Keira, a Belgian Malinois, joined our family at 12 weeks of age, which, I knew to be quite late to get a puppy as there are such vital development and training stages that happen between 8 and 12 weeks, this caused quite a bit of stress for me as I really wanted to bring this puppy up the right way.Thankfully, I found the Pretoria Shepherd Dog Cub!Tania agreed with me that it was quite late at 12 weeks but, not to fear, as we could start right away with socialising and training her.When we first joined the puppy classes Keira was incredibly shy and weary of other dogs, confirming my fears that she had not been very well socialised at her previous home.But, with the support of the club, I was comforted that perseverance was key and everything would be OK.I cannot explain the happiness when, at about 4 weeks in to puppy classes, I let my puppy off the leash for play time, and she was actually excited to join in the fun that the other puppies were having.And we have never looked back!

We have been a part of the club for 8 months now and hate to miss a single session.The small-sized classes really allow for individual attention to focus on the training of each dog and, most importantly, the handler, making sure that each dog (and handler) goes from strength to strength in obedience as well as character.It is evident that every trainer at the club is passionate about what they do and by bringing their own dogs to the training sessions, I as a student, am reminded about the special bond that can exist between dog and owner that training can help strengthen.It also reminds me of how Keira and I want to perform “when we grow up”.

Thanks to our training, I feel that Keira and I are forming that bond that is so important between dog and owner and I absolutely enjoy every minute of our training sessions.The Pretoria Shepherd Dog Club provides not only great training sessions but also a social platform to meet people that also have a passion for their dogs.I know that encouragement, support, and sometimes even tough love, are not far away being a part of this club, all of which are needed in this rewarding, and more than just a little humbling, activity of training your canine companion.