Families have fun for free!

by Charlotte Board // August 2017

Families have fun for free!

As the Summer Holidays approach, parents are always on the lookout for activities to occupy the kids. Anyone who has been to Wales knows that we are partial to a bit of rain; so indoor activities are always a good idea and tend to be popular!

For those families with a dog to occupy as well, our Family Training Classes are the ideal activity. Working alongside the Education Officer from Dogs Trust Bridgend, we invite parents and their children to bring their much loved dog with them to the Centre to learn everything they need about the basics of training.

Our first class of the summer took place on the first week of the holidays. In true Welsh fashion, it was tipping it down! Luckily, we were all set up in our Training Barn and ready to go despite the miserable weather.

For this session, we had 4 lovely dogs attend with their families. Dapper, a rescue Terrier, Lara the bouncy black Labrador, Rocco a chunky Rottie puppy  and Moose, a puppy born in the Bridgend Centre a few months previously. They were all accompanied by their adult and child owners.

Dapper, the adorable rescue terrier who was accompanied by William and his Mum

Clare, our Education Officer, got things off to a start and we then jumped straight into introducing the children to a clicker. Happily, two of the dogs also attend our training classes so a clicker was not a new concept. For the other two, after a brief explanation they had caught on and were using it consistently and appropriately.

The children also got to show us what they had taught their dogs so far – Lara the Lab already had so many tricks! It was obvious that Saran, her owner had done so much with her despite only being 10. Their bond was evident and really lovely to see. For the puppies, we helped the kids teach them new behaviours such as down and paw. Everyone was catching on really quickly.

Whilst it was really important to teach the children the basics of training and how best to understand their dog, it was also essential that they learnt how to be safe around other people’s dogs out and about. The Education team at Dogs Trust calls this “Be Dog Smart”. It was great to see that the kids already knew not to approach a dog without asking the owner first, and how to react around a dog that makes them nervous.

We ended our class with a mini agility course for the kids to guide their dogs around. This included some jumps and weaves. They all did brilliantly and were all worn out by the end!

It’s great to see such encouraging stuff from dog owners of the future and we look forward to meeting more children with their dogs!

Rocco the Rottie Pup and his owner Kira acing the Agility!

Our Family Dog Training Classes are FREE and run every Wednesday throughout the Summer Holidays.

Call 07920 658645 or email us at southwalesdogschool@dogstrust.org.uk to book a place now!