MOST graduations involve a cap and gown, but most are for those with two legs and not four.
My two dogs, Bo, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross, and Rosie, a German Shepherd cross, have recently finished training at Dogs Trust Dog School in Kenilworth.
The pair walked – I mean dragged – myself and my dad into classes some weeks ago.
And five weeks later we are the ones walking out looking, and feeling like we are in charge.
There has been a notable difference in the dogs. Something I will confess to not expecting before classes began. I thought my adorable but naughty pair were past redemption.
But I have been left pleasantly surprised.
Now they listen more, are settling on their beds better, leaving, sitting and waiting when told and have stopped pulling on the lead.
They even stand behind me when I open the front door instead of trying to bowl me over.
Sessions are only an hour long, but the school trainers do not need much longer than that – they know what they are talking about, with some 20 years of experience between them.
There were only four dogs in our class, which gives chance for specific problems to be tackled.
It also means the trainers can get to know the animals and work around them.
In our class we had an excitable dog along with my two, who could not stand to be trained apart.
Nothing was too big a task, and any pup which took a bit more work was seen after class with owners reinforcing what they had learnt at home.
What stands out is how much the trainers really love dogs and only want the best for them and their owners.
The classes were started by Dogs Trust as behavioural issues are the number one cause of pets being handed in. They hope people will begin to train their dogs in a positive way in a bid to stamp out unwanted behaviours and therefore cut down on the number of dogs taken in for rehoming.
And if you are looking for a way to teach your pet some manners, you cannot do much better than the charity’s Dog School. They have a class for everyone, from adult dogs and puppies to rescues.
Each course costs between £40 and £50 per dog, which includes an introduction session along with the classes.
Visit www.dogstrustdogschool.org.uk, follow @wmdogschool on twitter or search dtwestmidsdogschool on instagram for more details.