Puppy Training Classes in Dorset

Puppy training classes in Purbeck, Upton, Poole and Dorset

June/July Classes Full ……Waitlist open

The next class is on the 27th of August at 10:00 at Upton Community Centre.

Rolling Programme each month.

Here at Muttley Solutions, we try to do things differently. The puppy and gundog puppy classes will consider the important developmental process your pup is going through. We will focus on crucial techniques rather than lots of methods. Our puppy class training welcomes clients from all areas of Dorset, and Poole and Wimborne are very local to our indoor training facility in Upton.

You will have the opportunity to continue with your training for six weeks in the Teenage Club class. This is only open to those who have completed the first part, and more information will be given in the class.

We focus on the following and see it as essential for further training in a live environment.

  • Your puppy is off lead in a very controlled environment so they can learn to be with other puppies safely and on your terms.
  • A verbal and whistle recall will be a key feature of the programme.
  • The start of Loose lead walking
  • The basic Sit, Down and Stand in any sequence
  • The Wait command.
  • The Leave command.
  • The On Me Command.
Puppy Training in Dorset
Puppy Training in Poole

So you have welcomed a new puppy into your household or are about to, and you are surfing the net for puppy training classes; for all the answers you never knew you needed. Confusing. The web is a minefield of information and videos. A small amount of it is good, but the majority is poor and conflicting.

Thankfully you have ended up at this page where you will get the correct information, individualised for your dog and yourself. Owning a puppy is not easy, and this is perhaps the number one mistake many new puppy owners make; they didn’t realise it would be this hard!! Don’t worry; it isn’t once you have the correct information and structure in place.

With the proper support, the experience of welcoming a new puppy into your house will be more enjoyable for both the puppy and your family. Muttley Solutions offers puppy training classes on a one-to-one basis at our training facility in Merley.  We have a flexible booking system. You don’t need sessions every week like traditional puppy training classes as I need you to practice.

When should I start puppy training classes?

This is an important question, and most people will book traditional training classes in a hall. They usually start those about 12 weeks onward as that is what everyone else does; why?

The answer is simple: it is advised the puppy does not mix with other dogs until they have had their second lot of injections, which is about the 12-week mark. However, we do the dog a great injustice by holding off training until after the injections.  I have known puppies heading into 15-16 weeks before starting training as no classes were beginning. That’s a lot of weeks to learn destructive behaviours!!

When can I start teaching my puppy simple commands?

I have puppies who started with me at eight weeks which, by the 12th week, already have the early foundations to not pulling on the lead, trained to a whistle and have a very basic recall to the whistle. It May seem a bold claim, but there are a couple of YouTube videos you can watch on this page of clients I have worked with.

Hopefully, if you are reading this, you are researching getting a puppy or have already seen the puppy you want and are waiting to bring them home. This is the best time to get the involvement of a puppy trainer involved. It may seem strange paying good money to see a puppy trainer when you don’t have the puppy yet!! However, this decision could make the start of your journey with the puppy a whole lot smoother.

If you are bringing the puppy into a house where there are children, then this is a different ball game, and you need to understand the impact they can have on your training. Children quickly teach the puppy all the behaviours you don’t want!!

What is the Critical learning phase in puppy training

Without getting too technical, there is a perfect reason why you should get an experienced and qualified puppy trainer involved before or as soon as possible after you have the puppy. There is a magic learning window for the puppy from birth until about 14-16 weeks, where they are like a sponge for experiences.

It is referred to as the critical learning phase.  Any trainer worth the money they are charging understands this is critical to the future positive development of the puppy.  Many problems we see later can be avoided by using this time wisely. Once gone, we cannot get it back. During this critical learning phase, our job is to ensure they have as many positive experiences that revolve around your lifestyle.

Regardless of the age of your puppy, Muttley Solutions can offer you an affordable package for the service you get.  I offer no magic solution and will be realistic from the outset. As with all aspects of dog training, you get out what you put in!!

Where is the best place to do puppy training?

Traditional dog trainers who teach puppy classes will have a hall where they hold perhaps a 6-week puppy class, and you attend each week on a set day at a set time. There will be many of these classes running every evening somewhere in Dorset. These are the bread and butter of the puppy training world, and I have done my time at such courses. For many of these trainers, this is their’ pay the bills’ job, and so they need the numbers to cover costs and make a living.

Having worked in these halls as a puppy trainer, I can see the benefits.  However, I also learned that this was the wrong setting for many of the puppies and their owners.  After six weeks, they had not had value for money and could not replicate what they had learnt in the ‘real world’. Any further training was seen as pointless, and the dog started on the quick road of learning behaviours we didn’t want. Maybe 1-2 years later, another trainer is brought in to now resolve issues.  Of course, many puppies go through the traditional training system and make the grade.

Our 6-week puppy training course in Upton, Poole, is not a stand-alone ‘all is fixed’ course. It is an intensive training programme that will focus on the basics in preparation to train in a live environment.

Training in The Live Environment

At Muttley Solutions, your first training sessions will take place in your home up to the magic 12 weeks.  This is an excellent opportunity to put a communication channel between you and the puppy to know when they are doing the right thing. The training at this stage is not about the dog.  It is about getting the techniques right to provide proactive leadership and structure for the puppy.  They already know what to do; I need you to do it right.

The home and the garden soon provide minimal distractions.  Once you can get it right here, then we can venture out.  If you cannot do the techniques in this low distraction environment, you will struggle to work with your puppy outside in a live setting.

Puppy and owner training in the live environment

After the 12 weeks, all my training will be in a live environment like your garden or my training facility. I see little point in training in a warm, dry hall where it is all very predictable and then expect you to replicate the techniques in a live environment. Training might start a little slower, but the puppy soon learns what is expected, and distractions become common.

More importantly, you learn to be with your dog outside.  You will learn to be proactive and not reactive.  You will learn to anticipate potential issues and deal with them before they challenge you or the puppy. Overall you will feel more confident and safer taking your puppy out into the big world. Because you can do this, the puppy will learn to trust your decision making and knows you can keep them safe as they explore. As you can see, my role is more about training you. I won’t sugarcoat it. You are paying me good money to get results. If you are letting the dog down, I will tell you in a constructive but frank manner.

Many owners are surprised at how difficult it can be to learn new skills and multitask; it happens to us all. My job is to ensure you are doing it right.

Does your new puppy have any of these issues?

I once read that there are two choices for the puppy in puppy training: the right way and the wrong way. Initially, the puppy doesn’t realise it has a choice. It is our job to make sure that option remains a secret.

So what do I mean by this? Nature has done a fantastic job in ensuring the puppy has the right skills to survive. Like us, puppies don’t have a book about life, which is learned through trial and error. For a puppy, if a behaviour they try is rewarding, that must be good behaviour to try again.  If the puppy gets nothing from a behaviour, then it might try again.  However, all dogs do not waste energy doing things that do not bring a reward; what would be the point?

When your puppy does something, it wants to know there is something in it for them. This reward can be attention, treats or playtime. If a behaviour delivers a reward, the puppy will try that behaviour, so it gets another reward.

Sadly, in our world, those behaviours which deliver rewards are usually the exact behaviours we don’t want the puppy to do. Think about some of the behaviours in the list above, and you can see where this is going.

We Teach The Puppy Many of The Behaviours We Don’t Want

Remember, a puppy does not know right from wrong or good from bad; these are human terms. The puppy knows about making the most out of an opportunity and persistence. It is an expert seeking out the reward monster and learning and repeating behaviours that deliver those rewards.

Take the example of jumping up. Human bends down to fuss dog and removes hand dog follows onto back legs, and human thinks how cute, makes some nice noises and plays with the puppy again. The puppy learns jumping up is rewarding.  The puppy jumps up, and the human pushes the puppy away.  Again a great game for the puppy, and we have quickly trained our puppy to jump up us for attention. Of course, the puppy sees all humans as fair game for jumping for rewards.

Remember this rule: All four paws on the floor at all times!!

As you can see, we quickly train our puppy in all these bad habits without even realising it.  We then blame the puppy for having such bad behaviour.  If only the good behaviours were as easy to train.

My role as a puppy trainer is to teach you how to ensure your puppy never finds out that the behaviours we don’t want are rewarding.  If I get to you before you get to the puppy, we have a fantastic opportunity to ensure the puppy only gets rewarded for those behaviours we want to train them for.  It is hard, and your daily training mantra will be CPPR……….Consistent, Persistent, Patient and Repetition.

Vizsla puppy training in dorset
Vizsla Puppy Training in Dorset

One to One Pet Gundog Puppy Training Classes

Muttley Solutions offers one to one puppy training which offers flexible classes which you can book online. This means you can fit essential training around your busy lifestyle.

You don’t have to have a session every week as you do with traditional group classes. As you progress, I space out the sessions so you can practice.  I offer free text advice so you can still get support, and we can arrange a quick session if there are issues.

Traditional sessions can put too much into the six weeks and leave you wondering what that was all about.  I try to focus on some essentials to get the basic foundations in place. This will be around getting you to communicate with your puppy, putting in the basics for loose lead walking, and working on the techniques for the recall. Around these, we will be teaching the basics.

Some of the teaching we will cover:

What can I expect to learn in my training session?

The session will be about 1 hour long with small breaks.  You will get handouts if relevant, and homework practice will be expected to progress and get the full benefit from the sessions.

Once training starts to progress, my dog Henry may be introduced to some of the training sessions if appropriate, as he can be a great distraction!!

If I were involved from 8-9 weeks, I would expect that you will have these basics in place by the time the dog is 12-14 weeks.

By this time, you might just be starting group puppy class training. Remember, there is no quick fix, and it will take a lot of practice on your part to achieve this.

By 12 weeks, these basics should be starting to be practised

Of course, all dogs are different, and so are their owners.  The correct practice is more important than the amount.

Remember, puppy training is about laying the foundations for lifelong learning.

It is the building block to improving both obedience and manners as the dog gets older.

A few lessons with minimal practice with your puppy will not lead to a well-trained dog!!

To qualify for the puppy rate of training, your dog will need to be 20 weeks or less.

I have weekday dates, and you can see availability and book times via the link below.  If you want weekend sessions, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with me directly.

Teaching Recall and Loose Lead Walking at 12 weeks: Videos

This is a video of Rusty, who is 12 weeks old.  He is learning to walk on a loose lead and being taught that looking at the owner will deliver a reward.

As you can see, he is very responsive and quickly understands that stopping near his owner’s leg will deliver a reward.  The leg is the reward spot, and Rusty is learning this is the place to be, so we have a loose lead!!

Using classical and operant conditioning with new puppies means we can set their default to ‘no pulling on the lead’. Of course, this takes a lot of practice work and patience on the owner’s part, and this lady is doing a great job.

YouTube Video: Rusty

This is Hodge, a 12-week old puppy trained to respond to the whistle for his recall.  Using classical and operant conditioning Hodge has been taught very early a good recall.

The idea is to now proof this in various settings and distraction levels. A great start to recall training that puts many older dogs to shame!!  The owners have put the practice in and followed the training I set them.

YouTube Video: Hodge

When are the next puppy class training class in Dorset?

Muttley Solutions runs one to one and group puppy class training sessions at Upton Community Centre, Merley and Purbeck Dog Park.

How old should my puppy be to start training classes

At around eight weeks, the best time to start training is as soon as you get your puppy. At this time, I can help you stop teaching your new puppy bad habits

What should I teach my puppy?

We don’t want to overload the young dog. A basic sit is a great start. I like to get the puppy walking on a loose lead and recalling to a whistle by 12 weeks. These are the early foundations for when the training really starts.