Today we welcome Barket Club Member, Susi, to give you her insight into what being a club member is like.
Hi, I’m Susi and I share my life with two black Labradors. Bramble is a 6-month pup and Kenny is 9-years old. I’ve been a member of the Barket Club for 4 months. In April, I took part in the 3-week Recall Challenge, and at the end, Caroline offered an amazing deal. A whole month of club membership, for £1? With a brand new puppy and an old boy who sometimes didn’t listen anymore, I couldn’t resist. It was a brilliant decision and has improved the relationship between my dogs and myself exponentially. At the end of my trial month, the difference I was seeing in my dogs made continuing with the club a no-brainer.
But what is the Barket Club? It is similar in ways to a traditional dog training club but with the added bonus of a huge back catalogue of training ideas. You get all of the community – sharing the highs and lows with like-minded people – expert training advice, new things to try and areas to focus on, without having to stand in a wet field or freezing barn every week! There is a variety of activities going on every month; “Train Together” sessions, case studies, and the monthly Q&A.
Part of the reason I wanted to join was the chance to focus on a topic for a month at a time. Having one thing to concentrate on allows us to build on skills continuously, rather than flitting back and forth. Combine that with live training sessions, and feedback via the Facebook group, you can really see the improvement. When I joined, the group were halfway through teaching Emergency Stops – an incredibly important life skill. We have really enjoyed this month’s training as well, teaching and proofing send to bed. The best part is that all the videos are available for as long as you’re a member.
In June, I asked Caroline, a Certified Animal Behaviourist, and our fearless leader, if she would use my dogs as that month’s case study. At the time Bramble was 5 months of wild puppy and Kenny was a significantly more sedate 8-year-old. I sent some videos and information about the behaviour that concerned me, specifically Bramble’s attempts to make Kenny play. The pup was getting frustrated and the old boy wasn’t enjoying having a little sister. The advice Caroline gave me has helped to mould their relationship. Kenny has learnt to play with Bramble, and she has learnt to settle around him. As a result, we have a much happier home for all humans and dogs.
My absolute favourite thing in the Club are the “Train Together” sessions. There are two a month and it’s like having a training class in your own home. You get live feedback from Caroline, and the chance to “meet” fellow club members and their dogs. I love these sessions. I try my best not to miss any as I think they are a fabulous resource.
Even though “Train Together” sessions are my favourite activity, the community is the best aspect of the Barket Club. This group will celebrate the high points and pick you up from the lows. They understand your frustration when something isn’t going quite right, and are always ready to offer advice and help where they can. It also lets you know you are not alone with your dogs, people share your experience. This is a group I couldn’t attend in person, living in Wales and Caroline being based near Bristol. But thanks to the Barket Club I have gotten to know the other members and would consider them friends.
If you’d like to join Susi and our fabulous community – plus take advantage of a dog training club you can join from the comfort of your own home – check out BarketPlace.uk/BClub.