1. Can my partner come to class with us?

Yes, we welcome partners, family members and friends to attend. It helps if you are all singing from the same hymn sheet to prevent confusion to the dog.

2. Would it be ok for the children to come to class?

We welcome children to attend the classes as we believe it is important for them to learn how to behave around dogs and to help them build a relationship. We do ask that they are well behaved and don’t approach the other dogs on their mats.

3. What do I need to bring to class with me?
  • You will need to bring a mat or blanket for your dog to learn to settle on – we show you how in class.

  • Lots of yummy, smelly small treats like chicken, sausage, ham.

  • A strong rigid lead. We don’t accept flexi leads, choke chains or prong collars.

  • A stuffed Kong or chew item if you wish to help settle your dog.

4. My puppy has only received his first vaccination. Are we ok to attend classes?

Yes. We welcome puppies after their first vaccination because positive socialisation is crucial at this stage of a pups life. You are welcome to carry your puppy in and out of class to minimise the risk.

5. What happens if my dog toilets in class?

Accidents will happen. We have a mop and bucket so can clean up any accidents. We do ask everyone to try to toilet their dogs outside before entering class but for pups who have only received their first vaccination this may not be possible.

6. My dog wears a head collar, should we bring this to class?

Well fitted head collars are welcome. You may like to take it off your dog whilst they are working on their mat but put it back on if we do a loose lead exercise.

7. Should my dog wear a harness?

We strongly recommend harnesses but appreciate not every owner wants their dog to wear one. The dogs neck is very delicate with blood flow to the brain, nerves, spine, trachea, esophagus and thyroid gland so putting pressure on this area can cause them huge issues. By wearing a harness it takes the pressure off the delicate neck. We stock the Perfect Fit Harness. If you would like more information please ask and we can arrange a free fitting for you.

8. My dog has a flexi lead, can we bring this to class?

We don’t allow flexi leads in class as they don’t offer much control. We don’t allow dogs to approach each other whilst they are settled on their mats as we consider this to be their safe zone. If you drop the box handle it can frighten or startle the dogs. They are also a trip hazard if people don’t see the thin cord. If you forget we will offer you a rigid lead to use in class.

9. My dog has come into season. Can we attend class?

Unfortunately not, it can be very distracting to others in close proximity. Seasons on average last 3 weeks but don’t worry you won’t lose the missed sessions. I bank them for you so you attend your full course. You are very welcome to attend the sessions your dog can’t attend so you can go home and practice. I also send you a help sheet with advice to help you through these few weeks.

10. My dog has just had an operation/ been neutered. Can we attend class?

You will need to speak to your vet and take their advice but we would advise you wait two weeks post op or after their stitches have been removed before you can attend. If you know your dog is booked in for an operation at the time of booking our classes please can you let me know because advance warning can really help with bookings.

11. My dog has had diarrhoea can we attend class?

Your dog will need to be diarrhoea free for 48 hours before you can attend class. If it is contagious we don’t want to risk spreading it to others and if your dog isn’t feeling 100% it isn’t fair to expect them to concentrate on learning.

12. We can’t make all the classes due to other commitments/holiday, are we able to tag the missed session onto the end of our course?

Generally not, we often have long waiting lists to attend our classes so it pushes the start dates back for others. If we are quiet we can tag the missed sessions on so please do mention this at the time of booking. We can defer your start date to ensure you can attend every booked session. We are not able to refund in full, or part, any costs relating to the course due to your non-attendance. If you miss two consecutive sessions without letting us know we will offer your place to someone else.

13. How are the classes set up?

At Colden Common I have space for 8 dogs. Seating is provided and you are given a mat for your dog to settle on. These are considered as ‘Safe Zones’. We encourage everyone to take a seat and to settle their dogs and not to approach others especially if they are new. You are given your own water bowl but you are welcome to bring your own if you wish. We also have snuffle mats to help the dogs settle.

At Companion Care Vets in Winnall we have space for 4 puppies and seating is provided.

We take new bookings as and when we have space, there is no set course start date.

14. Are the pups/dogs allowed to play during class?

I do not encourage play during class. The floor is quite slippery and with the number of pups/dogs that attend it isn’t safe to allow play. During our Wednesday Puppy Socialisation Classes we spend the second half of the session allowing the pups supervised off lead play if it is appropriate to do so. We match them up appropriately and give running commentary of the behaviour they give. We intervene if it is inappropriate to ensure each pup has a positive experience.

15. What if my dog is naughty/disruptive during class?

If you are struggling with your dog I have an assistant that helps in class who will come over and help you to settle your dog. If your dog has become too stressful and can’t cope with the situation we will have to ask you to leave. This is not to suggest your dog is ‘bad’. When a dog gets worked up and is over a threshold they can not absorb any new information so it becomes pointless. If we have to ask you to leave for the sake of your dog I will be in touch to turn the remaining classes into a one to one.

16. Why do you use food to train a dog?

Food is a brilliant reinforcer and for most dogs they love it! If you are worried about overfeeding your dog you can cut back on their dinners or use their dinners to train with if they will work for it. The more reinforcers you can use to mark wanted behaviours the more your dog will offer them again. Other reinforcers can be used but in a classroom environment it is one of the easiest to use.

17. Can we continue with training after we have finished our course?

Absolutely. We strongly recommend you do so. You wouldn’t send a child to primary school and then expect them to go to work. Training and socialisation is a life-long journey and there is only so much we can fit into a 6-week course. I email you during your current course with the offer to attend a follow on course.

18. How do I pay for a course?

At the time of booking I will send you our bank details to make a transfer one week before your course is due to start. I do ask for payment in full. If online banking is an issue please let me know so other arrangements can be made. Alternatively if you are booking our puppy classes you can do this via our website.

19. What services do you provide?
  • I run fun training classes at Colden Common from puppy to adult on Monday and Tuesday evenings.

  • One to One training is also offered on selected Saturdays. If it is a behaviour better suited to a behaviourist or my diary is too busy I will recommend local colleagues in the area for you to try. These people use up to date training and behavioural methods that will not harm your dog.

  • I run Loose Lead, Recall and Jumping Up workshops. These are only open to class attendees and those I am working with on a one to one basis. 

  • During the summer months I run recall workshops. These are 4 x 1 hour sessions on alternate Saturday mornings. We use a private secure field to build on focus and to set the dogs up for success. We are on a flight path with horses in neighbouring fields and a high traffic of people visiting the farm so it provides normal everyday distractions to work with. There is only 4 spaces available on each course.

  • From Spring to Autumn I run fun agility on Saturday afternoons, weather dependant. This is open to all capabilities because it is only for fun. We break each equipment down, work on focus and drive to build it up so everyone can complete the course. Although done for fun I take safety seriously.

  • During the year I offer fun workshops like scent or tricks to give ideas of what you can be doing at home or out on your walks to make life more pleasurable. I will advertise these in our monthly newsletter and on our Facebook group and page.

20. Are there toilets on site?

There are toilets at both Colden Common and Winnall. Please ask if you need to use them.

21. Is there adequate parking?

There is adequate parking 

22. Is there disability access to Colden Common Community Centre?

Yes, there are no steps. You can enter the front entrance but we encourage everyone to enter and exit the hall from the back entrance. There is adequate door space for wheelchairs.