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Daytime puppy obedience classes...SW London

(16 Posts)
MidLifeCrisis007 Tue 16-Feb-16 07:35:52

So hopefully we will be getting our new puppy in the next couple of weeks, once we've jumped through a few hoops with the rescue charity.

One of their conditions (along with neutering at 6 months) is that we take it along to puppy obedience classes.

So I've started to have a look around for such classes and all the ones I can find start after 6.30pm. I'm confused. I'm sure all these evening classes are designed to fit in with working people, but those are the very last people in the world who should be taking on a puppy! Or perhaps the classes are just an add on to their dog walking business.... who knows.

I'm yet to find any classes during school hours. Does anyone know of a company that caters to folk like me who would like to do classes during the day? We are based in Wandsworth.

Noitsnotteatimeyet Tue 16-Feb-16 08:22:53

Most dog trainers have a day job as dog training usually doesn't pay that well - however you could try Winkie Spears (yes that is her real name) or Sandra Strong at Perfect Dog in Balham.

I've not used either of them but have friends who have and in pretty sure they both have daytime sessions

MidLifeCrisis007 Tue 16-Feb-16 09:51:24

Thanks for that. Winkie's classes are evening classes... not great when you've got kids to look after and a husband to feed on his return from work!

Perfect Dog's website doesn't appeal to me much (TV work.... wtf?!!!). And their classes are drop in, so you'll get all sorts turning up. I much prefer the idea of my puppy starting a course with x many others and them all being at the same level of training (indeed all other websites suggest this is the right approach!).

I'm off to my local vets to see if they can point me in the direction of someone...

Floralnomad Tue 16-Feb-16 10:16:28

Lots of trainers will take you on as a 1:1 during the day and most vets do puppy parties so that should satisfy the rescue - I wonder if rescues that say these things actually ever follow up to check and what they would do if they discovered you hadn't been to training particularly if you had trained the dog well enough yourself . I went to very few training classes because my rescue pup was ill and having watched a lot of Victoria Stilwell I felt confident in carrying on myself and I have a very well behaved dog .

Noitsnotteatimeyet Tue 16-Feb-16 11:46:36

Ok - was just trying to help ...hmm

I know Winkie does social walks which definitely happen during the day

MidLifeCrisis007 Tue 16-Feb-16 13:18:57

Ok... I'll get on to Winkie. She looks lovely.....Our local vet has suggested PawPairs....

Floralnomad - the fosterer at the charity was against 1:1 classes. The socialisation is important, but what she says they gain most from the classes is learning to focus on you and your commands when there are other dogs and people around. It's about being heard/noticed through all the noise. I sort of buy into that. Originally I was thinking that the puppy classes would be a PITA to go to, but I've really bought into the idea now! The dog we're getting is a Jack Russell/Springer Spaniel cross and we'll really need to work on its recall straight away. I'd hate to have a dog that's confined to the lead all its life and that is certainly the case with many terrier x breeds.....

Floralnomad Tue 16-Feb-16 13:28:39

Mines a patterdale X ( prob JRT) and his recall is excellent , socialisation is important but you dont necessarily need training classes to get that , the walking group is probably just as good .

Cheerfulmarybrown Tue 16-Feb-16 13:31:05

Whats wrong with TV work? Most professional trainers will work for TV and films (looks at own Harry Potter portfolio !)

georgedawes Tue 16-Feb-16 14:03:57

1 -1 trainers will often have their own dogs to act as stooges. I've never found a day time class except at weekends, although I don't live in London.

alleypalley Wed 17-Feb-16 00:05:39

I'm confused. I'm sure all these evening classes are designed to fit in with working people, but those are the very last people in the world who should be taking on a puppy!
- um, why? I find that a bit offensive tbh.

Anyway. How old are your children? Mine have been coming with me to puppy class, and there are another couple of kids there too. It's been very beneficial to them both, especially my youngest who was getting jumped up at and nipped a lot.

MidLifeCrisis007 Wed 17-Feb-16 07:35:43

Sorry to offend you alleypalley but in my search for our next dog, I've seen endless dogs needing to be rehomed by families who claim "we can't give xxx, the time he/she deserves etc".

The idea of dogs doing TV work still amuses me. I think initially we'll work on basic commands like sit and paw, before we set our sights on Britain's Got Talent and the red carpets....

Floral nomad - thanks for your suggestion about the walking group. In the past I've often tagged along with professional dog walkers on walks (particularly when we had a very sociable foster dog recently), and I've found that really enjoyable. The dog walkers are always longing for some company and can't pair up with one another else their packs gets too big.

I hope to be getting our little man in the next day or two....

Floralnomad Wed 17-Feb-16 08:19:47

Very cute , he looks much more terrier than spaniel from the side view .

sparechange Wed 17-Feb-16 08:29:42

Please please not Winkie. She is not a good trainer and has some absolutely bizarre rules and methods.
I'm yet to meet a well trained Winkie dog, and I've met quite a few around Clapham and Wandsworth.
Have you had a look on Nappy Valley Net? There are a few threads on there on local dog trainers.

Don't overestimate the effectiveness of puppy classes. They aren't all that for either training or socialisation. A few one to one sessions with a good trainer, and then an hour a day on your own when you know the basics are ideally what you need to aim for.

The socialisation aspect isn't actually very good at classes because you are socialising bouncy bad mannered puppies with other bouncy bad mannered puppies. Which is fun, but it doesn't teach them how to behave around other dogs.
It is MUCH better to socialise with a mixed age group, or at least combining your puppy classes with older dogs, who will teach your puppy doggy manners, body language cues and when enough is enough.
Otherwise your dog is going to be in for a rude awakening when it bounds up to the park and tries to behave with an adult dog the same way it does with all the puppies it has known from classes.

And Re evening classes, they encourage all the family to get involved with the training, so even if a SAHP is with the puppy all day, the whole family should be going along to training, so it makes sense to hold the classes at a time that school children and a worming parent can attend.

Lastly, buy a copy of 'the pet gundog' from Amazon. It will be invaluable for learning how to work with the spaniel side of your dog, especially on recall

MidLifeCrisis007 Wed 17-Feb-16 08:47:12

Invaluable info/insights there sparechange.


alleypalley Wed 17-Feb-16 16:46:17

Thank you MidLife, I think your phrasing of 'the very last people in the world' was perhaps a bit clumsy. My dh and I both work but our puppy is never at home on her own. Will you take your children with you to puppy class?

MidLifeCrisis007 Wed 17-Feb-16 17:35:31

My 2 oldest are at boarding school so I've only got one at home now - it looks like he'll be attending the classes whether he wants to or not and Mr MidLife will be cooking his own supper when he gets home from work!

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