TAKING THE LEAD: In her monthly column, Lincs Training dog expert Helen Vaitkevicieus looks at training
As we bring up our children in our families, we try to meet their needs like teaching them basic safety and hopefully good manners. We try to allow them to socialise with other children by sending them to outside classes or other groups so that they may learn the basic rules and hopefully grow up to be well balanced human beings.
Our dogs need the same time and input. When we get a puppy, we have an idea of what we think we want from our puppy and that it should be part of our family, in addition to its basic safety, health and welfare such as making sure it is loved, that it knows it’s place and has a well-balanced nutritious diet, a safe place to eat and sleep and veterinary care. We should therefore give them the same input as we would our children.
A puppy needs to be house trained, to learn its place in the hierarchy of the family, to wait and stay, to walk on a lead, without pulling, to sit stand and stay, how to meet and greet other people and their dogs, coming back when called.
The above basics are covered in The Kennel Club Good Citizen Dogs Scheme, which we at Lincs Training – Dog Training Made Easy promote. If you take the time to take your dog to a qualified dog trainer, you will be taught all these basics and even if you only go as far as the Puppy Foundation level this will help both the owner and their puppies to give them the best start in life.
It gives what I believe the bones to train your dogs in the basic needs and a solid base for the owner and handler to understand the same. If you and/or your dog have enjoyed getting thus far you can progress through the other stages of the Kennel Club Good Citizen Dogs Scheme – Bronze, Silver and Gold awards where both you and your dogs can reach even higher levels both on and off lead
As with our families we would like to think that we can take our children out anywhere, so it should be with our dogs. I was so proud the other day when one of my clients sent me a photo of them and their dog on the London Underground and another who posted a video of their dog coming back to them every time they were called on the beach. These are things that can be achieved.
You only get back out of life what you put into life and that is just as true with our dogs. My philosophy is start early and no matter how hard the journey is to keep going as you are investing in the future.