Puppy Head Start

COVID-19 updated: One-to-one in person training is available with social distancing see below for details.

It’s never too early to start training. We’ll show you how to get it right the first time and prevent the bad habits.

This booking is for two sessions.

After booking, Cathy will contact you to arrange a date/time to suit you for the first session.


Rocket golden cocker spanial 6month old puppy in puppy class
Puppy Head Start


In Person training

We are excited to announce that we can now offer in person one-to-one training. These can be either in your garden or outside with social distancing guidelines put into place. These are the measures we will be putting in place during one-to-one sessions:

  • Bring your own equipment such as leads, water and water bowls, treats, mats or beds.
  • Social distancing rules must be observed throughout every activity. This is a 2 metre distance between each individual.
  • 4 members of our family members can join in the session.
  • If you or anyone in your household has symptoms the session will be rescheduled for a later date.
  • Wash hands for twenty seconds before and after sessions.

You brought your new puppy home, you knew it was not going to be easy, but you were not expecting this much drama. Your puppy is now causing chaos, stealing your shoes, chewing everything, running around biting your ankles, unable to settle on their own, getting overexcited and peeing on the rug!

This doesn’t mean that they’re bad pups; it just means that we need to show them how to interact with our world.

That’s what one-to-one sessions are for! A focussed session of this sort can help to address specific problem behaviours. There are many puppy problems we can help you with such as:

  • Biting and nipping everyone and everything
  • Toileting in the house
  • Unable to settle
  • Chewing
  • Stealing items
  • And so much more
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My puppy is a bit older, can we still have puppy training?

brown labrador puppy playing impluse control game

It is so easy to let our young puppies get away with so much more than an adult dog, after all you just really want to build a strong relationship with them. So you may have ‘spoiled’ your puppy, let them get away with jumping all over everyone and allowing them to greet every person and dog you encountered.

However now you may be seeing problem behaviours such as barking on lead if they are not allowed to say hi to the other dog, maybe they are still jumping all over guests and children even though they are now much bigger, or not listening when you call them back.

Or perhaps you rescued an older puppy that did not have any previous training.

Don’t worry, it’s never too late to improve our puppy’s behaviour and turn those struggles into strengths. With the games based training we can teach dogs and puppies of all ages the key life skills that were missing at the start.

Not only that, our training technique will actually strengthen your relationship with your puppy!

Wherever you’re starting from, we’ll get the ball rolling – and, with a little patience, we’ll build real, positive changes in your dog’s behaviour.

The one-to-one training sessions can be in the comfort of your own home, or when necessary, outside in your local area. We will work on the training games that focus on improving the key underlying struggles.

cathy with three border collie puppies 2

Socialisation: How to do it right.

We have been told by many that when you get a puppy, you need to meet hundreds of dogs, people, children, babies, cows, horses, bikes, trains, cars, pushchairs, walking sticks, men with beards, visit hundreds of different new environments……..the list goes on and on!

However, this can not only be overwhelming for you as an owner but also for your puppy!

It can cause more harm than good, in some cases your pup will end up being nervous of these things, and in other cases they learn that they get to meet everyone and everything and become extremely frustrated if they are not allowed.

We want to build resilience, and the ability to bounce back from things that might startle or worry them, but we don’t want to over do it so they become fearful. Be choosy with your puppy’s greetings and never overwhelm them. Aim to keep it a positive outcome and sometimes less is more.

We can show you how to grow your puppy’s confidence so they are cool, calm and collected in the face of novelty and new situations. We can never prepare them for every single encounter they may face in their lives but we can shape their brains to make great choices in the face of novelty and distractions.

The power of optimism!

To create an optimistic dog, it really can be quite simple. Along with the fab training games, you can use life as it happens! You don’t need to go looking for novelty; real life should provide plenty of it. In some cases, you might want to actually restrict the amount of novelty – as too much of it can be counter-productive.

Pair anything novel, anything strange or a new person, experience, environment with something calm and positive like a piece of their food. Ditch the food bowl so you have plenty of their daily food to grow optimism and calmness!

At Horton Dogs, we teach puppies and dogs to be comfortable around other dogs while still being able to focus on their owners when called for. This is where group classes work wonders – they provide plenty of novelty, and they help to reinforce that dogs don’t have to interact with everything around them – they can have fun with their owners instead!

cathy with sunshine working cocker spaniel dog at devon dogs