Many a dog in the Scenic South Peninsula has been trained by Jan Meyer of Simon’s Town who on Saturday mornings and Thursday afternoons is to be found holding obedience classes for a range of “doggies” and their owners near the grounds of the old Sun Valley Mall.


“A trained dog is a good dog,” says Jan. Having spent most of his life in education, particularly working with children with learning difficulties, Jan has combined his in-depth knowledge of psychology and approaches to learning and his experience of various traditional dog training methods to formulate an  “eclectical approach” to dog training.

A Trained Dog id a Good Dog  by Jan Meyer “I don’t train dogs, I train people. People must understand why a dog behaves the way it does.”

Jan’s roots in the South Peninsula are strong. Early in his career he was the itinerant woodwork teacher at Fish Hoek Primary and Fish Hoek High Schools as well as at Simon’s Town School, before being appointed to the post of deputy head at Simon’s Town.  Intrigued by his inability to get some pupils to do well, he enrolled for a course in teaching children with special needs and minimal brain dysfunction at Stellenbosch University before completing a M.Ed. in Educational Psychology at the University of the Free State. He thereafter spent several years based in Welkom as an inspector on the school clinic circuit.  After moving to Cape Town he ended his teaching career as the headmaster of Tafelberg (Ellersley) School in Sea Point.


Jan Meyer of Simon's Town, author of A Trained Dog is a Good Dog: Photo: Viv of Scenic South

Jan’s first dog was Basie, a fox terrier, given to him as a puppy in a paraffin tin by his dad for his 6th birthday. Since then he has always owned dogs. After buying Killick, his first German Shepherd, Jan became involved in dog training, eventually taking over the Sun Valley Dog Training School when the incumbent trainer fell ill. Until a few years ago Jan bred German Shepherds. “I love the breed,” he says fondly. His dogs have won an array of medals and awards at provincial and national levels. “I like to compete and I also like to see how much I can teach a dog.”


After retiring, he became involved with TEARS, having delivered 26 cats and kittens there which he had found at the dump. He soon found himself in charge of the cattery and subsequently became the Chairman of TEARS. It was under his chairmanship, working in close co-operation with Marilyn Hoole, that the first vet was appointed to the rescue facility and a clinic and mobile clinic were established.


He and his wife Phyllis still feed feral cats at the dump on a nightly basis, paying also for any treatment that they might need.


At the end of last year Jan’s book, “A Trained Dog is a Good Dog”, was published by Trafford Publishing in the USA. Based on the copious notes he has made for the dog-owners he has trained, and on the solutions they have sought for problems that they have experienced with their dogs, the book is divided into four sections, each one wide-ranging and insightful: Puppy, Problems, Basic Obedience Training and Advanced Obedience Training.


Copies of the book (330 pages) can be purchased from Jan. Email: and from some local bookshops.


Jan’s website has won an award for being the Top German Shepherd Website.


Press Release from Trafford Publishing


Unique dog training tips offered in new book

Author Jan Meyer announces the release of ‘A Trained Dog is a Good Dog’

CAPE TOWN, South Africa – Jan Meyer began offering dog training sessions after seeing many people struggle with issues concerning their dog and their dog’s behavior. To supplement the training, he would also offer dog owners written tips to take with them. Eventually, this grew into a website of dog training tips, and Meyer has now compiled that advice into his new dog training book “A Trained Dog is a Good Dog” (published by Trafford Publishing).


Meyer believes that dog owners must be very aware of the responsibility that comes with welcoming a dog into their lives. “A Trained Dog is a Good Dog” introduces readers to many of the issues they will face as dog owners, offering them helpful guidance to help them teach their dogs to live comfortably with people and to be friendly and well-mannered pets. The methods in his book are an eclectic collection of various techniques drawn from other training methods which he has studied over the years. He offers readers tools to discover what methods work best for them and their pets.


An excerpt from “A Trained Dog is a Good Dog”:


“Bringing a puppy into your home is much like bringing a new baby into your home. It becomes your responsibility not only to look after its physical needs but also to teach good manners, socially acceptable behaviour and to set limits. However, since puppies are beautiful, playful and fun it is very often forgotten that the first year of a puppy’s life is the most important period in its entire life and the ideal opportunity to establish good habits that will be hard to break. If it is old enough to come home it is old enough to start learning.”


Meyer hopes his background as an educational psychologist and dog trainer helps people live happily with their dogs. “Most homes have dogs. There are over 70 million dogs in the U.S. alone,” he explains. “I want to prevent dogs from becoming unloved somewhere in a backyard because the owners did not train their dogs.”


 Related articles:

For an article about walking your dog responsibly, written by Karen Gray-Kilfoil, see

For an article on “Conscious Dog Walking”  written by Wynter Worsthorne, a specialist in Animal Communication, see