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Interview with the Dog Learning Zone

Tell us a bit about your business?

Dog Learning Zone is a friendly, professional dog training, behaviour and canine therapeutic care centre. It offers high quality puppy and adult dog training classes, 1-1 lessons, agility training, behaviour improvement and canine Tellington Touch. Each of our Instructors is a fully qualified professional with many years experience training puppies and adult dogs using positive, motivational methods.

 

What is the history of Dog Learning Zone?

After spending many years training my own and friends’ dogs as a hobby, I decided to turn my love for dogs into career. I started Dog Learning Zone in 2008 with an ethos for kind, compassionate dog training and behaviour work. In 2009 I was joined by friend and colleague Linda Cooper which enabled us to expand our services into canine therapeutic care. Since then we have been joined by Kirsten Cutler and Susan Smith and have further expanded to offer agility training and a comprehensive canine behavioural service.

 

What do you most enjoy about working in dog training and behaviour?

Every single day is different. Really our job is about training people, not dogs! We love facilitating owners to take control, helping them to build confidence in their handling skills and, most of all, building a strong partnership and having some FUN with their dogs. It is an absolute joy to see the end result – a beautifully behaved dog that has become a well- mannered member of society.

 

How do you set yourself apart from other dog trainers and behaviourists?

We are all fully qualified, professional dog trainers and behaviourists. We use the very latest, progressive training and behaviour techniques – many that are pioneered in the U.S. All our training is positive and motivational, both for owners and dogs. As well as training and behaviour work we offer educational and fun events throughout the year. We hold regular group dog walks which are a great way to help build a dog’s social skills in a relaxed and informal way – and a great way for the owners to socialise and make new friends too!

 

What costs are involved for your services?

Our group classes cost £8.50 per week, our behaviour work varies dependent on the level of work involved, whilst some of our fun workshops cost between £35 to £40 for a half-day. Our group walks are free to Dog Learning Zone members – membership is just a one-off payment of £10 which lasts for the dog’s life time.

 

What is selling well for you at the moment?

Our puppy classes are always popular – they include a mix of practical, educational and fun training for puppies and young dogs as well as lots of socialisation and teaching good manners. Our agility classes are hugely popular and we have people coming to us from all over East Anglia for behaviour work.

 

What is special about your organisation that makes your service different?

As well as general behaviour work, we specialise in working with dogs that are reactive to other dogs or people. We are one of the few training centres in the UK offering specialist small group work for reactive dogs, for which the environment of a traditionally structured training class is unsuitable. Each of our four Instructors has worked long and hard to gain the necessary qualifications, skills, knowledge and experience to enable us to help owners with their dogs. We provide an excellent support service to our clients, both during their work with us and afterwards.

 

What should customers look for when choosing a dog trainer or behaviourist?

The dog training and behaviour industry is in the process of becoming regulated, which is long overdue in our view. At the moment anybody can set themselves up and call themselves a trainer or behaviourist. When researching people should always look for trainers or behaviourists that are fully qualified, experienced, that they are a member of a professional body and using methods that the owner is happy with. You can ask to go and see a training class before you join.

 

Do you have any tips for anyone wanting to be a dog trainer or behaviourist?

It is hard work but very rewarding. When looking for educational bodies to gain your qualifications make sure you find one that offers both theory and practical studies.

 

What are your plans for the future?

To expand our behaviour work, especially our work with reactive dogs.

 

Do you currently have any offers on?

We always offer discounted rates for events to our members.

 

For further information about Dog Learning Zone please go to http://www.doglearningzone.co.uk

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