FAQs

Everyone Has Questions…
Here are some of our most asked.

FAQ

Hopefully you’ll find the answers to any of your questions below. If there’s anything else you’d like to ask please don’t hesitate to email us.

Useful Downloads:

What should I bring to my first lesson?
Do I need to wear any special clothing?

It’s possible you might get wet or muddy while training so please dress accordingly, depending on the lovely British weather. You might also be doing some running and other activities so make sure your clothing is comfortable for you.

Regarding footwear – try to wear some trainers or walking shoes that have grip in case the grass outside is wet.  Alternatively it may be very hot, so please dress accordingly and make sure you bring something to cover your crate, sun umbrella, cover etc.

How do I get to East Bowerland Farm and where do I park?

From Exeter: join the M5 southbound from Exeter, at Moto services roundabout, and then take the slip road onto A30 towards Okehampton and Bodmin. Follow from ***

From M5 southbound: pass junction 30 and 31 at Exeter and then take the slip road onto the A30 towards Okehampton and Bodmin. Follow from ***

From A38 / A380 northbound: head towards Exeter, take the exit for A30 Okehampton and Bodmin, before you reach Exeter. Follow from *** 

*** Travel along the A30 for approximately 25-30mins. Do NOT leave at the Okehampton exit, but stay on the A30 until the next exit, for ‘Sourton, Bridestowe, Hatherleigh’. Exit here, and stay in the right hand lane down to the T junction. Turn right, and travel under the A30 and along this road for approx 1mile. At a small crossroads turn left, signed Bowerland (opposite sign for Meldon). This is only a small turning, please kept your eye out for it.

Travel down the single track, tree-lined lane and East Bowerland farm is the first farm on the right hand side. Drive into the car park where you will see the large training arena and park up. DO NOT enter the training arena until your trainer has invited you, instead leave your dog in the car and wait for your trainer to come and get you (there may be a Naughty But Nice dog having training).

What sort of treats should I bring for my dog?

As our training is positive reward based we use lots of treats and toys to reward our dogs.

Please refer to the instructions in the Welcome to Bowerland document. Please see our Tuesday Treats blog posts for exciting tasty recipes.

Do I need to bring any toys?

Yes please!! Bring a couple of different toys for your dog. If they have a favourite toy, bring it along, plus some others.

If it doesn’t play with toys but quite likes the feather duster or old socks for example – bring that along too!! Anything that will encourage your dog to play! It doesn’t matter what it is.

If possible, bring a toy that can be thrown like a ball, and a toy that can be tugged with, like a soft toy, a fleecy toy or a sheepskin type toy.

Check out www.tug-e-nuff.co.uk for motivational, fun and high quality toys specifically designed for dog training.

What Collar and Lead should I bring?

Please bring your dog to classes on a flat collar (no choke collars please), and a standard lead (or a double lead if you have one).

Please do not bring extendable leads. These are too clumsy and heavy to be used in class.

If your dog wears a head collar we welcome these in our classes (see www.tug-e-nuff.co.uk for Gentle Leader head collars, as well as long lines).

If you have a light long line / puppy line, it might be useful to bring one of these too.

How many other dogs will be in my class?

The number of dogs in our Life Skills and Agility classes is usually between 6 and 8.

We find this is the best number of dogs for the space we have, and ensures our instructors can give maximum attention to all of the customers in the class this way.

Do you have any rules for your classes that I should know about?

Please refer to the ‘On Arrival at East Bowerland Farm’ section of our Welcome to Bowerland document.

Does my dog need to have basic obedience skills before I come to train with you?

No, not necessarily. If your dog has basic skills like sit, down, wait this is great and most dogs do know these to varying degrees, but if you don’t, it’s absolutely fine. That’s probably why you are coming to training classes, right?!

If you are joining our Introductory Welcome Package, we will cover all of the basic obedience skills, plus many, many more. This will help you to develop a well behaved happy pet.

If your dog has a tendency to be worried, nervous, aggressive or reactive we can help you work on this. As part of your Introductory Welcome Package you will have the opportunity to discuss any issues or worries with your trainer in your 1-2-1 session.

Can I come to training classes if my dog is naughty or doesn’t always like other dogs?

We specialise in helping Naughty But Nice dogs. Take a look at the information on our Naughty But Nice section.

What training should I start with?

Before you start training in any dog sport it is best to get your dog checked by your vet to ensure it is fit and well enough.

We recommend that ALL new customers to Devon Dogs start by joining our Introductory Welcome Package. Within this programme you will learn many foundation skills plus much, much more to help you develop a happy, well mannered pet.

How do I start Agility?

Before you start training in any dog sport it is best to get your dog checked by your vet to ensure it is fit and well enough.

As agility is all based around a solid foundation of obedience and ground skills we recommend new customers to Devon Dogs to join our Introductory Welcome Package.

Once you have completed your Introductory Welcome Package your trainer will be able to advise you on which Agility class would be best for you to join. When you do then join the Agility class you will already have a good foundation understanding, and hopefully have a focused and work-oriented dog by then.

We will then help you build on these newly-learnt foundation skills and develop further agility-specific skills and behaviours.

Whether you think you would just like to do agility for fun and fitness, or are aiming to compete in Agility with your dog, our training team at Devon Dogs will be able to teach you all the skills you need to be successful.

What can I expect from my first class?

In your first class you might well receive lots and lots of information that you think makes your mind boggle as it may well all be completely new to you, but hopefully you will come away feeling inspired to learn more and to work with your dog to achieve a great working relationship in class and in life generally.

We would never put you into a class where you feel out of your depth but hopefully, as most of the classes are mixed ability, you will be able to look around and watch other dogs and handlers and see behaviours and activities that you want to have a go at, or be as good at. You will then be inspired to keep working to achieve these goals.

We will set you various tasks to work on during the lesson, and then set you homework of things we would like you to keep working on during the week until your next lesson.

Who will be my trainer?

We have a unique team of trainers at Devon Dogs who teach a variety of classes and workshops. The team offers a range of experience and styles to suit your every need.

All of the members of the Devon Dogs training team are committed to helping you work towards creating a brilliant relationship with your dog, whether that’s through life skills or agility, and they are all enthusiastic, approachable, knowledgeable and dedicated instructors.

How old does my puppy need to be to come to training classes?

Our Introductory Welcome Package is a great place to start your new puppy’s training and cover all of the skills and exercises you will need to bring up a well balanced, well behaved family member. We believe that once a dog is old enough to come home with you, it’s old enough to start training and learning those key foundation skills (check with your vet as soon as your dog has had its vaccinations).

Where are your classes based?

Our regular weekly Agility and Life skills classes are held at our headquarters in Okehampton at East Bowerland Farm, EX20 4LZ, where we have a very large indoor training barn which is great for all weather training.

For directions please see our Welcome to Bowerland document.

Where can I read about other agility training events you have going on?

A good place to read about our latest news is on our Facebook page. This is updated regularly with news of any up and coming events, guest trainers, exciting news, changes, club competition results and more and is a good place to keep up to date with Devon Dogs.

We also produce a monthly Newsletter which is packed full of news, event info, congratulations, changes and offers and is definitely worth keeping an eye out for. Sign up to be included in the mailing.

We also post weekly updates on our Devon Dogs blog page.

To keep up to date on other workshops, classes and events we are hosting please look at our Events page.

When / why would you suggest I have a 1-2-1 lesson?

There are many reasons why a 1-2-1 lesson would suit you. Please check our 1-2-1 page to see more information.

How do I progress with my training at Devon Dogs?

We recommend that you begin with our Introductory Welcome Package which will link into regular weekly classes. From life skills to agility and other sports training, there is a wide range of classes and events available for you. If you have a Naughty But Nice dog there are lots of things we can do to help.

Our trainers will make suggestions for you regarding progression and there are plenty of other workshops or courses that would suit you and your dog specifically. There is never any pressure but we like to keep our customers progressing and moving upwards if they are interested.

We love to keep our customers moving forward, expanding their knowledge and building on their experience as their passion for dog training grows.