Dog Training Holidays – In Cornwall

We are very pleased to be able to offer guests staying on the farm the opportunity to take part in training sessions with their dogs during their stay with us – allowing you to have fun with your dog, while teaching them new skills and improving their obedience. The training is open to all breeds of dogs – and all abilities.

The training takes place in our 23metre x 50m indoor training arena  (see picture below)- which is just 100 yards from the cottages. Guests are also welcome to use the training arena at other times to exercise their dog or to practice what they learnt in the training sessions. The farm is in an area or outstanding natural beauty, just 2 miles from the coast and coastal path (which is designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty in this stretch between Looe and St Austell ). There are plenty of walks from the farm, plus dog friendly beaches, pubs and scenic fishing villages all close by (we provide an O/S map showing nearby walks, plus details on local beaches and pubs etc).

The  lessons will be taken by Jackie and Terry Lawer from Capable Canines. Terry has a fantastic wealth of knowledge in all things canine, having been involved in dog training for over thirty years. Capable Canines provide reward-based methods of training. Terry and his wife, Jackie, own four collies. Jackie is an Agility Club Approved Instructor, a Member of the Guild of Dog Trainers and a Member of the Kennel Club Accredited Instructor Scheme working towards accreditation.
For more information please click here to visit their web site.

There will be three training sessions during the week covering any of the training sessions below. Jackie will contact you before your stay to discuss your dogs requirements and will then tailor the training accordingly. Each session will be at least one hour (longer depending upon the number of dogs enrolled for the week). The exact times and days of each session will be confirmed before your stay, but will normally be early(ish) morning or late afternoon, so that you can enjoy a day out for the rest of the day. You will usually be having one to one training with Jackie and Terry. Occasionally we will book two training sessions for the same week, but we will only combine them after checking with you first.
Additional or more advanced sessions are available upon request.
The training  will cost £70 per booking (this covers up to two dogs). Guests will need to stay with us for a full weeks stay during that week, in one of our three dog friendly cottages (Mealhouse, Waggoners or Rosebud).

Training can be booked any week of the year, with the exception of school holiday weeks.  Please contact us to check on the availability of a cottage and Jackie and Terry.

Example Training Sessions:

Foundation Skills
A great opportunity to work on building a bond with your dog through focus, play, motivation and drive exercises. We will also incorporate some balance and coordination, invaluable for building core strength and helping to keep your dog healthy for longer! Suitable for all ages and abilities, this workshop provides an excellent grounding for the well-rounded pet or obedience / agility dog!

Rally Obedience Taster
Ever wanted to have more fun when working on your dog’s obedience skills? Then this is the session for you. Rally Obedience involves taking your dog around a course, where you have to complete a short exercise before moving onto the next station. It’s fun for dog and owner alike and offers a light-hearted alternative to formal obedience. You will be shown how to execute each exercise and have a go at a short course. If you have already done some Rally, just let us know and we can tailor the session to your ability.

Clicker Training
Clicker training and shaping are excellent positive, reward-based training methods. Armed with a clicker and patience you can train your dog to do amazing things! If you have not done any clicker training before, we can introduce your dog to the clicker and show you how to reward all those behaviours you really want. If you have already done some clicker training, why not use this opportunity to improve your skills and teach more specific tricks. Clickers will be provided if required.

Agility Taster
Your chance to see what agility is all about. This session will involve having a go over some jumps and through tunnels and a tyre, you will also get your dog used to motion underfoot by working on a wobbleboard. A great fun activity to share with your dog.

Pet Obedience
This session will introduce you to several exercises to help your dog become a well-rounded pet you can take anywhere. We can tailor these sessions to the individual dog and owner depending on prior experience but generally we will be working on loose lead walking, calling your dog back to you and getting them to sit and lie down.

To make an enquiry or to book please contact us on the phone or by email (01503 272727 or email

Also – Please see below an article by Travel Writer Robin Mead (and his dog Evie), who stayed with us and took part in the training.  The Article was published in the Silver Travel Adviser magazine and can be seen online if you click here.

Finally, for reviews on Trip Advisor of the Dog Training holiday please click here.

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Star Travel Review

Robin Mead

Travel writer and former hotel inspector

A dog-training holiday in Cornwall

Travel writer Robin Mead took his recently-acquired rescue dog, Evie, on a special dog-training holiday in Cornwall. How did they get on? Robin decided to let Evie tell the story.

Evie at Polean Farm, CornwallLook, who says I need training? Do what you like, when you like: that’s my motto. And after spending 12 months on the streets, I don’t see any reason to change my ways.

Perhaps I should explain. I’m a two-year-old German Shepherd/collie cross, and I was found homeless and half-starved in Livada, Greece, about a year ago. A rescue organization brought me to the UK and after a couple of false starts with would-be owners I finally adopted my “for ever” humans in July.

They’re a funny pair. They seem to be under the impression that I’m going to do what they tell me! I thought I had already demonstrated that was not the case, when they took me to local training classes. But then they booked a holiday on a farm in Cornwall, and cunningly didn’t mention that the holiday included three days of one-to-one classes with specialist trainers Jackie and Terry Lawer.

Val and EviePolean Farm is roughly midway between Looe and Polperro, and in the summer its lovely, stone-built, self-catering cottages are very popular with families. For that reason Polean is more of a play farm, coupled with livery stables. Farmer Keith takes the youngsters on tractor rides; there are plenty of sheep, goats and pigs which enjoy being petted; and the morning hunt to discover where the free range chicken have hidden their eggs is a hugely popular event.

I joined in the latter, even though I wasn’t invited.  I thought chasing the chickens might encourage them to hurriedly deposit a few more eggs, but they just rushed about, squawking and flapping their wings. Neither Farmer Keith nor my humans seemed very pleased about this pastime, and I had to be put on a lead.

Polean Farm have had the bright idea of running dog training holidays outside the peak school holiday season, and three of the comfortable cottages are “dog friendly”. Apparently, this is because they have ‘accident-proof’ stone floors. What do they think I am: uncivilized or something?

Training and surveying the scenery with one of her humansClasses take place in a huge indoor training arena, and trainer Jackie turned out to be not only quite strict but also very tricky. When I ignored her calls to “Come here”, she produced a squeaky toy and of course I had to keep rushing over to investigate what it was. I liked Terry best, especially as he had a pocketful of tasty treats that I thought he might be willing share. But do you know what? If I didn’t do what he said, he kept his hand firmly in his pocket and ignored me!

Well, you have to humour these people, don’t you? So I put on my best behaviour, and as a reward I was allowed to try out the hurdles and tunnels of a sort of canine assault course. Though I say it myself, I was pretty good at that. What fun!

I think I rather like this ‘holidays’ idea. The people at Polean knew all the best dog walks in the area, as well as the best beaches for indulging in my favourite pastime: splashing about in the sea.  They even sent us to a dog-friendly teashop in Looe  – although I noticed that, while my humans scoffed a cream tea, all I got was a bowl of water.

Jackie Lawer with her own collieMy only complaint, really, is that everyone seemed to be ordering me about. My best chance of asserting myself came when I spotted the farm’s huge black cat, Tom, lying on his back in the sun. I rushed over, anticipating a really good chase, but he didn’t even bother to get up. Wham! I got an almighty slap in the face from a well-muscled paw with sharp bits on the end. Ouch! Cats aren’t supposed to stick up for themselves like that.

Anyway, I’m thinking of taking my humans back to Polean Farm again next year. And when I do, I shall continue what I started this year. No, not my training. Cat training! Whenever I see Tom, I shall studiously ignore him. That’ll teach him!