OBEDIENT pups will be put through their paces at a new dog training school in Colchester.

Best Behaviour Dog Training has opened the new facility at the Dog’s Play Centre, in Severalls Lane, Colchester.

The new Covid-secure 35-acre training centre, which is about the size of 24 football pitches, features large, enclosed paddocks, outdoor lighting and an indoor area ready for when dog-training sessions can take place inside again.

Zoe Willingham, 42, runs Behaviour Dog Training, which has expanded to Colchester following several successful years operating in Suffolk.

She said: “As our reputation has grown we have been getting people come from all over north and mid Essex.

“We wanted another base to help our Essex customers and Colchester is perfect.

“We initially planned to do it in January but things have been delayed due to Covid.

“We came out of lockdown in June and didn’t know what to expect, but dog owners were going crazy for our services.

“We decided to just go for it and were able to secure the site from Dog’s Play Centre.

“We had got everything sorted and then we went into another lockdown so we finally launched this month.

“It is part of a longer term expansion plan for us as we’ve just bought another site in Suffolk.”

Best Behaviour Dog Training caters for dogs of all ages and abilities, from puppies through to working dogs.

During the pandemic the firm has diversified and now offers classes online as well as face-to-face, launching a new online training school dubbed “Dogversity”.

Classes are now running in Colchester three days a week, with more set to follow as demand increases.

Zoe said: “Myself and my team are ready and raring to go.

“If the demand is there we will growing things.

“We will definitely be taking on some new staff to work at the Colchester centre.”

Colchester classes feature doggy manners, loose lead walking, socialisation, recall and bespoke dog training needs of owners.

Dog-owners can dip in and out as an when necessary, depending on their animals’ needs.

As dogs learn more, they can go on to study scent work, agility and tricks, with small group sessions helping make sure the centre is Covid secure.

Zoe said: “We approach training in a modern way.

“In the past dog owners would have done a 12 weeks course then they’re sent off on their way, but we offer a programme which can last the dog’s life.

“People can dip in and out but we are able to teach all dogs new tricks.

“After Christmas is generally a busy time for dog training.

“People spend Christmas with their new puppy and then in the new year look to start some training.

“We’re looking to grow the Colchester business quite quickly as demand grows.”

Zoe hopes to become embedded in the community in Colchester as the business becomes established.

She said: “In Suffolk we work with Ottley and West Suffolk colleges and we have half a dozen students who come to our training centres to learn.

“We’d like to do the same in Colchester in future and welcome young people to the site to find out more.”

She added: “I love offering training in lots of different ways, I’m here to help anyone who wants to enjoy a better life with their canine companions.”

Visit bestbehaviourdogtraining.co.uk.