Welcome to the Leeds, Wakefield & District Branch Dog Academy!

What is the Dog Academy?

RSPCAs Dog Academy is held at the Leeds and Wakefield Branch. At the Dog Academy you know you are in good hands with experienced staff who strive to provide a safe and positive environment for both humans and canine companions to learn. You can expect a friendly and welcoming team of trainers who ensure that the classes are informative, educational and fun. The Trainers and Animal Care Assistants are led by the Animal Care Manager Lucynda Hodgson who has over 10 years’ experience of working in animal care, and more specifically, in dog welfare, behaviour and training. The classes will help owners create a bond with their dogs using reward based training techniques. In addition we will help you identify some common misunderstood behaviours and ‘must not’s to avoid future problems.
It is important to ensure your dog learns basic obedience in the correct way using the correct techniques in order to have a happy companionship. Positive reinforcement training looks at rewarding good behaviour and ignoring the bad… within reason. It is a good idea for all the family to take part in the training at home to create a bond between the dog and everyone else involved. You don’t want to end up with a dog who will only take notice of one person. Training should be enjoyable for everyone involved, the best way to maintain your dog’s attention and enjoyment with training is to practice it regularly but in short bursts.
Finding a trainer and class to suit you can take time, so we suggest reading a few reviews or attending a few different classes alone, before deciding where to choose yourself. That way you can see if you feel comfortable and if the dogs and owners attending the training seem comfortable with the trainer and assistant(s).

Signs of a good dog training class

The dogs should appear relaxed and motivated to take part in the training and willing to perform the behaviours being asked of them.Check whether there are an appropriate number of dogs and owners for the situation. The class should not be overcrowded. For example, the APDT (UK) recommends no more than 8 puppies in a class with an instructor and one assistant. The Dog Academy will never have more than 6 people with 2 trainers in a class. See if the instructor recognises that each individual dog and its motivational preference e.g. a ball, food or owners praise. Check that the trainer or assistants do not force anxious dogs to participate in activities before they relax and are ready to take part. The instructors and assistants should be friendly and welcome you to observe their class.

Week One: Puppy Classes

The humans will learn…

Why we use food as a reward.
About how your puppy learns new things.
How to deal with some common puppy problems, such as mouthing or chewing.
All about socialising your puppy.

Your puppy should start to learn…

To settle down and relax in the class environment.
To pay attention to you and recognise his own name.
To ‘Sit’ down and ‘lie down’ when asked.
To interact and play with other puppies (if they are ready).

Week Two: Puppy Classes

The humans will learn…

To make sure your puppy will be relaxed when left alone.
To ‘read’ what your puppy is telling you and recognise if they are worried.
How to make sure your puppy has positive interactions with other dogs.

Your puppy should start to learn…

To be handled by you, and other people, if they are comfortable enough.
To develop more social skills by playing with other puppies.
To start to learn how to walk nicely on the lead.
How to get your puppy to greet people with four paws on the ground.

Week Three: Puppy Classes

The humans will learn…

The importance of being consistent and predictable with your puppy.
All about house training.
To set up environments so your puppy easily learns the right response.
How to make sure your puppy is not worried about people approaching stuff he values (like his food or toys).

Your puppy should start to learn…

How to walk nicely on a lead, with distractions!
To get used to handling for situations such as health checks.
How to come back when called, even when there are other pups to play with!

Week Four: Puppy Classes

The humans will learn…

How to teach your puppy to do… (Your choice of trick)
Continue To set up environments so your puppy easily learns the right response.
About practicing behaviours in lots of different situations!
To teach your puppy house rules and ‘polite’ behaviours

Your puppy should start to learn…

To be relaxed with an increasing volume and range of noises
Some “tricks”!
Continue How to walk nicely on the lead in any situation
To get even better at walking on a loose lead and coming back to you whatever is going on!
To wait politely before going through a doorway

Week Five: Puppy Classes

The humans will…

Recap the key messages that have been covered in the previous weeks, and talk about how these skills can be taken forward and developed to make sure your puppy continues to learn as he gets older.
Use some time in week 5 to check that you are not having any problems with your puppy so we can give you some more guidance on this if needed.

Your puppy should start to learn…

How to wean your puppy off only working for treats.
The importance of keeping your puppy’s mind busy.
Week 5 will be graduation week for you and your puppy, you will receive a certificate of attendance from us.

RSPCA Dog Academy 

We are very excited to announce that we are starting The Dog Academy from Monday 4th Feb, classes are as follows;

Puppy Training (5 weeks) Mondays 17:00 – 18:00 @ £35 per dog

Adult Dog Training (5 weeks) Sundays 16:00 – 17:00 @ £35 per dog

Dog Socialising One Saturday a month at 14:00 @ £5 per dog

Each session will aim to be approximately 30-40mins teaching with 10-20mins of practice and Q&A with the trainers. Both humans and canines will receive homework each week relating to what was learnt in class, to get the best out of your canine friend we strongly recommend that you do the homework. Children under the age of 16 are not permitted to attend the training classes. We advise only 1 or 2 adults per dog and each class will have a maximum of 6 dogs.

If you and your pooch would be interested in attending one of our block bookings please click on the button below and we will be in touch with you ASAP. Alternatively, you can call the centre on 0113 253 6952 or email info@rspcaleedsandwakefield.org.uk for more details.