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Tuesday, 30-May-2017 05:09:28 EDT
training your dog FROM THE VAULT by ROB GODDARD
The best time to start training your dog is the moment you bring them home. It's very common for your dog to change as they grow and as they experience new things, so training is something that you really should do every day. Now, you are probably thinking, "Where will I find the time?" And it's true – you will need time to learn proper training techniques. However, once you learn them, it becomes second nature with little time spent.
Puppy mills do exist, so please be sure you are not supporting one.
LEARNING FROM A PROFESSIONAL TRAINER
Learning from a professional trainer that utilizes a positive structure is the best route to take. When I brought my puppy home, I thought I could train him and I did really try. I got a few things right, but I also missed out on a great opportunity to properly train him. I had no idea that dog training had advanced so much in the last thirty years!
EXPOSURE Expose your puppy to as many different noises, people and different situations as you can. This is called Socializing Your Puppy and it's very important. Attending a training class with your dog is a great way to get them used to being around other dogs in a controlled environment.
BEHAVIOURS Recall: Without a doubt, Recall is the most important behaviour you need to teach your dog. A proper recall works like this. Say “Come!” and your dog stops what it is doing to sit in front of you. As in all training, the word you use is not important. What is important is to be consistent. A good Recall can mean the difference between life and death for your dog.
Stay: One of the behaviours I did manage to get right from the start was a good Stay. When we return home from a walk, my dogs sit on the carpet at the door and wait for my signal. Of course, just before I release them, I give them a treat reward. This re-enforcement for their good behaviour means they automatically sit on the carpet when we come in from our walks.
Sit & Stay: Another easy way to work on a good Stay is to have them Sit and Stay while you put their food dish down. Always use the same release word – for me, that release word is “Okay” – and their reward is dinner.
Don't postpone training. Bad behaviour is harder to correct the longer it is tolerated. Taking the time to train your dog results in a good canine citizen – the type of dog other people are happy to have around. It's about rewarding the behaviour you want for your dog, but be careful. Quite often we give a reward and we don't even realize it. Seeking help from a professional trainer will get you started on the right paw... err, I mean foot. •
Rob Goddard has been working to save pets since 2002 when he started fundraising to help pets in need. He has served as President of Helping Homeless Pets, an association of pet rescues in Canada, since 2007. Rob began to help lost pets to get back home in 2010 when his software company launched a National Lost / Found Pet Registry called Helping Lost Pets. The website is used across North America.
Rob has two miniature dachshunds named Milo and Layla and the three are often seen at various pet events with the Woofjocks.
His dogs have competed in agility and have made many visits to seniors homes. Their list of TV credits include TVO Kids, Breakfast TV, Animal House Calls, The Surreal Gourmet, Wedding SOS, Zoink’d and Rogers Daytime.