Pebzz spent an evening in the company of Bethany, dog trainer and behaviour consultant, and owner of Bonny Dog Behaviour, attending her classes for puppies and then rescues in Hampton, Surrey. Ably assisted by Lidja and Sorrel, we were keen to understand what makes these classes stand out from the others?
Bethany is a full member of both the PPG (Pet Professional Guild) the IMDT (Institute of Modern Dog Trainers) and holds further accreditation with the OCN (Open College Network) in ‘Principles of Dog Training and Behaviour LIII’, as well as undergoing a 1 year mentorship with Dave Brice - the head behaviourist of The IMDTB (Institute of Modern Dog Trainers and Behaviourists). After working in rescue for over 5 years Bethany has worked with dogs of all ages, breeds, sizes and abilities. She prides herself on using the most ethical and force free methods with a focus on positively reinforced training and behaviour.
The puppy class ran from 6.30pm with the rescue class starting at 7.45pm. Some regulars were on holiday from the puppy class but we were still greatly entertained by Duchess the Dachshund, Eva the Scotty and Herbie the French Bulldog. Having made progress in previous weeks, the focus this week was on stay and call amongst other fun training games.
The most noticeable aspect from the off was a sense of training structure but with individuality provided for each puppy - not an easy thing to pull off! Bethany's approach is to be hands off, supportive and calm - making each owner feel empowered to learn, without any pressure, at their own pace. In an atmosphere where dogs are allowed to be dogs, to learn and play, you could see a bond of friendship between the owners. I spoke to them during a break and they genuinely loved coming.......their puppy's knowing what fun was coming, even when passing the venue during the day and wanting to come in! Some owners had tried other classes in the local area before, however all of the owners were glad to have found Bethany and would not go anywhere else now.
The rescue dog class was certainly all inclusive with seven different breeds including a Lurcher, Staffordshire and various mongrels including a Romanian female with only three legs! As with the puppies, the style and approach was the same and the atmosphere was calm, relaxed with focused training mixed with fun. The games were kept varied to maintain interest whilst still learning - this weeks focus being on improving distance and duration from the owner. As with the puppy class there is also a focus on the educational side with an explanation on 'How dogs learn'.
Some quotes from dog owners who have attended the classes follow:
'Lovely relaxed setting, learning and socialising with other dogs and owners'.
'The settle has helped the most with getting her to calm down during journeys in the car'.
'Interactive teaching as well as one to one teaching'.
'It's a great environment to learn and socialise'
'Bethany has been amazing start to finish, Eva has loved her time at class. Thank you so much!'
'I most enjoyed learning a wide range of commands and having the opportunity to meet other dogs in a calm environment'.
'Friendly, informal atmosphere. Trainers happy to talk and help you with individual queries'.
So if you want someone so much more than just a dog 'trainer' then Pebzz highly recommends Bethany and Bonny Dog Behaviour. A structured and progressive method of learning that truly accommodates ALL types of dogs in an atmosphere that is relaxed and fun for owner and dog!
Visit Bonny Dog Behaviour at www.bonnydogbehaviour.com