Every year around Christmas time the population of stray dogs around the country increases as a result of unwanted and abandoned Christmas gifts.

A training course run by the Obedience Training School aims to give people an idea of the level of responsibility that comes with owning a dog. The course costs just £2 a session and is free to those who can't afford it. Every Saturday afternoon trainer John Clifford puts the dogs and their owners through their paces. 

It's based on kindness. We believe that a dog is in fact a member of any family.

Out of a national dog population of 700,000, only 80,000 owners are paying their annual dog licence fee, which doesn't bode well for the level of responsibility owners assign to having a pet.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 19 December 1986. The reporter is Tom MacSweeney