Boss or Best Friend

“When the man waked up he said,
‘What is Wild Dog doing here?’
And the woman said,
‘His name is not Wild Dog any more,
But the First Friend,
Because he will be our friend
For always and always and always.’”
Rudyard Kipling

Positive reinforcement, reward based learning. What’s it all about?

Positive reinforcement and reward based learning means rewarding your dog’s good behaviour and ignoring his bad or unwanted behaviour. By doing this, your dog learns what you want him to do.

“Dogs like to obey. It gives them security.”
James Herriot

If your dog chews your shoe, it’s not their fault. If your dog chews your furniture, it’s not their fault. You should have put your shoes away and shown your dog what you want him to chew (Kongs, chew toys etc.).

We know we’re stating the obvious but dogs don’t speak English (or indeed any other language). If you just say, ‘Sit, sit, sit, sit, SITTTT!’ how does your dog know what you want him to do? He will eventually get it through trial and error but it is quicker and more effective to teach him using a combination of hand signals and luring with food.

Something to think about

All dog owners know that their dogs need physical exercise. But it’s important to give your dog mental exercise as well. This can be quite tiring too. Try and do 15 minutes mental exercise with your dog every day. Even basic tests like sit, down and stay will get him panting – as long as he’s interested and correctly motivated.

Make time for play

Playing with your dog is also important. Some breeds prefer chase games, others like games of tug. When you play with them, you are building strong bonds and a good relationship. Your dog will want to be with you and will be attentive to you, even in a distracting environment. However, the games that you play need to be properly taught and fun for your dog. You also need to leave him wanting more – finish the game when you decide to, not when your dog decides to.

“Your dog will look at you when you are worth looking at.”
Sam Malatesta, Canadian dog trainer

We know that there is no need for choke chains, rattle bottles or any other training tool that punishes unwanted behaviour, and you won’t see them used in our classes. We try our best to be a dog’s best friend and that’s what we’d like everyone who has a dog to do.

When you come to our classes, or when we work with you on a one-to-one basis, we’ll show you how to be without doubt your dog’s best friend. We’ll show you how to be the most rewarding thing on the planet to your dog so that he’ll be your best friend. Then he’ll want to play with you and work for you whether you are teaching a basic sit exercise or a more complicated send away.

So it’s definitely best friend and not boss.

“I took my dog Marmite to Puppy School with Shaun as she (and I) needed some guidance on the basics of dog training. It had been some time since I had last had a dog and I found the course with Shaun enlightening and fun. The most impressive thing for me was the way in which a few simple exercises learned in class, and applied consistently at home, cemented the relationship between owner and dog. I still do some of these exercises on a regular basis and Marmite enjoys and looks forward to them.”
Louise Goulding, Caerwent

More Information

If you would like to learn more information about being your dog’s best friend please give me a call on 07890 996093.