Dog owners in north Northumberland now have access to a training facility which caters for puppies through to top-level competition in many disciplines.
Jacquie Hall, who has been training dogs and their owners for more than 30 years, has fulfilled a lifetime ambition and developed a purpose-built dog-training centre at West Moor, near Felton.
The centre features two indoor arenas and a large outdoor facility, a far cry from when Jacquie began her classes in the late 1980s in school dining halls and village halls.
In 2003, she centralised her classes to one venue at Lee Moor, near Rennington, but has since run out of space.
Jacquie employs four part-time sessional instructors whom she trained herself and is also chairman of North Northumberland Dog Training Club, which will also benefit from the use of the new facility.
It hasn’t all been plain sailing though; in November last year, members of Northumberland County Council’s north area planning committee approved the scheme, which had faced a number of objections from residents and Thirston Parish Council on issues such as increased traffic, noise and adverse effects on residential amenity and impact on the local community.
Puppies can start attending classes at 10 weeks old to learn some obedience and also be vetted for any temperament issues that can be addressed early. They then progress on to The Kennel Club Good Citizen classes.
While activity training is likely to be the most popular, Jacquie is keen to promote a better understanding of our canine companions by running her training and behaviour courses.
“Although activities are a great way for dogs to learn control, build confidence and share fun experiences with their owners, it is temperament which causes the problems of biting we see in the newspapers,” she said.
“With proper training, owners can learn what to look out for and prevent these incidents ever happening.”
The Canine Centre is holding an open day on Sunday from 10am to 3pm.
More details are available on www.caninecentre.co.uk