Canine Companion Classes

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Freya practicing loose leash walking
Freya practicing loose leash walking

BDOC's Canine Companion training syllabus is primarily based on positive reinforcement training methods designed to develop wanted behaviours and ignore behaviours that are not wanted. We can help you teach your dog to become a 'good citizen' in our human society, including having good manners around people and other dogs, house training, leash manners and other things that can make a dog a much more pleasant companion.

Training at BDOC is provided in a group class situation, which is a valuable environment for allowing dogs to improve their social skills and ability to focus around distractions. The syllabus is structured so that as new skills are taught, each handler and dog is refining and building upon the skills they have already gained.

We accept fully vaccinated and sociable dogs of all breeds from 12 weeks and up. For owners of very young puppies, we suggest that they also enrol their puppies into a professionally run puppy preschool, where puppies can start their education and socialisation with other people and dogs before their vaccination schedules are complete. A well run puppy class provides an excellent foundation for future training in our canine companion classes.

There are four levels of Canine Companion classes at the Club. The first three levels (Beginners, Bronze and Silver) teach the basic requirements for a well-mannered dog. The fourth level, the Gold Canine Companion level, teaches more advanced life skills for you and your dog.

The Beginners classes consist of a lecture for handlers (without dogs) in Week 1, followed by seven weeks of class instruction. The Bronze, Silver and Gold levels each consist of seven weeks of class instruction plus one week of assessment in Week 8.

Please note that due to the group structure of our classes our instructors are unable to provide the one-on-one assistance required for dogs that have serious behavioural issues, such as over-excitement or aggression towards people and/or other dogs. Where dogs are unable to focus and learn in a group situation, we recommend seeking advice from a behavioural expert, prior to enrolling in obedience classes. Please feel free to contact us via email if you are unsure whether our classes would be suitable for you and your dog.

Class Overview

Leroy practicing On Your Mat in Beginners
Leroy practicing On Your Mat in Beginners

Behaviours that are taught in our canine companion classes include walking on a loose lead, good manners at meal times, sitting and laying down, stays, steadiness for people and dogs, tricks, recalls, and many more. Full details of the behaviours taught in each level are available in the Members' Handbook.

Beginners Canine Companion Class

This is an introductory class and provides the basic foundations for a well-mannered canine companion. Classes are open to all dogs from 12 weeks of age and older (you can teach an old dog new tricks!). Beginner dogs are usually grouped into classes according to their age.

We recommend that all dogs start at the Beginner level, even if you have already taken your dog through a puppy class. If you have completed more extensive training with your dog, please contact us via email to arrange a pre-enrolment assessment to determine which level you can start in.

Bronze Canine Companion Class

The Bronze classes build on the basic behaviours taught in Beginners and teach your dog to be focussed around a greater degree of distractions and to maintain a higher degree of self-control. Dogs which have gained their Bronze level certificate can walk a short distance with a loose lead, be recalled on lead from a distance of 5 metres, and have begun to learn some foundational exercises for demonstrating self control around people and other dogs.

Silver Canine Companion Class

The Silver classes build on the behaviours taught in the Bronze class and teach your dog to be focussed around a greater degree of distractions and to maintain an even higher degree of self-control. Dogs that graduate with the BDOC Silver Canine Companion Certificate will be well mannered canines and their handlers will have gained sufficient dog training skills so that they can cope with most situations that arise in their lives with their dogs. Dogs which have gained their Silver level certificate will also have a good foundation for future training in dog sports offered by the Club.

Gold Canine Companion Class

The Gold Canine Companion Certificate is the highest level of achievement in the BDOC Canine Companion Syllabus. Training at this level provides an opportunity for the handler and dog to extend their skills beyond the basic canine companion behaviours, such as walking off lead.

Enrolments

For information on how to enrol, please read the Information for New Members page.

Freya practicing loose leash walking
Freya practicing loose leash walking
Leroy practicing On Your Mat in Beginners
Leroy practicing On Your Mat in Beginners
Alfie demonstrating great focus in Beginners
Chase demonstrating great focus in Beginners