What Sally had found previously –


When attending obedience classes locally in the UK, we found that the usual conditions were (this is NOT meant as a criticism but an observation)  -

  • The venue was often a village hall (or similar) i.e. indoor training, with a wooden or block wood veneer floor and therefore difficult for dogs to grip but clean and hygienic for humans - implications if a dog has an accident;
  • As it was indoors, the training begin early in the evening and continue for a couple of hours regardless of the outside light conditions and weather
  • The classes were usually made up of about 8 – 12 dogs of varying ages, breeds and backgrounds. The Handlers were of a similar mix, first dog, experienced owner, only had rescues etc and the owner was sometimes accompanied by partner and children.
  • These classes usually lasted for about 1 hour, regardless of the age of the dogs, with the exception of puppy classes. Therefore 12 dogs in 1 hour with 1 trainer approximates to 5 minutes per dog but often, more time was spent with the dog/Handlers who did not have control ....... 


I am not criticising these conditions but merely stating them. Training clubs/schools are often driven by their overheads and the availability of local trainers and facilities. I would be interested to know if this is similar in other countries around the world. 


An attendee at one of these training classes In the evening may not necessarily be in the best frame of mind for training. Because of the timing constraints, they may have rushed back from work, had a quick bite to eat, get the children organised before gathering all ”bits and pieces” (ie poo bags, treats, clicker(?) etc)  for the training class, including putting the dog on the lead and heading out to the class.


On arrival, there are usually a couple of dogs trying to “get in through the same door” and finding their place in the hall. Often the Handlers are stressed with having to organise as described above, and therefore not in the best frame of mind to focus on their dog and learning in this session. The dog is fully aware that the Handler is stressed and may feel that the Handler needs to be protected. Often there can be issues between some dogs, boy/girl, youngster, neutered, not neutered, breeds etc.


When this training session has finished, the pupils and their dogs will exit (often) through the same door that the next class is trying to enter by. This can often result in a mad scramble with signs of aggression from some dogs, stress levels rising in both the dogs and their Handlers entering as well as rising in those dogs and Handlers leaving. This system seems to be generally accepted by many.


As can be seen on this website, when a dog’s adrenaline levels are raised by a sudden shock, the level of adrenaline peaks about 20 minutes after this occurrence and it can take 4 – 10 days for the adrenaline level to return to where it was before this shock. 


In developing the Dog-Games method of training, Sally had to think “outside the box” of what she had seen and experienced when initially training our dogs through the “traditional” way of doing things. She came up with a structured, recordable and very flexible method of training and fully considered the best training conditions that the dogs and Handlers would benefit from.



During 2000/02, while Sally Hopkins was studying at Sheila Harper's first International Dog Training School (IDTS) in Staffordshire, England, a question arose about dog training. Previously, Sally had been involved with many different activities with her dogs, including obedience, Good Citizens Award, Agility, Flyball, Clever dogs, dog dancing, tracking and others.


Sally started thinking about an appropriate way of training dogs from

whatever background or breed,

with or without issues,

from puppies to older dogs,

dogs coming back from injuries,

rescues and non-rescues, etc, etc.  


She particularly wanted to train dogs in a very relaxed, stress-free atmosphere providing the best conditions for the dogs AND their owners to learn.


This web site has been written by Sally Hopkins (unless the author of the web page is stated otherwise).


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