You’re probably aware of ‘obedience’ training – general training that teaches your dog a variety of common behaviours we might use every day, such as sit, down and loose lead walking. You may also be aware of behavioural work, which addresses more complex needs such as separation anxiety or reactivity. Perhaps you’ve even heard of some common dog sports, such as agility. Did you know that this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the type of training out there for you and your dog to enjoy? There are so many other skills to learn and activities to enjoy, with their own unique benefits! Here are just a few…
Our dogs love using their noses, so scent work is an incredibly enriching activity for them! Scent detection training teaches dogs to indicate the source of a scent, just like airport sniffer dogs – this is a great way to discover just how amazing your dog is and train some really impressive skills. Scent detection turns our dogs’ natural love for sniffing into an activity we can do together!
We cover Scent Detection training in both our Scent Detectives
course and our upcoming Dogtivity Adventure Club
As mentioned above, agility is a popular dog sport! It’s not just jumps, agility also includes obstacles like tunnels, weave poles and seesaws! Agility can be a great way to work on our off-lead communication, as well as building confidence.
We teach agility groundwork – suitable for all ages – in our Dogtivity Adventure Club and we also have an Agility Boot Camp which is suitable for dogs 12 months plus.
Flyball is another major dog sport, although slightly less well-known than agility. It’s a fast-paced relay race, with two teams sending one dog at a time down a line of hurdles with a box at the end. The dog hits the box with their front feet, catches the ball that pops out and runs back over the hurdles before the next dog is released. The fastest team to run all of their dogs, wins! This is an awesome team sport and is particularly popular with sighthounds and collies, although – just like agility – any dog can take part and enjoy this activity!
We cover flyball training in our Dogtivity Adventure Club!
Platform training is a versatile style of training that is popular among dog trainers. It incorporates raised platforms to teach behaviours such as position changes, heelwork, distance work and more – the raised platforms help make it clearer to our dogs where we’d like them to be and allow us to build some really precise skills! For example, we could teach our dog to move between a stand, a sit and a down without moving their front paws – training to this standard is great for exercising our dogs’ minds, building our communication and handling skills and can even be great for fitness and conditioning!
We work on platform training in our Dogtivity Adventure Club!
Gundog skills are proving ever popular with many dog owners, whether they intend to “work” their dog or not! Suitable for any breed, gundog training taps into natural hunting behaviours and turns these feel-good activities into a team sport, building incredible communication and engagement between us and our dogs. Even better; we can utilise these skills off the lead, at a distance and around some very tempting distractions!
We cover gundog training in both our Dogtivity Adventure Club and our Fun Gundog
You may have heard of clicker training before but do you really know what it is? A clicker is a piece of equipment we can use to really elevate our training! It can allow us to communicate in a precise, consistent way to speed up learning and improve our handling skills. Clear communication not only makes our lives easier; it can help to reduce frustration for our dogs and make training even more fun for them! It is particularly useful with more complex and advanced behaviours, as it helps us to take advantage of every opportunity to reinforce our dogs as we progress!
We cover clicker skills in our upcoming Dogtivity Adventure Club!
While most ‘tricks’ are also really useful life skills and every day behaviours, trick training focuses specifically on the ‘trick’ aspect on the exercises! We feel passionately about trick training because there are so many benefits – not only is it a great way to continue giving our dogs the mental enrichment they need and deserve, it is FUN! Training doesn’t have to be a chore, focusing only on those essential behaviours; it should also be about building a great relationship with our dogs and having fun together.
Learn fun new tricks as part of our Dogtivity Adventure Club!
Assistance Dog Training
On the other end of the ‘trick’ training spectrum, we have assistance dog training! This is a great example of how many tricks have real-world, practical applications – things like opening the fridge or washing machine door, retrieving items, flicking the light switch and more!
We introduce you and your dog to assistance dog training in our Dogtivity Adventure Club!
Do As I Do
Mimicry is an exciting style of training that can open our eyes to just how intelligent our dogs are. As social learners, mimicry isn’t entirely new to our dogs – using it to train brand new behaviours, though, is a whole other level! Working together in this way is also great for improving engagement, visual focus and strengthening our relationship with our dog.
Have a go at mimicry training in our Dogtivity Adventure Club!
Heelwork to Music
For many of us, our only experience with heelwork is basic loose lead walking! While this is, of course, important, it can sometimes feel like a bit of a chore – but heelwork is so much more than that. Have fun learning new heelwork routines like those dogs at Crufts or on Britain’s Got Talent. Take dancing in the kitchen with your dog to the next level!
Learn to spin, twist and jive together as part of our Dogtivity Adventure Club!
A great way to build confidence and learn new ways to use the environment around you! Walks should be more than a plod along the pavement – parkour will give you a whole new perspective on the world around you. Teaching our dogs to navigate obstacles in a safe and considered way can help to build body awareness and prevent injury, as well as giving us brand new ways to provide the mental and physical enrichment our dogs need to be satisfied and happy!
Have a go at some doggy parkour in our Dogtivity Adventure Club!
Just like us, our dogs benefit from low-impact strength training and learning how to move with good form. Using equipment like foot target, balance equipment and cavalettis, your dog will develop their confidence, proprioception and strength while you learn more about how your dog moves and how to help them stay fit and happy for longer!
Get those reps in as part of our Dogtivity Adventure Club!
Games & Challenges
There’s nothing like some friendly competition to add some more excitement to our training! Take part in fun games like bullseye, noughts and crosses and much more. Not only can you enjoy training alongside likeminded dog owners, this is a great way to practice working around other dogs in a relaxed, friendly environment!
Work hard, play hard – get ready, get set and go in our Dogtivity Adventure Club!
With physical wellness covered, it’s important we don’t forget to exercise our dogs’ brains, too! It can be particularly tough when we’ve done lots of training with our dogs already, to find new ways to put their brains to the test and give them something to think about! Cognitive skills will help your dog finish top of the class and ensure they have a mind as fit and healthy as their body!
Get those brain crunches in during our Dogtivity Adventure Club sessions!
Want to up your obedience training but not sure where to start? We know that competition-style obedience can be a little daunting and isn’t for everyone. Rally is a growing sport that makes obedience trialling fun, friendly and accessible to everyone! This fun approach to formal heelwork is a great way to improve your loose lead walking and connection with your dog!
We introduce you to rally in our Dogtivity Adventure Club!
Hoopers is a great alternative to agility that is suitable for dogs of all ages and all handlers! Ever thought you’d like to have a go at agility, but all that running and jumping looked a little too intense for you and your dog? Hoopers is a bit like doggy croquet (although don’t worry, there are no mallets!). Direct your dog at a distance around a pattern of barrels and through hoops. This low-impact alternative to agility is a great way to take part in an energetic sport and is so much fun that it is growing in popularity in its own right.
Have a go in our Dogtivity Adventure Club!
Do you feel like you and your dog have really got the hang of this training lark? Advanced obedience is a great way to learn how to take things even further – put all your hard work to the test, making sure all those behaviours are on point and building new skills alongside them. From more formal heelwork, to stays, recalls and even retrieves!
Progress your obedience skills by joining us for our Dogtivity Adventure Club!
It’s a classic tale – dogs who hate to have their nails trimmed, run off when you get the ear cleaner out and pups who are impossible to bathe! With co-operative handling skills, we learn to communicate with our dogs and to teach them how to communicate with us. This gives our dogs autonomy and control over what happens to them, building trust and in turn building confidence. This might feel like an impossible task, but a little time invested in co-operative handling will save you and your dog a lot of time and stress down the line when you can treat injuries and illnesses with ease!
Get to grips with co-operative care in our Dogtivity Adventure Club!