Grantham expert asks how often do you train your dog?
Column by Sara Barnes, of Who Lets Your Dog Out?, www.wholetsyourdogoutuk.com
When many of us get a puppy it's all hands on deck to get them trained to pee outside, walk on a lead nicely, come when we call (recall) and many normal behaviours like sit, stay and wait.
As your puppy/dog masters these basic skills, for many training stops there. However, there is a field of thought between some trainers that training should be an ongoing thing throughout the life of your dog.
It doesn’t need to be anything complicated, or massively time consuming, just a few minutes a couple of times a day to reinforce basic skills and enhance your dog’s training/compliance.
A point that supports this is that many dog owners note that their dogs levels of obedience/compliance drops off when their dog starts to go through their adolescence. This is a key time to do daily training to reinforce the skills your dog was taught as a puppy.
But it does not just end at adolescence. As your dog meets new people (dog walkers, home boarders, neighbours etc) that will be in their life as you head back to work all these people need to be able to get your dog to do the same things that you do, such as walk nicely on the lead, come back into the house when called, not jump up, sit when told.
Using consistent words of command and regular exposure to these words will enable your dog to recognise them and be remain responsive to them.
There is no shame in going back to basics, upping the value or frequency of rewards when they start to work with new people or in new locations. It all helps to encourage your dog to adapt to these new locations and people.
If you are struggling with training your dog then there are a number of trainers in and around Grantham; each has their own areas of specialisation and techniques. Just remember, it’s as much about you being trained as the owner, as training your dog.