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MAN'S BEST FRIEND - celebrating Volunteer Week

By Spalding Today Columnist

This week we are celebrating Volunteer Week, as we are always so grateful to everyone who spends their free time helping at the centre and spending time with the dogs.

This weekend we threw a thank-you party to celebrate our volunteers. We had tea and cake while also playing some games. All of our volunteers had a great time and we look forward to the rest of Volunteer Week.

If you are interested in volunteering with us, please contact the centre on slincs@jerrygreendogs.org.uk. We have a variety of roles available. We are currently short on volunteers who want to help with our maintenance and want to be helping us at events.

Are you looking for a girl to be the Belle of the ball!

Our beautiful Belle is looking for her new home and isn’t she just gorgeous? She is so super friendly and loves getting lots of fuss, but nothing beats playing with toys. She enjoys having a potter around in our compound and sometimes for a walk down the lane, when she feels like it; she is such a gentle lady.

Beautiful Belle is looking for a new home. (11730528)
Beautiful Belle is looking for a new home. (11730528)

If you would like to know more about Belle please contact the centre on 01205 260546 or email slincs@jerrygreendogs.org.uk

Training tip

Last week we learnt to do a sustained touch to a target. This week we are going to use this to build your dog’s confidence with handling. This technique should not be attempted with any dogs with a history of handling issues and professional advice should be sort to help them gain confidence with handling. The idea behind this is that if your dog leaves the marker you stop handling them. This allows them to communicate that they are uncomfortable with whatever you are doing but also allows them to trust you so that they know you will stop handling if they are uncomfortable.

To start, cue your dog to touch the target and gently touch or stroke them in an area you know they are comfortable for a couple of seconds, then use your marker word and reward them.

The important thing to remember is that even if they leave the target you still reward them but do not use your marker word.

After a few repeats of touching in a safe area, you can start to move your hands slowly a bit more around the body. Always starting in a safe area and slowly moving to legs or ears, so your dog know where your hands are and rewarding frequently so they build a positive association with touching the target and being handled.

If your dog leaves the target when you are handling them in an area they are less comfortable with, reward them and ask them to touch the target again. Resume handling them in a more comfortable area again but before you get to the point they left the target, make sure you mark and reward frequently at this point so that they create an association that handling around this area equals nice things.

Remember to take it slowly, as the idea is that by the end you will be able to comfortably handle your dog all over.


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