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The secret to having an obedient dog is to ensure that it wants to do what you want it to do!


The general public are becoming increasingly unsympathetic to the dog that growls or nips, rightly expecting the dog’s owner to take responsibility for their pet’s behaviour.

Yet, expecting a dog to never use its limited communication powers to signal that it is uncomfortable with a situation by barking or growling, is similar to expecting us to go through our entire life without a cross word or a ‘bad hair day’.

Ensuring that your dog is sufficiently comfortable in our very complex domestic and urban environment as to never have a bite or growl is the start of responsible dog ownership and it begins as soon as your new puppy enters your home.

Thorough puppy socialisation ensures that your puppy is socially competent in any normal situation and has the learning skills to extend this knowledge to novel situations.  Early puppy training ensures that your puppy learns simple obedience skills from the outset, preventing you from having to overcome bad habits before you can instill appropriate skills.

Once a young dog reaches 16 weeks of age it will already have developed a series of different behaviours for dealing with situations that excite or frighten it. From then on, any new training that owners try to instill will have to compete with the learning that has already occurred. Although young dogs of 16 weeks plus will learn new techniques with relative ease, whenever faced with a difficult situation, the dog will always find that there is a decision to be made as to whether to use existing tried and tested behaviours, or the new ones recently learnt but not yet 'proven' to work in an emergency.

Owners who want to get their relationship with their puppy off to the best possible start can arrange a 1:1 ‘pre-purchase’ or ‘new puppy’ consultation prior to joining puppy classes. It is far easier to ensure that the correct type of learning occurs right from the start.

PUPPY SOCIALISATION AND EARLY TRAINING CLASSES (6 weeks of age to 14 weeks of age) start as soon as the puppy has started its vaccination course and last for 8 weeks. The course leads to the Kennel Club Puppy Foundation Award.

ADOLESCENT TRAINING CLASSES (15 weeks of age to 8 months of age).

This course is for 8 weeks and also leads to the Kennel Club Puppy Foundation Award. It is intended for slightly older puppies who did not get the opportunity to join the earlier class and who are too robust in size and play technique to safely mix with small puppies.

During the above courses we aim to achieve four objectives:

1. To help the puppy to continue the social education that started with its mother and siblings, but was interrupted by joining its new home. We accomplish this by allowing the puppies to play - but to prevent the puppy being bullied or frightened, this only occurs in carefully supervised pairs.

2. To assist owners in understanding how young dogs learn and how to make the best use of the 'early learning' opportunity. We discuss emotional and behavioural development in the young dog and the different problems that the families are experiencing with their young dogs and how to handle these problems without coming into conflict with the dog.

3. Over the weeks we gradually introduce all of the essential obedience skills.

4. The Kennel Club places considerable emphasis on responsible dog ownership, so, advice will be given on identification and basic canine health issues.

Puppy and Juvenile ‘Early Training’ and KC Puppy Foundation Classes

Classes are  among small groups of puppies and are open to any puppy that has begun a vaccination course.  Puppies can join up to 14 weeks of age, and because juveniles have stronger jaws and more robust methods of play, they attend a separate class. 

Interested owners should contact the centre to arrange to join the next available class. Inclusion in a class is dependent on the centre receiving a photocopy of the vaccination certificate.


Owners who want to get their relationship with their puppy off to the best possible start can arrange a 1:1 ‘pre-purchase’ or ‘new puppy’ consultation prior to joining puppy classes.

Would you like your vet to refer your puppy to the clinic? Please download (Click Here) a case history questionnaire and referral form and once you and your vet have completed them, please phone the clinic for an appointment.

Claire HargraveBSc(Hons), MSc,
PGCE, C Sci, C Chem, MRSC,
Certified Clinical Animal Behaviourist
and Member of the Association of
Pet Behaviour Counsellors
Companion Animal Behaviour Referrals
Erw Wastad, Llwyn-teg, Llannon, Llanelli, SA14 8JW 
Tel. 01269 844770