- Where and When do you train?
We train at Lexcen Park, corner of Venturi Drive & Hodges Drive, Ocean Reef 6027.
We train most Sunday mornings with the general exception of school holidays and public holidays (be sure to check our training calendar for training dates).
Classes start SHARP at either 8am (for Intermediate and Advanced Classes) or 9am (for Junior Beginner, Beginner and Novice Classes) and last for 1 hour; please be on time to avoid disruption and inconvenience.
- How and What do you teach at training?
Our principle is ‘We train you, you train your dog’.
Our method of training, in all classes, is ‘Positive Reinforcement’; we do not allow rough treatment, tagging, shouting or force at training.
In Beginner Class (including Junior Beginner for all dogs under 20 weeks of age on joining) – we teach all the things you will need to enjoy your dog in normal day-to-day living. This includes socialisation, good manners, settle, sit, down, stand, come, stays, walk on loose lead, etc.
In Novice, Intermediate and Advanced Classes – achieved by successful assessment – we build on the basics to a higher level of precision and reliability.
- When can I bring my Dog for the first time?
All New Members will join one of two Classes depending on age, as follows:-
Junior Beginner: for young dogs under 20 weeks of age having had their second injection and having waited 10 days thereafter; this generally means around 13 weeks of age. Enrolment is available in the first 3 weeks of Term only (see current Training Calendar).
Beginner: for dogs over 20 weeks can also only enrol in the first 3 weeks of each term as after this stage it is very difficult to catch up. If you miss this enrolment period you will need to wait until the next term.
- How do I enrol?
Electronically: Click How Do I Join where you will find all the relevant information to assist you in deciding whether you would like to join us. You will see the “Membership Application Form with the Pre-Training Checklist” prompt at the foot of the page in order to complete your New Member Application. Please make sure you read the Pre-Training Checklist when completing your Application.
Manually: For those who do not have printing facilities etc there will be a supply of application forms that can be completed at Registration.
- What else do I need to provide at Registration?
We will need sight of a current vaccination certificate for your dog.
- What happens at Registration?
You come to ‘The Dog House’ (at the end of the ‘convenience’ block) where our admin team will be ready to process your application.
Besides a receipt for your fee you will receive a Welcome pack which will include our expert in-house compiled booklet which contains the training syllabus for each Class and useful tips on how to deal with specific ‘doggy indiscretions’.
You also receive a car sticker, our current Training Calendar and a Welcome letter which will contain the password for access to the Members section on the website.
Most importantly though you will receive a current name badge which MUST be worn at all times during training. This is for insurance purposes but also it enables the Instructor to know who you are and that you are a fully paid up member.
- What do I need to bring for my dog?
You will need a collar and lead for your dog – Choker Chains and Retractable Leads are NOT permitted – and your dog MUST be on lead at all times unless otherwise instructed by your Instructor.
Bring plenty of soft treats eg cheese, sausage etc, a bumbag for food treats, water and a water bowl.
- What do I wear?
First and foremost wear sensible, closed in, shoes – to avoid accidents/injuries; consequently thongs are NOT acceptable.
Avoid loose fitting garments that will flap and get in the way of your training.
Bring sun screen and suitable head wear on warm days and a raincoat for rainy days.
- Can my child do the training with our dog?
Our responsibilities as well as our insurance cover do NOT allow any child under 12 years of age to handle a dog at training either to and from the class or during the class. However for those aged 12 to 15 years of age, they can handle the dog but MUST be accompanied by a parent/guardian at all times.
- Do I have to use food in training? What if my dog does not want the food? Do I have to have food with me forever?
Food is absolutely one of the most perfect rewards in class. It is quick, it is easy to carry and it is a wonderful way to gauge your dogs’ mood eg a fearful or highly stressed dog won’t eat. It is especially convenient and easy to use during initial training because you can cut it up into small pieces, put it in your pocket or training pouch and use it repeatedly within one training session.
If your dog is not interested in food treats then a favourite, non-squeaky toy could be a better option in order to get and maintain the focus of the dog.
As training progresses the dog is gradually weaned off of treats coincidental with performing tasks/instructions on demand without the need for food enticement.
As your dog matures and progresses through training you will find that the best rewards are relevant ‘life rewards’ ie allowing your dog to do what he/she wants as a reward for good behaviour. These can be activities like going for a walk or throwing a toy or having their dinner etc.
- Do I have to bring my dog with me?
Yes you will need to have your dog with you in order to get the moves right. You will then be able to practice the moves correctly at home.
- Is Training ever cancelled?
Yes, in the summer if the forecast on the day is for 40 degrees or more we will not be training. Also in winter if there is a road weather alert current on the morning of training we will cancel training so listen/look to your particular media for any such report before leaving for training. We will endeavour to communicate messages to you via our website, email or our Facebook but this is not always possible given the timings of such events.
- How long will it take to train my dog?
All dogs and all handlers are different and learn at different paces and have different goals/standards of what they want to achieve from our training. Also puppies and young dogs need time to grow and develop.
Most critically though is the undeniable fact that all training revolves around repetition and dog training is no exception – for both dog and handler. Consequently the more training that can be done between training days – in accordance with the information we provide at training or in the booklet(s) – the quicker the objectives can be achieved.
It will take 12 months minimum to progress from Beginner Class to (successfully complete) Advanced Class and that would achieve the highest standard. 6 months would achieve a good standard but, without doubt, the most significant progress will be achieved in the first 8 weeks.
- My dog has been attacked previously in a park and is very nervous around other dogs; should I come to training?
Yes but we will need to know of your concerns prior to the Registration process on your first day so that one of our Instructors can assess your dog before you join. There is every likelihood that we will be able to accommodate you, and, if not, offer you a way forward.
- I have a Reactive/unruly dog; will I be accepted for training?
Firstly, the recognised way of showing that you have a Reactive dog is for it to wear a yellow bandana/neckerchief around the dogs’ neck; this says to everyone “PLEASE GIVE ME SPACE”; this should be worn at all times when the dog is out and about.
In any case, you MUST advise us of the situation before the Registration process so that one of our Instructors can assess the situation before joining. We have a limit to the numbers of Reactive/unruly dogs we admit each term as our loyalties have to be, as a Pet Training Club, to those who expect to come to training without fear or concern of other dogs; so, even if the assessment is successful you may be placed on a waiting list.
If you are unsuccessful at assessment, we will provide you with a list of Specialist Trainers who may be able to help.
- What should I do if my bitch comes into season?
You will not be able to come to training for the duration of the season ie at least 3 weeks.
- Can I buy merchandise at the Club?
Alas no but we do have some spare equipment which can be loaned for the training session if needed.
- How would I go about becoming an Instructor?
Initially please make your interest known to any of our Instructors/Admin people and we will take it from there. We are always in need of new Instructors and Admin people.
- Class sizes
We try to keep class sizes to around 12 dogs per class. Sometimes we may need to increase those numbers depending on how many trainers we have available. Some classes can be larger or smaller depending on the type of class and skill level.