Middlesbrough Dog training showing control


Dog training should never be about shouting at your dog control should be reward based see an example of this as we play the game with the dog

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Darlington K- 9 training latest dog training demo doing jumps


Dog training near Middlesbrough and Darlington


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Rottweiler plays lunch monitor

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Black Banks Kennels Closing

It is with great regret we must inform you after three and half years of enjoyable but hard work we are closing the kennels as of the 25th May 2013.

Sue and Andy would like to thank all our customers for their support and business.

Andy will continue to provide a dog training service and we can recommend Sadberge kennels for you to board your dogs. Andy will be working out of Sadberge kennels and we will be using them to board our own dogs.

As some of you are already aware Andy is an award winning and qualified Private Investigator and will be launching a new service called
K9 Detective & Training Agency which will provide a service for people with missing or stolen dogs as well as dog training and the usual Private investigative services details of our new web site will be published shortly but we can be reached on the usual 01325 526147 number

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Creating The Want in UK dog training


The Dog in the above video has “A Want ” she has a drive for the toy and she performs for the reward no conflict no force  no shouting she does it because she wants the reward on offer

“Creating a Want” by Andy Coates


There are only two ways to train a dog I know (with various systems)


These are with compulsion or by positive reinforcement both these ways work on Thorndikes law of effect.


Thorndikes law of effect basically states that “responses that produce a satisfying effect in a particular situation become more likely to occur again in that situation, and responses that produce a discomforting effect become less likely to occur again in that situation.”  In other words if your dog learns that their actions carry consequences both good and bad



Compulsion training sometimes called avoidance training is the old method of training it still works but is unreliable and unnecessary with most dogs in my opinion. An example of compulsion training would be imagine a dog pulled on a lead. If you fitted a check chain around a dogs neck and gave it a correction (a jerk) every time the dog pulled the dog would learn not to pull if it wanted to avoid the correction.



Positive Reinforcement


Positive reinforcement is the modern system of training and is more reliable with most dogs. An example would be if a dog learns that every time they sit when given a command or cue they get a reward (like food, a game with a toy or a treat). then the dog would learn if they repeat this they get “The Want”.


We therefore show them what to do using various techniques and when they display the behaviour we want we reward it.


The Problem

Most clients that come to me will say something like my dog will sit for a treat in the house but not when there is a distraction like being in the park or the town so the positive bit only works when there is no distraction.


There could be a number of reasons why this happened and would be depended on many factor for example the dog has an issue with something that’s distracting it for example a phobia about something or it may be very nervous . These would be issues that would need addressing before proceeding to train the dog.


The most common reason is that the dog does not have “A Want “or desire for what your offering.


For instance your dog may be a well fed dog that gets his or her food twice a day in a bowl and gets more than sufficient for their needs.


Therefore when you offer them a low value treat like a dog biscuit as a reward for coming back in the presence of distractions they don’t come back .


This is because your dog thinks “that food your offering  fine but when I get home there will be a big bowl of food waiting for me and this smell or the presence of this other dog is more interesting”


The Answer

The answer is to “Create a want”


Build the dog’s drive !!! Ideally both play drive and food drive if that’s possible with your dog.


For play drive I would remove all the dogs toys except for a Kong or chew toy which can be left for the dog when you are not interacting with them or your out.


The interactive toys balls, tug toys etc are for human and do interaction not for anything else if you remove them and use play as a reward the game and the reward become more valued and you start to create “The Want” this is a want for play. The games you play should be carefully chosen so they train as well as reward and amuse your dog. Your trainer will demonstrate and teach you theses games


For food drive I would put up the dogs entire food up for the day in the morning  remove about a quarter of it and replace that with high value treats like chicken, hot dogs or cheese. I would then use the food (varying the quantity and variety) throughout the day to reward your dog for doing obedience exercises and games.


This again starts to create “The Want” a want for food . The games you play and obedience exercises should be carefully chosen so they train as well as reward and amuse your dog. Your trainer will demonstrate and teach you these games.


At Black Banks Kennels Darlington we provide a complete dog training and pet behaviour service both on a one to one basis and on a residential training basis. We train dogs from County Durham and Teesside, Middlesbrough area as well as Tyneside Newcastle and across the UK








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Recalling your Dog from other dogs

I see a lot of clients who come to see to me who say

“My dog is pretty good in the house coming sitting and all that but as soon as he gets out and I let him off with other dogs he goes deaf and will not come back until he is ready how can you fix this ?  ”


I would fix this by showing the client how to get back in control

By that I mean using the dogs natural drives. Food, Play, Prey, and Pack Drive We would work together to find what drives the dog has and develop those drives with drive building exercises so that the dog would begin to see the owner as far more interesting than other dogs.

Case Study

I recently did some training with a lady who was looking for dog trainers in the Middlesbrough or Stockton on Tees areas and found  me. She had a lovely Jack Russell cross called Rex she said she had a major recall problem and had problems with pulling on the lead.

Rex had been allowed to run around the park with any dogs that happened to be there and she had problems with pulling on the lead and recall as Rex would not come back when he was called.

Rex and his owner came to see me one Sunday morning I spoke at length to Rex’s owner to gain all the facts and I played and walked with Rex to assess him and see what his drives were.

Rex liked to play with balls but his owner did not play with him much as every time he got the ball he just ran off with it flying back to tease his owner into chasing him for it he would eventually drop the ball usually out of sight then run off with another dog.

We decided the best approach was to stop him running with other dogs until the owner had got more control of him  after all running with other dogs was an addictive high for the dog to Rex it was better than a drug. The first thing you would do with someone addicting to drugs or alcohol is limit or remove the supply.

The next thing we decided was to build his drive for toys in particular his ball as he had a strong play and prey drive I taught his owner some good foundation drive building exercises to help with this.

The next problem was that although his drive for chasing a ball would grow if he would not bring it back it would have been a very short lived distraction. We therefore had to teach Rex to retrieve using special exercises devised for that purpose.


We addressed the pulling on a lead issue and the lady was amazed with how quickly I had Rex walking on a lead with any pulling I showed her the technique which she picked up quickly and the dog showed imeadiate improvement

After 3 sessions with us a lots of hard work from Rex’s owner the difference was tremendous Rex had learned to play fetch and had started  channelling his energies and drive into chasing toys not other dogs his owner had also discovered that by doing all the extra exercises and work with the dog their bond had grown greatly and Rex was far more calm and controlled.

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Positive reinforcement V Negative reinforcement

How do we train Dogs at Black Banks Kennels?


In my opinion there are only two reliable ways to train a dog or of course a combination of both. The two ways I am talking about are Positive reinforcement & Negative reinforcement when I started training dogs only Negative reinforcement was recognised and that was the way we did things then we did not know anything else. Over the last 10 years or so Positive reinforcement has become the preferred method. The main difference between the two are as follows

Negative reinforcement you basically punished or corrected bad behaviour so the dog learned to avoid it. If your dog pulled on the lead you would use a check chain to administer a correction (jerk on the chain) to let the dog know it was not acceptable behaviour therefore the dog learned not to pull.

Positive reinforcement you basically identify the behaviours you want your dog to display and reward them so your dog wants to offer you the behaviours because they get the reward.

We first of all teach the dog the exercise or behaviour we desire once that exercise is learned we teach the dog to associate it with a name. For example we  teach the dog it gets rewarded in the sit position once he understands how to do the  sit position we teach him to do it every time we say the word sit and he gets a reward.

If that does not work then it is usually one of the following

The dog has a behaviour issue which needs to addressed first by a qualified and experienced behaviourist  ,

The handler is to blame for poor communication

The reward is not big enough.
The dog MUST have a WANT for positive reinforcement to work and the handler must know the best way of communicating with the dog

I therefore spend a lot time teaching people drive building and new methods of communicating with their dog which also teaches them to bond better with their dog and have fun.

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Dog kennels in Teesside and Tees Valley

With our Kennels being close to both Darlington and Teesside allows us to have customers from both areas . Though there are many kennels in both areas I think what we offer is different to all our competitors as well just boarding and training we now offer Dog Activity Holidays the ultimate experience for your dog. This year our activity holidays have proven popular attracting dogs from across the region we have had dogs from as far as Leeds and Newcastle as well as Middlesbrough, Stockton on Tees, Hartlepool  and of course Darlington

agility exercise with Rotty

Whilst your away why not give your dog an extra fun time and let him or her learn a new skill or polish up an old one.

This does of course require roundabout a 2 week stay

Training Activities

As well as boarding Choose from one of the following activities.


Loose lead walking

Beginners Agility

Elementary Searching

Sharper recall


Emergency stop

Send to bed

Loose lead walking

There is not much pleasure in a dog dragging you along the street or through a door or gate we can work with your dog to ease and in most cases eliminate this problem

Beginners Agility

Doing agility exercises with your dog can be great fun and an exhilarating experience for both the dog and the handler we can start your dog off on this journey with getting them to do the tunnel, the long jump and a clear jump

Elementary Searching

Ever lost something in the grass and wanted to find it a dog can locate objects with human scent on using their nose much quicker and easier than you can with your eyes this training starts your dog off learning how to search for hidden articles.

Sharper recall

Does your dog fly back to you or wander back when they please our skilled trainers will work with the dog to improve the recall so even under some minor distractions the dog will be faster to respond.


Some dogs pick up balls and other toys without having to be taught and enjoy fetching them back to their handlers others have to be taught this process. The Retrieve game is one of the main foundation exercises in modern dog training and builds up a bond between dog and handler.

Emergency stop

Are you able to stop your dog whilst he/she is at a distance from you ? Being able to shout wait at a distance and getting your dog to stay put is a useful thing to teach any dog and could one day save their life.

Send to bed

When you need your do to be safe and out of harms way sending them to bed is an ideal way done in the right way it will be a pleasurable experience so your dog will be happy to comply


As well as the usual 3 exercise sessions a day all our boarders get choosing an activity holiday for your dog ensures they get an extra three sessions a day training with one of our skilled trainers we also include a wash and blow dry for your dog the day before your pick up

Suitability and assessment

Not all dogs can be trained to do all things so why not book a free assessment and have a look round and we will give our best advice


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Dog Behaviour Problems

It is a sad fact that we are now getting more calls on dogs with behaviour issues than we are with dog that just need  training.

In Order to help our clients with these issues Darlington dog trainer Andy Coates has teamed up with Dog trainer and behaviourist Dave Davies to offer a dog behaviour clinic to its clients across the North East.

Black Kennels Darlington’s most friendly dog kennels is now hosting a Bi weekly behaviour clinic Mondays and Fridays delivered by Dave Davies BIPDT. The clinic is a very cost effective way of getting across some sound advice on subjects where there are so many conflicting and dangerous ideas flying about. You will also get your dog assessed and a bespoke program developed that should help with most behaviour problems by a suitably experienced and proven behaviourist. The clinic covers most issues like Dog to people aggression, dog to dog aggression Anxiety Separation and phobias. Phone 01325 526147 for more details or to book your appointment

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Dogs Searching for hidden articles

How often have you lost your keys, mobile phone pen wallet or something else dear to you in grass and have not been able to find it here is a video demonstrating a useful thing to teach your dog

Kizzy Rottweiler does search square

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