As a dog owner it is now much more important to now have a well-trained and socialised dog than ever before which is because of several reasons
1. There is a much larger population of dogs so they come into contact with each other far more
2. We take our dogs with us a lot more nowadays so they need to be comfortable with all situations
3. The recent dog laws have been greatly improved so there is more emphasis on the owner to have a well-behaved dog.
Now there is no one training system that will solve all this unfortunately as there are too many conditions and influencing factors. So please understand that the most important factor is you must get to understand your dog and what you want to get out of him or her.
Dog training is generally split into 2 main approaches
1. Pack Leader where you are the boss and set the rules and your dog is to follow your guidance.
2. Positive reinforcement where you reward good behaviour with treats and fuss.
We strongly believe that you must early on adopt the pack leader style so you set strict rules that must be followed (no jumping up, no excessive barking, no biting etc) then as things progress and they start to fall into line then the positive reinforcement comes in as you want then to reassure your dog they are doing well and following your rules and guidelines.
Remember dogs cannot discuss things like humans they are hardly able to communicate with other dogs, so we must keep things simple. If you’re a family with a dog it’s very important that there are no grey areas (things that are not clear to a dog) e.g. it’s no use telling off your dog for jumping on to the sofa if your wife doesn’t mind them doing that, do you all walk with a dog on a lead with it on only one side? If your right handed then the dog should always be on your left. So, it’s a good idea to set some ground rules in your household that you all stick to. Keep the commands all the same. A dog will only have a limited memory for words and commands so you all need to keep it simple.
Quite often when you call a dog it comes back but keeps its distance around 10 meters away, well its trying to read your body language and see if you’re in a good mood with it or not.
Imagine a Russian person talking to you well it’s unlikely that you would understand what he was actually saying but you will be able to see if he is happy, angry by their body language and that is what a dog is always doing to try and understand what you want from them. They do an unbelievably good job of understanding us and show so much passion in their efforts to understand us so show how happy you are with their progress.
Another important factor is don’t try and do too much it’s going to confuse them, try and keep a lesson to 10 minutes then let them have a rest or play ball with them.
Put yourself back at school trying to learn French, how much could you take in? I bet not much more than a few words at a time.
It won’t be long before that bond starts, that’s when they look at you for guidance
Remember you are their guardian as you do know what’s best, you know cars will kill them, metal is tougher than skin, fire will burn them, hot water will scold them. THEY DON’T how could they without trying it out they have no why of discussing these things it’s just trial and error.
Know what is also a very important factor is the food they are on, if your dog won’t sit still, its head darting about, endless energy so you can’t wear it out more than likely you have a food with too high a protein. So they will not be able to concentrate. Would your child do well at school if you gave them coca cola and sugar sandwiches before going to school, I very much doubt it and the school would be on the phone saying it’s impossible to get your child to sit still!!!
Hopefully this has given you a brief introduction to the basics of dog training. It’s not rocket science its common sense and remember dogs have not evolved much over thousands of years, they don’t have grippy fingers so they can open cans of food, they have not invented anything yet! although we have don’t think they will understand the merits of political correctness or why we haven’t left Brexit yet!!!!!
SO WHAT CAN WE OFFER TO HELP YOU IN YOUR QUEST FOR A WELL TRAINED DOG
Now before I detail our different lessons and group sessions please understand this.
There is no best trainer in the world for every dog Cesar Milan could probably be the most successful dog trainer if it was judged on how mu h money he has made. But that’s not a gauge of how many dogs he successfully trained its just he marketed himself better than anyone else.
If you speak to people who compete at the top level of dog competitions they will always say “well I learnt a bit from him and then some from her and over the years I have come to use a mixture of technics that suit that particular dog.” They will also say if they have several dogs not all are trained the same way as they al have slightly different personalities and their own circumstances may have changed. There are too many possible variations to say only one way works, so have an open mind, read some books go on YouTube there is a wealth of information at our fingertips now a days.
We are going to have several seminars over the coming months where we will have brought in some guest speakers to talk about their views on dog ownership and I can promise you will learn so much from these people it will open your eyes to dog training and just owning a dog.
One last thing please remember dogs live very short lives so it is very important that you give them the best possible life you can and you are their guardian for life so if you were in that situation what would you want.
Love, good food, be fit, lots of exciting adventure, a broad look at life generally, warm cosy bed, treats and rewards for behaving well, and to mix with other dogs as they were pack animals.