Page last updated at 09:40 GMT, Monday, 22 September 2008 10:40 UK

Manners class for dogs and owners

Dogs in training
Owners will be taught the importance of clearing up after their pets

Dog owners are being urged to attend special classes following complaints about poorly behaved animals and dog dirt being left in the street.

People living in Queen's Park, north-west London, are being offered the chance to learn how to train and handle their pets from an animal behaviourist.

Owners will be taught how to walk their dogs properly, follow basic commands and learn about dog diet and exercise.

Local residents have complained about bad dog behaviour and dog fouling.

Westminster council has allocated 5,000 towards the classes which up to 16 people can attend, every weekend, free of charge.

'Separation anxiety'

The classes will teach owners how to stop their dog pulling when on a lead, make their dog return when called for and follow other basic commands.

The importance of cleaning up after their dogs will also be highlighted.

Owners will also learn how to stop their pets barking and deal with "separation anxiety" - when the pets are left alone as punishment for not following orders.

Dog trainer Crissie Chambers said: "The classes are called socialising as it is to socialise people and their dogs and to try and give them a better perception of different breeds and owners.

"Young people, many of whom have pets for macho reasons or as a fashion accessory, are generally given quite a bad reputation...but a majority of them are good owners and want to learn to socialise."


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