Your Dog relies on you in every way, for food, water, shelter, protection from & treatment of illnesses or injuries and belonging to your family pack, although it should never be the leader. A duty of care is now a legal requirement under the Animal welfare act, and covered in the Good Citizens Dog Scheme responsibility & care leaflet. Your Dog will respond best to consistent commands, repeating set words or phrases for each of the activities you want it to carry out i.e. dogs name & sit, down, stand, come, heel, stay etc. Remember consistent commands get consistent responses. If you are starting your Training with a Puppy, it is important to start as early as possible. Many good Breeders will have already started teaching your Puppy some basic commands and started toilet training. Book your Puppy into Training before you even get it. Formal Training normally starts after your Puppy is clear of it's vaccinations, usually at about 12 weeks, but you can get started yourself by following the check list below. Start with just 5 minute sessions with just one or two exercises and reward success immediately with your Puppies favourite treat. Avoid "play fighting" with your Puppy as this will teach it that it is acceptable to fight or challenge humans, including children. Teasing a Puppy will also make it bad tempered and resentful.
With our Training being carried out during daylight hours, the Training will include some exercises outside giving an opportunity to practice in realistic settings encountered in day to day home situations.
The following activities will form the basis of the Training programme within the Puppy Foundation to help your Dog become part of your family, a pleasure to be with and you can take anywhere.
Attentive response to Name – so that you get your Dogs attention so that you can communicate with them more effectively.
Play with your Dog – make being with you a pleasant experience so that they bond with you. Correct any aggressive behaviour, so that they start to see you as the one to follow.
Socialisation – socialising initially with other calm dogs helps to let your Dog see that they do not pose a threat or make it fearful, and that it is a pleasant experience. This will help to reduce any aggressiveness towards other dogs.
Making friends with unknown people – introduce initially with people you know are dog friendly, so that they start to socialise with, and remains calm with other people.
Get your Dog to understand the basic commands of Sit, Down & Stand - practice these movements, with incentives if necessary, so that you can get them to adopt these positions. It will help when you want your Dog to stand or sit quietly for any reason or when it has to be examined or handled by you, at the Vets or being Groomed.
Recall – at home get your Dog to come to you when you call, use incentives if necessary, this will form the basis of getting them back to you when out walking.
Stay position – to get your Dog to stay in one place for a short period initially is the beginning of getting them to understand the word “stay”. Progressively increase the stay periods up to several minutes so that they will remain safely in one place, until you wish them to move or return to you.
Walking in a controlled manner – Your Dog should learn to walk quietly by your side without undue pulling, otherwise you will not enjoy your walks together. Start by lead walking indoors, so that your Dog gets used to walking in a calm environment without outside distractions. Avoid long leads when “road” training as they could trip you or other people up. Short leads should always be used in this situation so that you have complete control over your Dog.
ROAD TRAFFIC ACT 1988 (Part 1 section 27) It is an offence to have a dog on a designated road without it being held on a lead. 9 Food Manners – get your Dog use to taking food or treats from you without snatching. A dog that snatches food is in danger of accidentally biting the person who offers it, especially young children. 10 Examination of your Dog - Inspect your Dog on a regular basis checking their mouth, teeth, eyes, ears, running your hands over the body, the legs and paws/nails checking for anything unusual including lumps, bumps, ticks or burrs. This prepares your Dog for any formal examination or handling that they encounter at the Vets or whilst being groomed.
This is not an exhaustive list that you and your Dog need to practice, but it forms some of the basics that are included in our Training that will help owning your pet a pleasant and enjoyable experience.
Whilst these Training exercises need to be carried out at home, they also need to be practiced and completed satisfactory in a situation where there are distractions from other Dogs, which are included as part of our Training exercise and socialisation programmes.
The Good Citizen Awards at Bronze, Silver and Gold level, build and develop these basics, more details of which can be found on our downloads page HERE Please note: Each handler must carry with them some form of “poop scoop” and all dogs must wear a collar and Identification tag with the owners Name & address inscribed on it complying with the law. It is a legal requirement to clean up after your dog in public areas and dispose of the bag in an appropriate bin. From the 6th April 2016 Dogs should be micro-chipped.