As children start to head back to school it has got me thinking that little people are not the only ones that benefit from teaching – lessons can work wonders for dogs as well.

We get dogs in the surgery of all shapes and sizes, all degrees of bouncy-ness and all degrees of obedience.

Undoubtedly those that are the easiest to treat are those that obey a few basic commands – and those that are often the best at this are those that attend some sort of training.

When you think of dog training classes you often just think of obedience classes – these are wonderful and produce dogs that are a pleasure to treat, but obedience classes are not the only ones around. There are also agility classes, flyball classes and many more.

The wonderful thing about these classes is that, as well as being great exercise for the body, they are wonderful exercise for a dog’s mind.

An intelligent young dog without much outlet may turn their bored mind to other things – such as chewing up the house - but by using their mind (and their body) in an activity such as agility you are giving them an outlet for their physical and mental energy.

Training classes are also brilliant at bonding your dog to you and getting them to listen to you – all these classes will be positive reward based and the more your dog and you work together the more they will listen to your commands and do what you want them to when you want them to.

So, this autumn, think about taking your pooch back to school – if you find the right class for them, they will love it and it will help you bond.

Alice Moore is a vet at Castle Veterinary Clinic, Dorchester and Weymouth. Tel 01305 267083