Puppy Classes with Birtie.

by Caroline Chantler // October 2017

Having adopted a Boston terrier x Patterdale terrier, I thought it would be good to do training classes. It had been 9 years since I last did any puppy classes, and wow how they have changed!

The first week of Dog School is an induction session for humans only. There was a lot of really relevant information that was discussed, and the coaches also found out from everyone who they were going to bring to the class (as the whole family are welcome!), and also what everyone was hoping to get out of the class. It was very nice to be asked!

The next week I returned with Birtie the Terrible Terrier in tow, and discovered that there were only 3 other dogs in the class. The classes are a maximum of 6 dogs anyhow so you always get attention, but with only 4 of us we got even more!

The class started with some very simple “sits” and “downs”, and the coaches explained about high value treats. “High value” treats are the ones that are even more irresistible to dog’s than other treats, for example cheese and ham would be high value treats whereas dry biscuits might be lower value. The coaches also explained that this of course varies from dog to dog as all of our furry friends are different! The coaches and volunteers were amazing and we received lots of attention. Unlike other classes I’ve attended, I felt totally comfortable and relaxed. There was no rush and no pressure.

During the second week we progressed to some more difficult exercises like recall and walking nicely on the lead.  First we practiced inside to make it easier for Birtie and the other dogs to concentrate, the dogs all did so well that we went outside in to the “real world” so that we could practice with distractions which is much harder for the dogs as there is so much else going on!

The help and support we are receiving from the Dog School Merseyside team is fantastic, no question is too silly to ask. The team of coaches and volunteers are all very approachable, knowledgeable and friendly.And what of Birtie the terrible terrier I hear you ask? Well he is still terrible, he is a terrier after all! But he is also a puppy who can listen and do what is asked of him, especially if I use cheese!

If you’d like to join the Dog School Merseyside classes fill out an enquiry form on our website, or give us a call on 07388 377386, or email us at merseysidedogschool@dogstrust.org.uk