Friday, 1 August 2014

Training for a better life

Today was a new experience for me, I have been dog trained. Most people think a dog trainer trains dogs, but they don't, they train people. Dave is a dog trainer, and Henry has been a little bit naughty just lately, so Dave came to show us what we should be doing when we take him, or any other dog for that matter, for a walk. I don't walk Henry but I went along to learn something. 
We all know that dogs are pack animals, and if you don't show them that you are the leader of the pack, they will assert themselves and claim that role. That's when the problems start, the dog becomes the head of the household and you become it's slave. Dave has already had a training session with Henry, about a year or so ago, but Henry has started to push the boundaries a bit and a refresher course will get him back into line. 
Dave started off by giving us an insight into how a dogs mind works. They actually need boundaries to be set. A lot of people think they have human emotions but they don't, they are dogs. Then off we went for the road walk, with Dave explaining the technique for walking to heel. This is not a time for the dog to stop and sniff at every lamp post. The human has to be in control, to set the pace, and choose the route.  
Next onto grass, this is where the dog is allowed to sniff, and to check out the territory.

Henry behaved perfectly with Dave because he asserted himself as pack leader.

More road walking and Henry is getting the hang of it. 
Then he can lay down on a bit of grass and enjoy his praise.

Next we all take the lead to practice what we have been told.

We came across a garden with two very vocal large dogs jumping up at the fence and acting quite threatening. Henry didn't like that at all and pulled on the lead to get away. After a few reassuring words from Dave, he was not quite so nervous at passing the house on the way back. 
There is a lot more to dog training than you think. The human has to assert themselves as pack leader at every opportunity, and has to set the boundaries and make the rules. There is no need to rough handle the dog, shout at it, or pull it about. Results are achieved by knowing what the dog needs from you, and being consistent and persistent with the training. That's the little bit I learnt today.

Dave is a very knowledgeable chap, he has been doing it for £35 years. He has his own German Shepherds, and is also a rehabilitation centre for GS's needing rehoming.  German Shepherd Dog Rescue.

Dave's web site is here.     And his Facebook page is here.

Only one thing for it after that.....WE ATE CAKE  :o))

Toodle pip.

18 comments:

  1. I think I'd like Henry. I think I'd like the cake even more.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for that. My dog has many issues and phobias and have considered getting her help before she ends up on meds. Will bookmark his website

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi hazzy. I've seen the photo of your dog on your blog, she looks lovely. Please research more into dog behaviour before you resort to meds. According to Dave there isn't any problem dog that he can't help. Please read up all you can about dog psychology. She might need help, but you also need help and support to understand what her needs are. Good luck.

      Delete
  3. I grew up with dogs in my mum`s household, so the pack leader role is very familiar to me already. I`d love to have a dog again, but our financial circumstances would not allow it. I used to look after two dogs for some friends of ours when they went on holidays. Their elderly dogs had passed away, so I miss that interaction quite a bit. But, with a grandchild to look after I now have better priorities.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mmmmm spending time with dogs and eating cake...sounds like heaven.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I'm confused - who is the "we"? And who does Henry belong to? Is he one of the dogs you care for when your friends/neighbors are out or away?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi PatsyAnne, sorry about the confusion. Those who have been reading for a long time will remember that I have spoken about Helen and her choc lab Henry before. I try not to go over old ground too much as regular readers will become bored if my posts are repetitive, as I would as well. But some repetition is necessary to enable the newer readers to catch up, and in my quest to keep my blog fresh I sometimes forget that.

      So in answer to your questions, Helen is my friend, I used to walk Henry but stopped a couple of years ago when he became too much of a handful. Roy, the other person in the photo's walks Henry now. He has two of his own dogs so the training was useful to him. I went along because I thought it would be interesting.

      Delete
    2. Thanks so much for the clear-up! I've been following you for about a year and loving your blogs. I'm retired on a fixed income (our social security) so after living on a good salary for most of my life, I am also Living After Money (LOL)... its challenging as I have to balance all my recurring bills and a very large rent. I'm hoping to move into a senior citizens townhouse within the next year which only charges 30% of income for rent. This month I'm cutting down my cable tv bill "basic" as I really don't watch much tv and when I do its our PBS (public broadcasting system) which is on cable or shows from your ACORN TV, for which I pay $5 a month, and can pick and choose which shows I want to watch and when I want to watch them on my computer.
      I can't do your walk-abouts since my knees aren't that good and if I walk any distance they ache so badly I want to cry. I also have gained a lot of weight and so KNOW I have to start walking more - and then a little bit more than that, and so on. I want to lose 26 pounds by the end of the year - I've cut WAY back on red meats (unless I get a really good buy at the market) and even chicken has been cut back on - I'm eating more vegetables (no yard to plant anything) which I buy on sale. But follow you I will, for your life is one that I'd love to live.

      Delete
  6. Hello from a very thunderstormy evening here.It can make the dogs very nervous and they take our cues and calm guidance and do well despite the youngest one's fright.A well trained loved dog is such a joy.It takes alot of time and consistency,love and patience but is well worth the effort. We've always had dogs as pets and can't imagine life without them.Henry is gorgeous and looks to be learning easily.But as one of your comments said the expense of pet ownership can be a huge responsibility and should not be taken lightly,especially if on a limited income..Photos and description and purpose of the training session were interesting to read and follow.Gosh that cake looks sooo good.Regards, Destemona.

    ReplyDelete
  7. That's really useful, our dog is mostly well behaved but has begun to push the boundaries lately...not giving his ball back after his walk...we'll stamp the behaviour out now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. P.S. It worked! I marched him down to the field where we play...no sniffs! 'Turbo, WALK!' When we got to the field, I let him off and let him sniff and do his business. Then we played ball and I got them both back, before marching him home, no more sniffs. He seemed quite happy with the proceedings and so was I! Thank you!

      Delete
    2. Hi Charlotte. Well done. I found this video which might explain things further.

      http://youtu.be/Z8cPkTh7Y3k

      This trainer uses treats, Dave doesn't use any treats.

      Delete
    3. Interesting video (no sausages for Turb, though!) Some of his other videos are good, too. I can see that the problem is, he thinks he is the leader...a bit of work to do!

      Delete
  8. Very interesting post Ilona. Don't you think though that dogs being the super sensitive animals that they are, sense who they can manipulate and who they can't. Henry probably sensed that he wouldn't get away with anything with Dave and acted accordingly, but if he senses that he's got a softy on his hands then he will try his luck.
    Yummy cake...
    Briony
    x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Briony, you are right. Henry has met Dave before, and remembers that he is pack leader. They can tap into human weaknesses, it's up to the human to take charge. That's why it's the humans that need training as well as the dogs.

      An example of Henry taking charge. We walked up and down the same bit of road several times. As we approached Henry's house he slowed up because he thought we were going back in, and he didn't want to. When he realised we were walking past to carry on, he quickened his pace. He is not daft.

      Delete
  9. One of my dogs Strudel doesn't like German Shepherds, we're pretty safe as long as she doesn't look in the mirror lol x

    ReplyDelete
  10. I need a dog trainer as it happens.... and cake.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, I've just been reading your blog. As an experienced dog owner I think you have the knowledge to train Lucky yourself.

      Delete



Comment moderation is switched off at the moment. Thank you for visiting my blog.