05 November, 2013

Our latest puppy graduates

As a KC listed Club, our pups all go through the Puppy Foundation scheme , not only does this help with getting the pups the very best start in life, but we also share training tips with their owners, on a variety of topics from house training, to how diet affects behaviour & much more.
Most of our pups carry on training with us after completing the course & we love to see them grow & learn.

As a club we know the importance & benefit of force free training methods & fully promote the use of motivation rather than domination techniques. Hence the happy & relaxed pups & owners seen below.


03 October, 2013

December workshops with Nando Brown

We are very pleased to be welcoming Nando Brown from In The Dog House back in December.

This time we will be hosting not one, but two workshops.

Our venue is Heathrow Special Needs Farm
Where we have a 18.5mtr x 90mtr covered riding arena. With adjacent parking
The farm is located right next door to Heathrow Airport (so expect some noise !!!)
We have full kitchen facilities, microwave etc for breaks
Tea,Coffee  & nibbles included, please bring lunch. 

Both events are suitable for both novice & the more experienced handlers & dogs ...all ages welcome.

Places are limited ...so book today to avoid disappointment.

Handler places per day £75      Spectator £40
£10 discount if booking both days.
To book please email
Call Lorraine on 01753 572192 for further details

Friday December 6th  ~  Scent Workshop
Handler Spaces are sold out... Spectator places going fast !!

Harness the power of your dogs biggest asset!
The art and practice of nose work has now reached dogs of all shapes and sizes and has made basic search dog skills available to companion dogs, creating a new urban sport arena for dog enthusiasts.
This is an amazing way to mentally stimulate your dog, why walk in the rain when you can tire your dog out with little effort!

Saturday December 7th ~ Trick Training WorkshopHandler Spaces are sold out... Spectator places going fast !!

Trick training is a fabulous way of building a partnership with your dog.A dog that does tricks will impress your family & friends & dogs just love showing off their new found skills.The possibilities are endless, all you need is enthusiasm, a sense of humour & a good  supply of treats.Uber Dude Certification available on the day
There will be an opportunity to have your hard work assessed on the day and maybe even walk away with a certificate. Don’t worry if you think you might need more time as it is possible to be assessed by video submission too!

Dogs which need space are most welcome (as long as they wont get stressed) We have lots of room.
We just ask that you pop a yellow ribbon on their collar, so others are aware
See more about Space Dogs

27 September, 2013

P.A.T the dog....part 1....new pup in the home

Positive association training, or PAT for short, is by far one of the most important things to understand as an owner.....whatever the age, or history of your pet.

The aim of PAT is managing new experiences, meeting, visits to new places etc.... so they create no fear whatsoever. Just the opposite in fact, they are seen as fun & rewarding.
Take your average puppy for instance, raised (we would hope) with his mother & littermates, in a safe warm environment. He wants for nothing & becomes used to his familiar surroundings.
A good breeder will get each pup used to being handled & spend time with each individual, so they get used to being apart from their littermates.

Pups usually go off to their new homes at 8-9 weeks old, unfortunately this period is also when they start to go through a fear period. Instead of being bold with their encounters, they can develop a fear  of people , things & places. This is perfectly normal development & with good management & a little thought & preparation , it shouldn't cause any problems at all.

Put yourself in a pups shoes (yes, I do realise they don't wear shoes as a rule... !!!)... there you are, tucked up with Mum & your Brothers & Sisters & somebody reaches over & picks you up.
That's ok , you're used to being picked up, fed treats & cuddled.
But wait a minute, who are these people & where are they taking me ?

The pup arrives at your home, full of lovely things you've bought for him, new toys, new bed,new bowls, new collar & so the list goes on.
But, to your new pup,he's with strangers, in a new place, full of strange things, NOTHING is familiar & there's no Mum & siblings to offer comfort.
At bedtime the lights go out & he does the only thing he knows how, he cries.
This too is normal.......but what can we do to make it easier ?

The 1st thing is try & visit the pup as often as you can before bringing him home. Then you will be familiar to him.
Leave a few blankets, so they can pick up familiar scent, maybe a teddy too.
Prepare your home,  have pups bed or crate set in a quiet area of the home. Think about where it's sited in terms of easy access to the garden (for house training)
When you bring your pup home place the items with familiar scent in pups bed/crate.
I always feed pups in their crate, this makes it a positive/rewarding place to be thus forming a positive association.
A stuffed puppy kong at bedtime is also comforting, as is a nightlight, radio at low volume, cuddly toy with familiar scent(Takes the place of littermates) , some people also use a heat source & ticking clock (which replicates a heartbeat) Whatever you use, you are trying to create  a positive 1st night in his new home.

Don't forget, a puppy with a full tum  will sleep better BUT be prepared for toilet trips throughout the night. Choose a spot in your garden, carry pup there & wait.......... & wait............... & wait !!!
As soon as puppy performs, lavish on the praise.
You may feel a bit silly at 3am, but it will be worth it & again is forming a positive association.
You'll soon see a pattern forming between meal times, sleeping & play times & the need to toilet, the trick is to be one step ahead & ensure pup is in his spot in time.

To be continued............

24 September, 2013

Remember, remember.............

Firework season will be upon us before we know it.
Nov 5th
Diwali...Nov 7th
New Years Eve
Plus all the weekends inbetween , if last year is anything to go by.

Some dogs get really worried by the noise, smells & flashes.... but with a little preparation & effort on your part, it can be a lot easier for them.
If you have a puppy, or young dog, with no prior experience of fireworks, you have a blank canvas with which to work.
Your dog can be taught that fireworks are a positive, rewarding thing !!!

Ensure your dog is walked before dusk.
Draw the curtains earlier.
Raise the volume on TV's & radios slightly.
Pop the heating up a wee bit higher.
Feed a meal higher in carbs....it has the effect of us eating a heavy meal & just wanting to snooze. (Sweet potato is ideal for this, boiled & mashed, it's a natural calmer)
Try & keep everything as normal as possible.

Whenever I have a pup or young dog, at the 1st sound of fireworks I start a training session indoors, loads of treats, lots of praise, doing things the dog knows well (this isn't the time to try & teach a new behaviour)

If your dog stops & listens, that's completely normal (Don't forget their hearing is incredibly sensitive)
If they want to run off & hide, let them.
If they want to go outside & watch, let them, as long as it's safe for them & they are free to come back in (Go outside with them)

All dogs react differently !!

Older dogs that may have been ok all their lives, can react as they get older. It's because of changes in their hearing. They lose mid range ability & only hear really high, or really low sounds (Making fireworks & thunderstorms more audible.)

The following link has a Dogs & FIreworks guide, plus a free MP3 of fireworks sounds, which you can use to accustom your dog to the noises before the firework season starts.


21 September, 2013

When is my dog "trained" ?

  I get to meet most people the first time in good circumstances, they call me all excited, having just brought their puppy home (or even better , before they bring him/her home). They want to start off training on the right foot, with supervised socialisation & training in a safe environment.
Week by week I see progress, sharing in their achievements & helping out with fresh ideas & encouragement if things go a bit off track (Which they always do, it's perfectly normal !!)
Progress varies tremendously as the pups grow, dependant on many factors, breed, home environment, owner dedication etc, but everyone finishes the puppy course with the basics under their belt.
This is when one of 2 things happens, the owner gets the training bug & we see them week after week, or, the owner is happy that their dog is "trained" & we never see them again.

This week I've had a couple of calls, from people with older pups, wanting help.
They've all attended puppy classes elsewhere & when the course has ended not enrolled for more classes, as they were happy with what they'd been taught.
HOWEVER, 6 months down the line, their now adolescent dog is much less than the well behaved dog it once was. They are too embarrassed to return to the classes they first attended, as they feel like they failed, so are seeking to join us at K9 Capers.
This got me thinking, I wonder who OUR former puppy attendees & their owners will turn to if they hit problems? I'd like to think they are confident they can come back & carry on their training, with us.

The answer to the question posed in the title?

A dog is never trained, they are constantly learning behaviours & these can be unwanted ones , as well as good ones. 

Every new situation your dog finds itself in is a new learning experience & how YOU handle it will make all the difference.
Training's not a race to see who can teach the most, the quickest.
It's all about repetition, in various locations , with varying distractions.
Puppy owners often tell me; "Oh, he/she does it at home...just not here" !!!
The whole point of the class , is having the opportunity to test what you teach at home, in an environment with managed distractions.
These basic exercises  ,look,settle,sit,stand,down,wait & come (along with their associated rewards of course) are the foundations on which you can build all your dogs future behaviours ....rush them & you'll have a wobbly, unsafe future. Take your time & you'll have a good strong base on which to build.

09 June, 2013

August 4th . Fun Trick Training Workshop, With Guest Trainer Nando Brown

We are very excited to announce a Fun Trick Training Workshop to be held on August 4th 2013, with guest trainer Nando Brown.

Nando is Head Trainer for ‘In The Doghouse’ in Spain. Nando is a certified pet dog trainer, clicker trainer, trick dog instructor and member of the Pet Professional Guild. Nando writes for various publications and hosts the ‘In The Doghouse’ Pet Show on iTalkFM every Sunday evening.Trick training is a fabulous way of building a partnership with your dog.
A dog that does tricks will impress your family & friends & dogs just love showing off their new found skills.

The possibilities are endless, all you need is enthusiasm, a sense of humour & a good  supply of treats. A mat/bed for your dog to settle on would also be handy.

This workshop is suitable for all ages & abilities (Our venue is wheel chair friendly) ...all we is ask that your dog is happy to be in close proximity to other dogs.
A limited number of both handler & spectator places are available.

Handler £75 Spectator £35* (A discount will be applied to K9 Capers DTC members)

Uber Dude Certification available on the day
There will be an opportunity to have your hard work assessed on the day and maybe even walk away with a certificate. Don’t worry if you think you might need more time as it is possible to be assessed by video submission too!

To book or ask any questions please email 
or call Lorraine on- 01753 572192

*To include Light Refreshments....please bring a packed lunch or take advantage of the excellent , Dog Friendly tea rooms on  site.  

15 May, 2013

Caveat emptor

You research before buying a car or major electrical appliance.
You research before going on holiday, or before booking flights.
If there are problems with any of the above you would complain & tell everyone about the poor service you'd received , vote with your feet & never use or recommend the service to anyone.

In business reputation is everything & you should strive to give good service to ensure customer satisfaction.

In recent months we've had numerous calls from people looking for help with their dogs (Not unusual as we're a dog  training club) But, what links all these people is their experience with "Puppy Parties".

I've had owners in tears on the phone, recounting their experiences.
Pups being "pinned" having water sprayed in their faces, shouted at etc & to make it worse in 100% of these cases this has happened at the same establishment.

You research before choosing schools for your children & (Hopefully) have done your research before choosing your pup.....why would you allow this harsh handling & use of outdated methods?

When questioned the instructor has told the owners that these methods work & "cure" bad behaviour.
Luckily most owners walk away (losing all the money they've paid up front) & seek out an enlightened, force free approach,  based on fun, not fear and,  in the majority of cases, no lasting harm  done. But sadly some pups will carry the experience with them into adulthood.

If you're reading this & thinking about enrolling in any type of training classes ,PLEASE go along & watch one or two. Ensure both dogs & handlers look happy & relaxed, speak to class members & ask the instructors questions about their methods (a reputable club will invite you along anyway & will probably offer you a free session too) if you feel in the slightest bit uncomfortable.....walk away.

02 April, 2013

A very sad story

Getting your 1st puppy should be a fun  time, despite the sleepless nights & puddles.
For Adam & Emma however the fun was shortlived.
Their puppy, Dudley, came via Preloved. A product of puppy farming, where the "breeders" breed solely for money, not caring for the physical or mental welfare of the pups,or their parents.
Adam & Sarah learnt a very hard &  sad lesson, unfortunately it was too late for little Dudley. They don't  want others to perpetuate this cruel trade.

Please read Dudleys Tail & spread the word....together we can educate unsuspecting people & stamp out this vile trade. 

29 March, 2013

I'm sure many of you have read THIS ARTICLEAnother article written before all the facts are known.

Over & over again we read "There is no such thing as a bad dog – just a bad owner" It's not true, the owner is the person in charge of the dog NOW, they might be a great owner, but
something a previous owner has done has messed up the dog in some way.
  Again I say it, get to know your rescue dog BEFORE letting it run free, BEFORE leaving it with your child, other dogs, friends & family , in the home. (even then I would NEVER leave a child or vulnerable adult alone with a dog)
  A rescue dog will very often have a complete change in demeanour, once settled in a new home.
I'm not saying any of the above is a factor in this recent case, but everyone involved in a dogs life shapes their behaviour.
I'm constantly in touch with rescue dog owners who are seeking help for unwanted behaviours. They are embarrassed at their dogs reactions to other dogs, cars, people, objects......but they (the owner)are not to blame for their dogs behaviour !

14 March, 2013

Pet Theft Awareness Week

Pet Theft Awareness Week runs from March 14th - 21st
Visit the website for further details

04 March, 2013

Congratulations to

...............Holly,  Tanus & Finlay,on gaining their Puppy Foundation awards today
Please take a look at the puppy class page for a new video showing how  we train & reward

26 February, 2013

I'm often asked why we use copious amounts of treats during our training sessions.
Here's a short video explaining exactly that, in a clear, concise manner.
Most dogs are motivated by food & it's not the quantity you use (you can get great results with the smallest amounts) but the quality....the smellier the better. Dogs have a highly developed sense of smell & you can harness that & use it with very little effort.
When learning a new exercise we use more treats, marking every step in the right direction. Our dogs soon learn that repeating the behaviour brings only good things & will gradually get more proficient....however this doesn't mean we can withdraw the treats, we can withhold it 'til the exercise is over, but the reward still has to be given. .... and if the exercise was done REALLY well , why not reward with bonus treats for a job well done ?
Please check out our resources section, for more great videos & articles & remember, any questions just ask .

07 January, 2013

Great start to the New Year

It was lovely to see so many new faces yesterday, as well as the return of many familiar ones.
We pride ourselves on being a friendly club, with members supporting each other & enjoying light hearted competition.
It's very easy to become disheartened with our training, when our dog is "ignoring" us barking,& jumping around, whilst the others are "perfect angels"...please persevere. Once YOU understand what makes YOUR dog tick, you can build on it & accomplish your goals.
Dogs, like us, learn things differently. The method that works for one, may not for another.
As a club we can work together & find what works best for you.

Our aim is to end each class with smiling faces & wagging tails !