Training Your Dog

It is important to note that like people every dog is different. They have their own personality and individual needs, add a human to the mix and the combinations of personality types are limitless. It is simply not possible for us to say here how you should train your dog. What works for one handler and dog might not work for another.

At BAGSD Leeds we do not train your dog, that is your job. We will help you to understand dog training and develop your own training methods that best suit you and your dog. 30 - 45 minutes per week spent with us is only the start, the hard work needs to be done at home, in the park or where ever it is you share time with your dog.

Above all else training should be fun. Every person that comes to us has a dog for enjoyment. Training should be an extension of that enjoyment, if you are having a good time your dog will also be having a good time. The harder you work and more you put into training then the harder your dog will work. The best dogs work because they really want to and not because they have to.

"A dog is a reflection of his master" - Captain Max von Stephanitz

Training Times

We meet on Sunday mornings. There are three sessions, the first starts at 09:15 and ends at 10:00. This session is for puppies and beginners.

The second session starts at 10:00 and ends at 10:45. This session is for intermediate and advanced handlers and dogs.

There is a 15-minute period from 10:45 to 11:00 when all handlers and dogs work together on the field doing various socialisation exercises.

The third session starts at 11:00 and ends at 11:45, this session is for intermediate handlers & dogs

The instructors will inform you which class you will be in and what time you should attend.

New starters - Please arrive at 9:00am on your first day. This will allow time to complete your induction before going onto the field to train.

Membership And Training Fees

Weekly training fees are kept to a minimum, please ask for up to date prices. We ask that new members pay the first 6 weeks in advance.

All people wishing to train with the club must be paid up members of the British Association For German Shepherd Dogs (BAGSD). Membership fees are payable annually, the membership year starts on January 1st and ends on December 31st.

Single and joint memberships are available and you can also chose whether you would like to receive the Association magazine. Membership prices are available on request.

There is a reduction off Annual Membership for senior citizens.

Download a membership form here. It is best to print the form and bring it with you rather than post it. We do have forms available at the club if you are unable to print it.

What To Bring

We try to train outdoors all year round so suitable clothing and footwear to suit the weather is highly recommended.

On your first visit we ask that you bring an up to date vaccination certificate for your dog.

Below is a list of essential/useful items to bring. Don't go mad and spend all your money before coming along and talking to us. We can help ensure you get the right equipment and we can usually sell you what you need at a price less than you would pay in a lot of shops.


Training Lead
Leather is best as it is more comfortable to use. Avoid nylon "seatbelt" type materials as they can be uncomfortable. Length should be 4 to 6 feet ideally. A training lead with a number of rings so you can adjust the length is a good idea.

A half check (or training) collar is generally regarded as one of the better types of collar to use. A full check or choke chain is not necessary and should never be used on a puppy and certainly not on an older dog without proper instruction first. These can do a lot of harm if used incorrectly. Pinch, spike and electric collars are not allowed. Training is fun and pain is not!

Soft easily chewable treats are best. Avoid hard biscuit based treats. Cheese, chicken, hot dogs, ox liver are all popular choices. Be careful to make sure the treats you use do not upset your dog's stomach. It may take some experimentation to find the best ones for your dog.

Sometimes dogs will prefer to work for a ball or similar. Balls on ropes are safer than simple balls. There is a danger a dog can accidently swallow a simple ball. Avoid squeeky toys, these can have quite an impact on a class full of puppies! A soft tug type toy will be needed to teach your dog to play. Again proper instruction is required as you can injur a young dog if play is too rough. It does not take much to accidently pull a puppy tooth. This could put your dog off playing for life.

Poo bags
These are essential, please take them home with you after training as we do not have the facilities to dispose of them for you.

What To Expect

Most members come to the club a few minutes early so they can chat with the other members and also take the opportunity to allow their dogs to socialise with others. This is an important part of your dog's development.

Tea, and coffee are available for a small fee. This is a good time for asking any questions that you may have. Between the club members and the instructors there is a huge amount of experience, all you have to do is ask. If the person you ask does not know the answer they'll soon find some one that does.

Classes last for 30-45 minutes and afterwards there are opportunities for a warm drink and a chat with the instructors and other members.