All Dog Training Should be Fun!

I had a message last week from someone who had attended one of our seminars. She had expressed an interest in one of our upcoming Scent Detection workshops but was worried about bringing her dog because she felt she would be a little excitable around other dog’s and maybe wouldn’t settle very well. She was having second thoughts about coming at all as she had been to a dog training class in the past and been embarrassed by the trainer who had said her puppy wasn’t well trained enough!

I was quite shocked at this and I reassured her that I was certain she and her dog would be fine. It made me wonder if there were others who had a bad experience that was putting them off trying something new. We tend to use whatever a dog is motivated by to get them to find whatever ‘scent’ we are teaching them to locate, so food or toys are the most common motivators. The Cocker she owned loved a tennis ball so I explained we would use that to motivate her to find the scent and after a while she would be so focused on the scent work exercises that she wouldn’t even notice the other dogs were there. Most importantly both she and the dog would have great fun along the way.

If your dog loves interacting with an old sock or glove or any kind of resource we could describe as a toy then we can turn your dog into a great search dog. We can develop this into a party trick such as find my keys. The main thing is you are interacting with your dog through play. This will build and strengthen the bond between you and your dog and he will look to you more for entertainment. Dogs themselves are naturally very playful so you will find they will bring you out of your shell, improve your confidence and teach you a lot about yourself too.

When we are training dog to do anything we say always make it fun, don’t do too much, finish on a good note and leave the dog wanting more.

Well believe it or not this applies to humans too! Think about a day you tried something different in the last five years. Whether it was with your family or friends or even an activity day at work. I bet if you enjoyed the day it still brings a smile to your face now and any mistakes you made are just laughed off because it was fun and enjoyable.

We all learn better when the learning is made fun and without fear any of getting wrong if we make a mistake.

It’s nice to be able to take away some exercises you can practise at home with your dog and we always aim to do that. The main thing though is that you and your dog have enjoyed yourselves, you have bonded and learned the beginning of a new skill you can share with your dog. And most importantly you enjoyed the day SO much you would want to seek out new activities for you an your dog to learn sometime in the future

On our previous scent courses we have had a Cocker and her owner track and find someone over half a mile through different terrain. On another day we taught a pug to indicate on truffle scent, but in many ways the scent work is secondary and the main thing we want is for the dog owner to both have FUN!

Our motto is Play Together, Stay Together and we want to help all the dogs and owners who may need a bit of help to be able to do just that.

If you would like to learn more about how you can have a better bond with your dog and have a bloody great time doing it then check out our upcoming scent work, tracking and other training days below.

Pack Leader Dog Adventures Training Days




             Some pictures from our recent Dog Adventure Days


Pack Leader Dog Adventure Training Days are ran by David Davies and Dom Hodgson.

Dom Hodgson has run Pack Leader Dog Adventures, a very popular dog adventure and training business based in Sunderland since November 2011. He loves working in the great outdoors and loves it even more if there are dogs involved! The Pack Leader Dog Adventures Store is the latest extension to the business. Always keen to give advice and try new products to help with the adventure business Dom thought he was in an ideal position to sell and promote the things his and his clients dogs love the most.

Dom can be contacted at and positively welcomes feedback.

David Davies (bipdt, cfba, GoDT (master trainer)) has over 20 years experience running his own dog training business David Davies Dog Training.  He now helps through his training and behaviour sessions at his home in Hurworth. Dave also teaches internationally. He loves helping dogs and their owners enjoy a better relationship through training and having fun. If you would like to book a consultation with Dave please phone 01325 722339  or email

Dom Hodgson
Dom Hodgson


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