Training tips from dog owners
Dogs are loyal, intelligent and fun-loving, but that doesn’t always mean they are well behaved! Training your dog to be obedient and responsive allows both you and your furry friend to have a happy, fun life. So who better to share tips on how to teach those all important lessons than owners themselves? Here, some pooch parents share their secrets…
Paul on how he lets his dog Luna know she’s been naughty!
Caption: Luna working on her autobi-dog-raphy
Luna is a three-year-old rescue pup who already had her puppy obedience training before she found her forever home with Paul. But like most pooches, Luna isn’t always on best behaviour! Like sending children to the naughty corner, Paul makes sure Luna he has a gentle, but firm, way help to learn that she’s misbehaved.
“I use ’sit’ as a ‘time out’ of sorts. I’ll make her sit for a while if she’s done something bad. That’s pretty much all I’ve done!” Paul said.
Alana on the best way to get Kaiser to behave well
Caption: Kaiser the Blue Heeler perfects his Blue Steel
While ‘time out’ works for Paul and Luna, your dog may respond better to other techniques, such as positive reinforcement. Alana, who adopted five-year-old Kaiser from a small rescue centre, said that she finds it’s the best way to get him to behave well.
“Positive reinforcement is a huge one! Rather than telling them off when they do something bad focus all your training efforts on rewarding them when they do something right. So if they go to the toilet on the carpet— don’t tell them off because it will only confuse them. Instead, when they pee outside go nuts with rewarding them and pats and treats!”
Francesca on a fun way to teach your pup to sit!
Caption: “Look intoooo my treaaat”
It’s good to start with the basics, and eight-year-old Francesca has brilliant, but easy, trick she used to teach her two-year-old dog, Sunny, to sit.
"To teach a dog how to sit there are a few methods. This one works for a dog that loves treats,” Francesca said.
“Get your dog to start this trick standing. Get one of your dog's favourite treats and let him/her sniff it. Hold the treat in front of your dog's nose. Make sure they're still standing. Then slowly start pulling the treat over his/her head towards their tail. hopefully your dog's head will follow the treat which will cause their bum to go down. As soon as they sit, say 'sit' a number of times so they understand what sitting is, and give them the treat. Do this trick a lot so your dog gets familiar with sitting."
"TA DA!!!! Your dog has learnt to sit!"
Charlie on how she helped Elsa to learn to walk off the lead
Caption: Elsa looks like butter wouldn’t melt, but she has a naughty side!
“Elsa had terrible recall when being walked off the lead and was forever chasing birds,” said Charlie of five-year-old Elsa, a Yorkshire Terrier who became part of the family when Charlie was living in Dubai, UAE.
She explained that attracting the attention of Elsa required a three-prong approach!
“We tried to be more interesting and exciting than what she wanted to chase and with some treats and lots of positive reinforcement. She now walks beautifully off the lead and always comes back. We did some training with a long lead at first, but now, all sorted!”
Sinan on when to NOT train his dog Delilah
Caption: Hey there Delilah, what’s it like in New Pup City?
Delilah is a rescue pup who joined Sinan and Margot’s family in March. Sinan explained that Delilah needed a lot of love, attention and training -- even running in the opposite direction when she was called!
And while she has made leaps and bounds (Delilah now knows ‘sit’ and ‘lie down’ and will even waits to eat her dinner until she’s told it’s allowed), Sinan explained that the trick to training is to know when to do it! “If your dog gets bored, stop all training. Put the toys and treats away and try again later!” Sinan said.
Alise, Toks and Willow on how to get their dog, Rosa to come back after playtime in the park!
Caption: Rosa got lots of puppy love, and some lessons in how to behave well!
Rosa the cavoodle joined the family as a puppy at Christmas 2018, and Alise explained that her husband Toks came up with a great trick to ensure that, from the get-go, Rosa came when she was called!
“The first time you get a puppy on the ground, you let them play and then you hide from them. Behind a tree or wherever they can’t see you. It seems really mean, but you need them to be looking out for you otherwise they don’t want to come back,” Alise said. “If you always come and get them they think that’s what happens... If you hide from them first then they understand it’s their job to keep a lookout for you.”
Compiled by Jenny Haward