DOG ownership has no doubt risen during the pandemic, with many North-East residents deciding to adopt a rescue dog or buy a puppy during lockdown.

According to pet classifieds website Pets4Homes, the number of people buying dogs during the UK lockdown skyrocketed, as more looked for canine companionship while working from home.

Puppies are known to eat their own vomit, roll around in muck and seem to do their business everywhere apart from the puppy pad you neatly lay down on the floor. 

Some people opted to adopt a dog instead, giving a rescue a new lease of life. But this can come with its own challenges as dogs may have bad habits, behavioural problems or separation anxiety. 

Anyone who has become a dog owner during lockdown may now be looking for help in house training or socialisation.

We have put together a list of dog trainers in and around Darlington, according to Google reviews, as a starting point. However, you may want to go along to observe classes and trainers to make sure they are a good fit for you.

Peak Dog Services, Darlington - 5 stars from six reviews 

Peak Dog Servies is praised for its professionalism, quality, reliability, responsiveness and value, with reviews as recent as two and three months ago. 

One reviewer said: "I can't recommend Jess highly enough. I have a reactive dog after a incident in someone else's care.

"Never thought I'd trust anyone else with him ever again. Jess came highly recommended to me by a very respected dog trainer. Can not praise her enough for all her help recently."

And it's not just a training session, with another person saying Jess followed up on sessions with 'full written notes'.

Alpha Pet Dog Training, Darlington - 4 stars from 12 reviews 

This dog training business works hard to educate humans as well as dogs, according to its reviews. 

One person said: "George is very knowledgeable with dogs & educating humans to understand their trigger points.

"Our little rescue has come on leaps & bounds since we saved him from the green mile.

"He has several deep down issues & It’s more about teaching us to understand him & what he needs to be happy. Since visiting George our dog has come on leaps & bounds from an aggressive nervous dog to a happy confident family pet."

People often mention rescue dogs in Alpha's reviews. 

Aeolian House Dog Training & Boarding Kennels, Darlington - 4.5 stars from 24 reviews 

One person said that Aeolian House has a "great set up" and staff are "caring animal lovers".

Other reviews said the training centre was "top class" and service was "brilliant", with one adding: "Cant wait to go back".

Pure Dog Training, Teesside Airport - 4.9 stars from 17 reviews 

Many reviewers of Pure Dog Training praised the large, secure field and other "impressive" facilities as well as small class sizes.

One person, who has been training with Pure dog training for 18 months said they "could not ask for a better dog trainer".

They added: "We have a wayward spaniel, and using a combination of scent training and mantrailing as an outlet for her love of hunting, and recall and dog training classes we have seen a huge improvement in behaviour."

Others said they "cannot recommend highly enough" and "Laura is brilliant and very knowledgeable."

K9 Pursuits, Newton Aycliffe - 4.4 from 32 reviews

One reviewer can see the difference in their dog, writing: "Lovely socializing for our dog. Shows when outside and interaction with other dogs."

Another said the company has "excellent service" adding: "[They] treat your dog like their own, first class knowledge in every aspect of caring for and training your dog. Highly recommended!"

Google also tags K9 Pursuits as puppy daycare.

JDT K9 Services, Stockton - 4.6 from 22 reviews 

Just three days ago one reviewer said JDT k9 "transformed" their dog.

They said: Requested Jamie’s help with a highly reactive dog to both other dogs and people. I thought this dog was a lost cause but Jamie’s skill, patience and dedication brought this dog a new quality of life.

"Simply put, transformed my dog (lurcher cross) into a model A student. Very highly recommended. Great guy and great trainer."

Sally Sayers Dog Training, Richmond - five stars from 13 reviews 

Recent reviewers praised Sally's Zoom sessions where she talks to dog owners and through their pet's problems, offering tips, but customers are pleased with in-person training too. 

One person, who had just completed the puppy foundation course, said: "Sally was brilliant.

"My 9-year-old did the lessons too and Sally was really good at getting him involved so he got the most benefit out of it. We hadn't had a puppy for a while and the tips and info she gave us were invaluable. 

"Wouldn't hesitate to recommend; amazing 1:1 sessions that we all thoroughly enjoyed. Sally is very knowledgeable and patient and we immediately saw results in our pup. A very big thank you.