What is Behaviour Training?
The focus at the introductory (Foundation) level is to start teaching practical skills such as walking nicely on lead without pulling; settling on a mat; handling and grooming; sitting and lying down when asked; greeting people politely; coming when called; waiting patiently for dinner; and socialising appropriately with other dogs and people.
The program offers a further three training levels – Consolidation, Graduation and Companion – to help you extend these practical skills, communicate more effectively with your dog and provide mental stimulation for both of you.
You will be assessed at each level to determine if you and your dog are ready to progress to the next level.
Am I eligible to participate?
Puppies can attend classes once they are fully vaccinated (usually from 12 weeks of age) and older dogs of any age are also welcome. Classes are age-streamed at the lower levels to cater for different stages of social development.
Some dogs struggle in a group class setting due to the proximity of dogs and people that they do not know and such exposure can be detrimental to their welfare. Contact the Club Office if you feel your dog may not be suitable so we can discuss other options with you.
When are classes held?
Classes are held on Wednesday mornings, Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings during ACT school terms.
New courses start in February, April, July and October and each course runs for 8-9 weeks. You will be asked to nominate the day you wish to attend class when enrolling.
What is involved?
We use chairs and mats in our group-based Behaviour Training classes to help your dog to settle and focus, and clickers, too, so that you can provide instant feedback to your dog during the training process. We may use screens to provide a visual and physical barrier for dogs who are easily distracted or worried by other dogs. This can help both dogs and handlers to relax and provides a more positive experience for everyone. Where possible, and especially at the lower levels, we also limit class numbers to eight handlers and dogs per class to provide a more personalised experience for members and instructors alike.
It is critical for all dogs to have a good experience when learning to interact with each other and not have a negative experience that could impact their entire life. For this reason, your instructor will decide if there is any on or off-lead dog-dog interaction during your class and what form that will take.
How do I enrol in classes?
Enrolments for each course open several weeks before classes commence. Keep an eye on Facebook for the announcement. Before enrolling, please read the Membership webpage and the Frequently Asked Questions below to ensure the Club meets your training needs.
Click on the ‘Apply for class’ link to enrol when bookings open. A notice will appear at this link if bookings are closed. If so, you will not be able to apply for a class at this time. Once enrolled, you will need to advise your instructor of your intention to continue classes at the end of each course.