There’s little doubt that most of us could do more of it – dog training that is!
Trying to juggle training your dog with the rest of daily life can be quite a task, especially in a busy household where there are literally hundreds of other factors competing for your attention. Bearing in mind that even fellow professionals complain to me that they don’t have enough time to train their own dogs, it’s little wonder that practising a sit stay is often way down the list of priorities for the average owner.
So, with the practicalities of daily routines firmly in mind, how can we ensure that we do give our dogs the share of our time and energies that they need?
Clickety Clips interviews top dog trainers
Dima is a dog training instructor with over 32 years of experience. He grew up in the former Soviet Union which is where he first learnt to train dogs. At university he studied the physiology of behaviour and acquired a teaching diploma before moving to the UK in 1996. He runs the Good Boy Dog School in North London providing individual and group training classes for dog owners as well as socialisation, rehabilitation, specialist and problem-solving classes and a summer training camp.
Puppies should be bright, bouncy and into everything. They should be filled with natural curiosity and sociability. They should be friendly and have the confidence to approach and be handled. I have just returned from seeing a puppy as a behaviour case which was anything but – and it nearly broke my heart.
This 14-week-old nervous puppy was so fearful of life in general that she was completely withdrawn, curling up in one corner of the kitchen and hiding her face under her tail – completely immobile – simply because there was a stranger in her house. This little puppy had taken three weeks to even cope with the presence of her devoted owners – and still wouldn’t eat in front of them.
Welcome to the Fireworks “season” (for those of you in the UK). When did that happen? When did it stop being about November 5th and start to become an excuse to set fire to things at any time of the day or night for at least a week, and probably up until New Year?
Let’s face it, fireworks are a slightly strange idea. Ok, humans generally love them (although I’ve seen many a too-small child being laughed at by their own family for being petrified at a display) but really what is the fascination with making the sky explode, loudly and repeatedly? Evolution would suggest that we should run away; we certainly wouldn’t be standing around watching if it was a bomb exploding overhead. But then we can differentiate between “safe” fireworks (?) and dangerous alternatives.
Our Halloween tips for dog owners will ensure even four footed friends have a good time
Planning on including your furry friend in your scary celebrations? Here are a few tips to ensure everyone is having a good time…
1. Should I take my puppy trick or treating?
Nope! Excitable kids in shape-shifting outfits and masks (MASKS!) making weird noises, in the dark, with the potential for fireworks, calling on strangers’ houses where there may be less-than-friendly dogs, etc etc. Yes, your puppy needs to experience everything – kids, dressing up, strangers, being out at night – but not all at once! Leave the pup at home, in a safe place (pen / crate) with a yummy stuffed Kong. Better still, someone stays with the pup to make sure he is not frightened with all the neighbourhood shenanigans.
What dog owners should know
It takes 10,000 hours to become an expert, as Malcolm Gladwell discusses in his entrancing book Outliers. (Well, 10,000 hours to become a chess grandmaster in fact.) Isn’t that, like, a lifetime??? It’s a large chunk of your dog’s lifetime anyway. Here’s the secret <shhhh!>
Anne Caborn takes a look at dogs in the media
According to the old saying bandied about in acting circles, you should never work with children or animals. It’s credited to W.C.Fields but most people admire the sense while being ignorant of its provenance. No matter how great your acting talent, share the stage – or the celluloid – with a waggy tail or some wide innocent eyes and you’re going to be eclipsed by the ‘ahhhhh’ factor. But if the above advice is true, then an awful lot of modern celebrities choose to ignore it (and it doesn’t do their careers any harm whatsoever). Dogs on screen can prove a silver lining when it comes to their careers.
Watching dog training videos online is a great way to learn how to train your own dog. But search for videos about training dogs on YouTube and you’ll be presented with many millions. So how does the average dog owner decide which ones to watch?
By collecting and reviewing videos from around the web Clickety Clips delivers the solution, bringing together good video tutorials and demonstrations that use positive training methods: where the dog is rewarded for learning with treats, praise and play.