Next week we start our new puppy foundation course.

It’s all very exciting.

While I know the names of those attending that is all I know until they arrive.

It’s a big night for both owners and pups and I shall endeavour to make it as relaxed as possible.

First nights can be a little daunting as no one quite knows what to expect but it’s very important for the handlers to remain calm.

The pups will need to draw confidence from their owners and the calmer the handler...the calmer the dog.

In can be a bit chaotic at first but within two or three weeks there will be a marked improvement which will be directly related to the growing confidence of the owners.

After eight weeks, the change in both owners and dogs is always remarkable.

Like children attending school for the first time the puppies will be excited and nervous. The degree to which this affects their behaviour is entirely down to the calmness of their owners.

It will be a busy night for all my team but we have many years of experience and will all be on hand to help every puppy deal with their new environment.

It’s not unusual to see all the pups sitting or lying down quietly by their handlers at the end of the first lesson.

Our objective is to create quiet, calm behaviour as the default mode in all the dogs.

We start each exercise by having the pups in a calm state of mind. Just like children, overexcited boisterous dogs are incapable of taking anything in and learn nothing until they settle down.

I love teaching young puppies (and their owners).

It’s immensely rewarding when someone in the street stops me to show off their well-behaved adult dog and tells me they started life in my puppy class.

By Vic Barlow, The Dogfather

You can contact Vic by email at or by text at 07590 560012.