Dog training and behaviour
It’s always a delight to have a well behaved puppy or dog. Knowing that your friends and family can enjoy the company of their pet without it jumping all over them chewing up their shoes and jumping on visitors.
There is nothing more annoying when you go to visit your friend and you’re greeted by a jumping uncontrollable dog that puts hair all over your clothes or slobber as your lovable pet tries to lick any part of our bodies it can get to.
The fact is that once you have given permission for a visitor to come into your home, as the pack leader you have just told your dog that this visitor is safe and now stand down and trust the pack leader’s decision.
Remember you are the pack leader you call the shots and you say how things go. Dogs expect to be told what to do, albeit it they don’t need to be beaten or hurt in any way to understand instructions.
But dog genetics go back a long way and they all originally lived in packs, yes even your little crossbred labra-poodle-doodle originally came from a breed that lived in a pack. This is bred into them they will never forget it is in their genes. So now it’s time for you to take the lead of your pack.
Socialising is always fun and important but it’s also important to be respectful of other owners and their pets.
For example I was out walking with my beautiful rescue dog who is a Bull Arab. He has an absolutely beautiful nature. He walks beautifully on the lead and stays close when asked. We occasionally meet a friendly neighbour walking their pet or new puppy and getting some exercise and fresh air time.
This particular day we met and you Labrador puppy who was about six months old and cute as a button. The owners begged me to allow their puppy to say hello to my bull Arab Arab. I was very reluctant to do so as I knew the puppy would jump in his face with excitement which he doesn’t like. So I thought I would put my arms around my dog and allowed the puppy to come forward but I asked the owners not to allow their puppy to jump in his face.
Big mistake, while I’m holding my dog nice and quietly their puppy was jumping all over his face and he had to just take it. So even explaining what could have happened if my dog hadn’t been so calm and level headed was just ignored as they just wanted to please their puppy in any way they could. So at that time I made a decision that no longer would I allow this to happen to my dog again.
You want to make sure your pet is getting enough exercise outside everyday. They are just like you, they get bored if they’re expected to stay in a confined space all day every day without a break. They like to go out for a walk so they can explore new smells and scents along the way while helping them get exercise and fresh air. About 20-30 minutes a day for a puppy will help strengthen their lungs and organs. If you have a bigger dog they need a little bit more time outside.
Puppies and young dogs can tire a little quickly which unfortunately causes them to lose focus. But as you exercise them daily for short periods of time they will get stronger and be able to focus that little bit longer each day; so be patient.
Quick and easy training tips
- Teach your puppy or dog to walk calmly by your side. Pulling is an absolute no-no! Start by walking your puppy on a leash for several steps and then asking your puppy to sit. Encourage with your hand patting towards your left leg; and keep them on your left side.
- Use of voice commands is important – and I’m not talking about sentences! Dogs understand a word – like Sit, Stay, Down, Back. Saying something like “Harold I wish you wouldn’t pull while we’re walking” is of no use at all – the only thing they will hear is the word “Harold”.
- It’s okay to have some small treats in your pocket. It always accelerates your dog’s learning as they know what is coming and it is yummy!
- Sitting at road crossings, or before eating food, greeting friends at the door is good manners and of course safe. Gently put your hand under your dog’s chin and the other hand on the top of his back (closer to the tail end) – lift your “Chin Hand” whilst gently pressing firm but gentle on his back (tail end). Give the command “Sit” (and only that word). Once the deed has been done; then it’s a “Good Boy” or “Good Girl” followed by a little treat – but remember they must stay sitting to receive the treat. Later on when they are experienced sitters, simply just use a hand command and say “Sit” followed by the reward.
- Repetition is important to ensure your dog learns this new discipline. Please remember to keep the same method. If the method is “Chin Hand” “Tail Hand” “Sit”; then please don’t change it to “I wish you would sit when I tell you” “For heavens sake sit”; or patting your hand on his tail, or upper chin patting. Keep the method exactly the same each time for fast and long term results.
Remember after every training or walk, there is play time. Your dog should know that when the lead comes off, it’s time to have 5 or 10 minutes play time with you. This is a fantastic bonding time and you will make your little buddy so happy to always want to be with you and do your bidding whenever you ask them.
Until next time
Please enjoy and take care of your precious dog