Submitted by Steve on 20:37, 13th Apr, 2017 | 0

Earlier this year GSPCA staff Seb Goman and Teresa Mourant spent over 6 weeks volunteering to train to complete their Level 1 as a Puppy Assistant at the Animal Shelter.

To complete their level 1 they had to -

  • Observe a 6 week Puppy Training Course
  • Have an understanding of why 'punishment doesn't work'
  • Have an awareness of how stress affects a dog's ability to learn
  • Posses a basic knowledge of canine behaviour
  • Adhere to the APDT Code of Conduct

The GSPCA run regular training sessions for new puppy and dog owners and are proud to help those pet owners through an essential time settling a new four legged friend into a home.

The course we run is the APDT Good Companion Puppy and Foundation Training Award which take place at the Animal Shelter on a Tuesday and Thursday evening (7pm – 8pm) and also on other days and nights when we are able.

The training courses run for 6 weeks and each class lasts for approximately an hour and are a maximum of 6 (or on a rare occasion 7) dogs per class allowing us to give each dog lots of individual attention.

Lorna Prince GSPCA Animal Welfare Manager who organises the classes said "Congratulations and thank you to Seb and Teresa who have recently completed their Level 1 as a Puppy Assistant to help with our training and life classes at the GSPCA."

"Our approach is very much based on life skills, teaching and training using positive reinforcement techniques."

"We want the dogs to learn because they find it rewarding not because they are trying to avoid a punishment or correction."

"We do use the Clicker as part of our training."

"At the classes we teach a mix of basic commands such as sit, down, walking nicely on lead and recall as well as working through focus exercises, calm greeting of people and other dogs on lead and exercises to prevent and stop jumping up."

"We demonstrate activities that owners can do with their dog to help build and strengthen their bond, the dog’s responsiveness and thus increase owner control."

"We continually assess each dog and advise on any behaviour problems that the owners may be experiencing."

"Our aim is that people leave the classes with a greater understanding of their dogs and why they do things."

"We try to give the owners the skills to deal with anything that their dog throws at them while helping them to enjoy being a dog owner, after all that's what its all about."

"Owners and dogs that have graduated from the Puppy classes do have the opportunity to undertake the Good Companion Award."

"Myself and Jenny Mahy take the classes with helpers."

"I am from a canine behaviour background and Jenny is an obedience trainer so we have a good range of knowledge depending on your individual needs."

"We are both members of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers."

To find out more about the APDT please visit 

Lorna has a lifetime of experience with a huge variety of breeds. She started out in traditional dog training and ‘showing’ becoming the Channel Island Junior Handler in the early eighties. She moved from formal dog training to applied canine behaviour when she joined the Rehabilitation Department at Battersea Dogs’ and Cats’ Home.

During this time it became clear that the most important thing a dog needs is to learn to trust its handler. Since joining the GSPCA she has continued to manage the assessing and rehoming of the Shelter dogs as well as helping to train and rehabilitate family pets. Lorna is dedicated to helping people understand their pets and to improving the dog – owner relationship. Jenny has over 40 year’s dog training experience including dancing with dogs and competitive obedience and is committed to improving the dog / owner bond.

Jenny has moved from ‘traditional’ training techniques and now applies modern motivational training methods that do not compromise the mental and physical welfare of the dogs. The team believe in continued personal development and strive to build upon our skills and experience by attending course, seminars and workshops when we can.

Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager said "We have an amazing team of volunteers that run our Puppy and Beginner Life Skill Classes through the APDT at the GSPCA."

"It is wonderful that Seb and Teresa have given up their evenings and time to learn these fantastic skills in helping the many new dog owners that come through our training at the GSPCA."

Seb Goman said "I really enjoy working at the GSPCA and with the dogs and to learn these new skills has been great and something I can apply daily in my role looking after the dogs under our care."

Teresa Mourant said "I love working with the dogs and the classes have been wonderful."

"We have both learnt so much and really enjoyed it and will both be carrying on learning more and helping with the classes at the GSPCA."

To find out more about dog training at the GSPCA please visit -



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