on walks than a puller. Giving him a moment to sniff and enjoy while working on encouraging at our side made walking more enjoyable for Reg. Bowie is a live wire who picked up everything very quickly! They were soon out and about finding success in the real world!


Mission: Big kid manners!

Outcome: Bouncy ex Basildon Dogs Trust resident Mylo was a big kid who didn’t know quite how big he was. Bouncy and strong on lead! His family were so wonderful and dedicated and had huge success in class. We ran into them at a dog event a few months later to find Mylo being a super well mannered fellow! Huge win!

All in all we have had a wonderful year, thank you to everyone who came to join the purple family in 2017 so far!

If you’d like to join our classes and have some success stories of your own in Essex, please have a look at our website: