Dogs Trust

Dog School FAQ's

Dog School Frequently Asked Questions

Who should come to classes?

Anybody who is involved in the care of your dog is encouraged to come along to class, including children. Please bear in mind that your coaches will be talking to the class on a group level to teach you valuable key messages about behaviour, so it is important that anybody attending is able to listen quietly (if young children are attending it could be a good idea to bring something to keep them occupied with at these times). Let your coach know if you have any special requirements or will have more than 3 people attending with your dog, so that they can prepare and make sure there is enough space. To make sure you can concentrate on training your dog, we would ask that you leave any other pets (including other dogs) at home.

What to do when arriving for classes?

When you arrive to class, we ask that you keep your distance from other owners and dogs, we will guide you over to your personal ‘pod’ which will be a small area reserved for you and your dog. This will give your dogs the best chance to feel comfortable and calm at the start of class. Once everyone has settled in their own areas, your coach will start the class and there will be some time set aside for practical training and discussing key messages. In puppy classes there will also be some time scheduled for socialising with other class members.

What should I bring to classes?

Please bring the following to each class: your dog’s bed/blanket, a selection of your dog’s favourite treats and one or two of his/her favourite toys. If your dog requires any medication or has a specialised diet, please bring these to class – it’s also important to get in touch with your coach to let them know about this before the class.

Will I see the same coaches each week?

We will try our best to make sure you see the same coaches each week for your classes, because we think it is important for us to get to know you and your dog or puppy. The coaches work in teams of three, so you should get to know all the team members over your course. Occasionally, there may be a change in one coach because of sickness or holidays, but if this is necessary, we will try to ensure that you are introduced to your new coach the week before the change so that they are familiar with you and your dog.

What sort of training methods are used?

We only use positive training methods supported by the most up to date research on dog behaviour. We will never use methods that intimidate or harm your dog.

How much do classes cost?

Our classes are priced at €60.00 for a 5 week course, with a free induction talk before you attend training sessions. This induction will give owners the opportunity to prepare for Dog School classes and will help you understand what you’re going to learn over the duration of the course. Owners are asked to attend this induction without their pet.

What happens if I miss a class?

Please try to let your coach know as soon as possible if you are unable to attend a class. You will be provided with the training guide for the week you missed so that you can catch up at home. We are not able to offer replacement classes or refunds but will help you catch up in time for the following class. If you require help in understanding or practising the guide for the week you missed, please get in touch with your coach for advice.

Why are Dogs Trust running training classes?

Dogs Trust recognises the need for affordable behavioural and training support in the community. We believe that Dog School will help raise awareness of dog behaviour, strengthen the bond between owners and their dogs and help to address and prevent the development of unwanted or problematic behaviours. We are hopeful that this service will improve the welfare of dogs in Ireland, both by providing owners with support in the home environment and by reducing the number of dogs being relinquished for behavioural reasons.

Is my dog suitable for classes?

Our training classes are aimed at giving you information and skills that you can apply to your dog’s behaviour in any situation. If you have an existing issue that you would require help with, please contact your local coach and describe the problems you are having. It may be possible for us to help you in a class setting, or it may be that your coach will recommend a 1:1 session with a trainer or behaviourist. We will aim to give you the advice that we believe will be of the greatest benefit to you and your dog. In some cases, the class environment may not be the most suitable for your dog, in which case we will always strive to offer an alternative plan of action!

Restricted breeds and muzzle training

Dogs Trust are a strong proponent of responsible dog ownership. According to the Control Of Dogs Regulations 1998, any breed of dog that is on the restricted breed list is not permitted to be in a public place unless the dog is wearing a muzzle.

However, dogs attending dog training classes at our Rehoming Centre are not required to wear a muzzle during class. They will need to have a muzzle with them and will be required to wear it between your home and the classroom, including in the carpark and other public spaces.

If you need help muzzle training your dog or puppy, or would like more information on this, please get in touch with your local coach who will be happy to advise further.

Is there one-to-one training available?

One-to-one training is available for those whose dogs may need some extra help with training or if classes would be too overwhelming an environment for them. One-to-ones are offered on a case by case basis.

Where the coaches identify that a dog may be unsuitable for a one-to-one or classes with Dog School, further support will be offered and alternatives recommended, ensuring that you and your dog get the very best guidance available.