Battersea launches virtual puppy training after owners admit lockdown pet regrets due to training problems

25 September 2020

Battersea has launched a new virtual training programme especially designed for lockdown puppies to ensure this new generation isn’t missing out on vital socialisation and skills.

The much-loved animal charity recently surveyed 2,000 dog and cat owners, including many who got a new pet during lockdown. Of those new pet owners, almost half said they ‘sometimes regret’ their decision - with 73% of them saying their misgivings were due to training problems.

With various restrictions in place during lockdown, it has been difficult for owners to ensure that their puppy gets the same start in life as their pre-pandemic peers. Face-to-face classes have been far less frequent and social distancing has made socialising with other dogs far trickier.

To help this lockdown generation of puppies develop a solid behavioural foundation and avoid picking up any bad habits, Battersea’s behaviour experts have launched a six-week virtual puppy training programme.

Battersea’s Canine Behaviour and Training Manager, Nathalie Ingham, said: Thousands of people across the UK have welcomed new puppies during lockdown and we want them to know Battersea is here to support them. Training virtually is a great option for many people as lockdown continues - our classes are designed for complete beginners and we’ll go at the pace of each individual dog so every pup gets the most from their training.”

The Puppy Programme is a six-week course of weekly classes held by Battersea’s trainers over Zoom. Topics include obedience basics such as learning to come when called, to settle, and to walk on a lead sensibly. There is a limit of five puppies per class to ensure the trainer can focus on the needs of each dog and all dogs should be aged five months or under, as this is a foundation level programme.

Nathalie added: “One of the great things about training virtually is that anyone can take part no matter where in the world they are. We’re encouraging everyone living with their puppy to join in with the training, including children. It’s such a great way to bond with your dog and hopefully a fun group activity, not just during our classes, but for the weeks and months ahead when you can continue teaching your dog new tricks and skills.”

The next available courses are scheduled to start on 8 October, 26 October and 10 November, with both a morning and afternoon class on each day. Classes are limited to five puppies per session and spaces are expected to book up fast.

Any owners considering taking part in the programme can find out more, book a place or register their interest for future classes on the Battersea website.

While classes are currently limited to dogs aged five months and under, Battersea is always here for dogs of all ages. If you have any questions regarding your dog’s behaviour, you can call our dedicated pet behaviour advice line on 0203 887 8347 or visit our website for trips and techniques www.battersea.org.uk/pet-advice/dog-advice.

ENDS

For more information, please contact press@battersea.org.uk.

Notes to editors

  • Battersea surveyed 2,000 dog and cat owners using OnePoll.
  • Since Battersea was founded 160 years ago, we’ve been committed to helping every dog and cat that needs us - championing their rights, loving their imperfections and expertly caring for them. Because rescue is our favourite breed.
  • We’re reliant on the generosity of the public to continue to fund our vital work helping dogs and cats and the people who care for them. Now more than ever, we need funds to enable us to continue to be here for every dog and cat.
  • Battersea directly helps over 5,000 dogs and cats across its three centres and uses its expertise, influence, and voice to help thousands more animals all over the country and across the world.
  • There is no time limit on how long an animal can stay at Battersea, but the average stay for a dog is 34 days and 25 days for a cat.
  • In addition to the site in South West London, Battersea also has two other centres based at Old Windsor, Berkshire and Brands Hatch, Kent.
  • To donate to Battersea, visit https://donate.battersea.org.uk.
  • Follow Battersea on Twitter @battersea_ or facebook.com/Battersea