Our Classes

Classes are split up depending on age and standard of your dog. Beginners start at Medway Dog Training Club in Puppy Class, or Intake Class.

Both courses are 12 weeks and cover basic dog obedience – Sits, Downs and Heel walking.

The Puppy and Intake classes start every 4 weeks and have limited entry numbers.

To join a Puppy or Intake costs £50 which includes membership for the year, after the first year it is then £5 per year to remain to a member of the club.

As you and your dog’s skill levels increases you can keep progressing up the classes at the cost of £3 per week.

Full details of all the classes are below:

Puppy

The puppy classes are suitable for puppies who have been vaccinated (usually from around 12/13 weeks) and we accept puppies up to 16/17 weeks of age depending on the breed and size of the dog.

We follow the Kennel Club Good Citizen Puppy Foundation award and are proud of our high success rate. Rarely do we come across a puppy who is not ready to achieve the award. The course is an 8 week programme and our experienced instructors will assist you in getting the most out of your dog in a fun and relaxed environment. We must stress that we are not here to train your dog – that is your job! What we are able to do is demonstrate the fundamentals of basic dog obedience to you.

Puppies who are successful on this course will ‘graduate’ being able to walk to heel, respond to their name via recall, do a basic retrieve, demonstrate the three basic control positions (sit, stand and down) and also perform a short stay. Aside from being an excellent way of learning how to have an obedient puppy the course is also provides a way of allowing your puppy to become socialised with other puppies.

Intake

Dogs not eligible to go into the puppy class (i.e. they are over sixteen weeks old) are placed in our intake class. We would prefer that the dogs are six months or over. There is no upper age limit to dogs entering this class.

Before starting in this class the handlers are given an introductory talk. This is an opportunity to introduce the ideas that are going to be used without the dogs being present and for the handlers to discuss and get advice on any problems or issues they are having.

The following week the handlers bring their dogs along and the training begins!

The emphasis in this and all of our classes is the use of positive training methods.

This class focuses on the basics – heelwork, stays and recalls. In this class all of the exercises are carried out on lead.

During the class the instructor also starts to introduce the basics of the retrieve exercise.

Usually dogs and handlers spend 4 weeks in the first part of this class, before moving to the next stage where what has been learnt so far is polished and the handlers encouraged to reach the standard required for the intermediate class.

Puppy Improver

This class builds upon what has been learnt in the Puppy classes and takes the training to the next level.

Again the emphasis is on treat reward along with verbal praise, to ensure the dog enjoys the training.

This class concentrates on developing the commands such as sit, down, heel etc. The retrieve is moved on from being a game to a more formal exercise.

The length of time the dog is in the Stay position is extended in the puppy improver class.

The dog is encouraged to be more focussed on the handler, which allows for better control.

From this class, handlers and dogs would be expected to reach the required standard to be entered for the Kennel Club Bronze Good Citizen Award.

Improver

This class builds upon what has been learnt in the Puppy classes and takes the training to the next level.

Again the emphasis is on treat reward along with verbal praise, to ensure the dog enjoys the training.

This class concentrates on developing the commands such as sit, down, heel etc. The retrieve is moved on from being a game to a more formal exercise.

The length of time the dog is in the Stay position is extended in the puppy improver class.

The dog is encouraged to be more focussed on the handler, which allows for better control.

From this class, handlers and dogs would be expected to reach the required standard to be entered for the Kennel Club Bronze Good Citizen Award.

Intermediate

The majority of exercises are carried out under supervision as a group rather than on a one to one basis.

The handlers and dogs have gained a good grounding in the other classes. This class aims to improve upon what they have learnt already as well as teaching them new and more difficult exercises.

For example:

  • The length of time a dog can stay in the sit or down positions is slowly increased to over a minute.
  • The stand stay is also introduced in this class.
  • We start to introduce heel off of the lead in this class.
  • As much as possible the recall exercise is conducted off of the lead.
  • We introduce the stop on recall exercise, which could assist the handler in an emergency situation.
  • More control is introduced into the retrieve exercise including the wait, a straight present and the finish.
  • Left and right turns are introduced in heelwork.

Again, like the other classes, the emphasis is on reward and praise based training rather than corrective, compulsive methods.

Dogs and handlers in this class should be able to pass the Kennel Club Silver Good Citizen test.

When the dog and handlers reach the required standard, they are promoted into the top class.

Advanced

This is the top class. Having worked your way through the classes, improving step by step, this is the class that you will eventually reach.

The class is aimed at the dog and handler teams looking to enter obedience competitions. These competitions require the dogs to be responsive and controlled and this is emphasised and taught in this class.

New exercises, such as send-away, scent and distance control are introduced. These new exercises allow the handler to mentally stimulate their dogs even more.

Dogs and handlers in this class should reach the required standard for the silver and gold good citizen tests.