New Member FAQS

What training methods are used?

BDAG focuses solely on reward based training and a “Yes! That’s right” using a marker to inform the dog that he got it right and to promise that a reward is on its way to him.  Rewards are anything that the DOG considers rewarding.

Is food used as a training aid?

Yes, definitely!  To begin training a new behaviour, rewards (often small food treats) are provided for every response the dog offers that is heading towards the desired goal – this is call shaping.  Once something has been learned, rewards are used on a random basis. Being unpredictable when rewarding known behaviors will keep the dog trying, just like the fisherman keeps fishing in the hope of a fish.

What equipment on the dog is acceptable?

Flat collar, some harnesses (provided they do not cause discomfort), a coat if needed, some head halters if required for handler and dog safety (note that dogs will need to be trained to accept a head halter).  Your instructor can assist you with the selection of appropriate gear.

Lead – double ended preferred (able to be adjusted to be a long lead or shorter lead or around the waist or around a post without having to take the lead off the dog).  Three metres is an ideal length.

What are the qualifications of the instructors?

All of our instructors have completed a formal instructor’s course in house over 12 months. Many of our trainers have a Certificate IV in Behavioural Dog Training – this certificate is the highest qualification available for dog trainers and is government recognised.
Our instructors participate in various dog activities and sports and have extensive practical experience. They are well-read and keep their knowledge & skills up-to-date via discussion groups, hands-on workshops, conferences and seminars.

How far in advance do I need to book?

New members start their training in the introduction class.  There is always a waiting list for the introduction class as instructor numbers and the size of the venue dictate the number of classes we can offer.  To avoid disappointment, please ensure you apply for membership and make your payments early.  Classes are filled on a first-paid, first-in basis

How are classes conducted?

We teach you how to train your dog.  Each class has a syllabus, lesson plans, and at-home training exercises that are taught.   Homework is necessary – it is simply not possible to train a dog in one 45 minute session per week – all we can do is introduce you to exercises that you must practice at home in order to make effective progress.

Each week, we want you to be putting into practice the exercises we teach you.  We will also address any problems you may be encountering and teach new dog training skills.

How many dogs are in each class?

We have small classes, maximum of 8 to 10 dogs per instructor (Foundation 2 can be 12 due to the nature of the training exercises).  Booking is necessary for all Terms because of class sizes.

What is included in the price?

A weekly dog training class for 8 weeks per term, along with e-mail support.  A certificate of achievement is issued upon request.

When is payment due?

Payment needs to be made prior to commencement of each training term. Each year membership needs to be renewed in January.

How long do the classes go for?

Each class runs for 45 minutes approx.

Where and when are the classes held?

At the Geelong Showgrounds, Cattle Pavilion on Thursday nights of school terms – commencing the second week of public school terms.  Term 4 has a later start as we need to vacate the cattle pavilion for the Geelong Show in October.  Enter the showgrounds via Breakwater Rd gate (Mel Ref 452 E10). A map is available on the About Us page.

Do you have a guarantee?

There is no such meaningful thing as ‘guaranteed behaviour’ for a dog, or a dog’s owner!  However, we guarantee to show you an effective, efficient, easy and enjoyable training method for your dog.

Can I observe a lesson first?

Yes. We are able to accomodate observers and welcome anyone who makes arrangements to watch. Please do not bring your dog when just observing, and contact us to make an appointment so you get the most from your visit – contact us at

How do I join?

Please view the information on our New Members page.