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Young Dogs V High Expectations and the winner is: No One

Young Dogs V High Expectations and the winner is: No One

Young Dogs V High Expectations and the winner is: No One

Nobody really tells you, how much work, time and effort you need to put in, to have a happy, healthy well-rounded dog. There are no quick fixes, when it comes to training your dog.

Whether you are a new dog owner or a seasoned dog owner, young dogs can be trying at times. They are full of fun, excitable, would rather chase butterflies, instead of going to the loo, have a short attention span and no ears, half the time.

They can frustrate you, make you angry, make you sad, put a smile on your face, cheer you up, when you are down. They can invoke, many emotions in you, all in one day.

And, that is not counting the times when you may feel overwhelmed, and wonder if you did the right thing, by adding a dog to your family. Even seasoned dog owners can feel overwhelmed, we are probably all guilty of this, comparing the dog or dogs that have come and gone in our lives, with the one we have now.

No two dogs are the same and if you have had a dog for many years, its easy to forget, what it was like, when that dog was a young dog because memories fade and often we only remember, “the good stuff.”  

Good stuff like: how great he/she was to walk with, how obedient, how chilled out and the list goes on. Its easy to forget, how long you spent training & hanging out with your dog, the ups and downs you had along the way, the frustration you sometimes felt because your dog, just wasn’t getting it!

Now here’s the thing, dogs are not human, they don’t think the same as we do. So don’t expect too much, if you think they should know what is expected from them, they don’t, you have to teach them and that can take time, dedication and a lot of patience.

Baby steps is the way to go, all too often and without realising it, it is easy to set up your dog to fail. For example, teaching the recall (come), if you start with your dog on short lead and then ask your dog to sit, then move one or two steps back, then ask your dog to come, more often than not, your dog will come to you. So the end result is one of achievement, for both you and your dog.

Now play that again, say you tell your dog to sit and you move a couple of metres away, your dog starts walking towards you after a few seconds, so you go back and make him/her, sit again and the same thing happens.  You may do that 2 or 3 times, your dog isn’t capable of sitting for that long yet,  So your dog fails what you asked of, him/her.

How does that make you feel, angry, frustrated or are you ok about it, because you realised, you expected too much, from your dog?

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2019 in About

 

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What do you think: Dog training guarantee, a realistic expectation or not?

What do you think: Dog training guarantee, a realistic expectation or not?

The one question I seem to be getting asked a lot lately is:

Do you offer a performance guarantee?

Answer: Sorry no, I do not. When it comes to dog training, there are too many variables, I have no control of, to offer any kind of guarantee.

Dog training is all about me teaching you how to handle/communicate and train your dog. Your dog may listen to me but your dog isn’t my dog, you have to do the work.  I can only advise, guide & show, I can’t make you listen and take note of my advice or suggestions. Neither can I make you work and spend time with your dog as required, on a daily basis.

Although, I can ask you to let me know, if something I have shown you, isn’t working for you, I can’t rely on you telling me. Dog training is about commitment,  there are no quick fixes when it comes to training your dog.

Trades people such as plumbers, mechanics etc, may guarantee their work and guarantee’s apply on most consumer  goods, eg cars, TV’s, fridge/freezers and the like.

Some dog trainers may offer a guarantee, it may or may not be just a gimmick, to increase their client base.

As with any written guarantee, you need to read the fine print, re conditions that can make a guarantee null & void.

Sometimes in life, you meet people you just don’t get on with and dog trainers are no exception and that is ok. If you are not happy with your dog trainer, say so and leave and find a trainer, who is a better fit for you.

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2019 in About

 

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What do you think, are puppy training classes enough?

What do you think, are puppy training classes enough?

Click on the image ” A poem from an untrained puppy” to enlarge and read

What do you think, are puppy training classes enough?

Puppy training classes can be a great start to socializing and training your dog if run correctly but that is all they are, just a start.

Usually classes are run for four weeks and only take dogs up to 4 months of age. They cover the basics in behaviour and training but very few, cover anything in-depth.

They do not prepare the owner for the problem behaviours that often occur in the “teenage period” which usually starts around the 6-7 month mark and can continue until the dog is 15-20 months old, this time frame can vary depending on the dog.

Young dogs are quite pliable and can be easy to teach, owners often say to me “he is such a good boy/girl, does everything I tell him/her” but four weeks of puppy training is not enough to in-still basic training in a dogs mind.

Many not all, puppy schools, do not teach/tell you the owner, about the benefits of having good leadership skills, in other words, what you need to know and do, to ultimately have a well rounded  dog, who is a joy to have around.

Dog owners expectations can often be set too high, they expect too much too soon and this can result in them becoming, frustrated, angry, tired, and unhappy with themselves and their dog. Sometimes they forget the reason, why they even got a dog, in the first place.

Dog training, takes commitment, consistency, repetition, time, patience (its not all smooth sailing) and a great sense of humour. There are no quick fixes, when it comes to training your dog. Its not a chore but a labour of love but that is sometimes, forgotten.

I often chat to owners who are having problems with their dog and they say “We took him/her to puppy training”. Which is great but its not enough.

Good leadership skills are the key. After all, there is more to training than just “Sit and Stay”. It can be really hard without any guidance, and while Google and helpful friends may give you some advice, that advice may or may not, be helpful.

Not all dogs are the same, and what tricks and tips, work for one dog, may not work on another.

Classes should give you a good grounding and help set you up for life. That is why its is important to continue on, with some form of obedience and enrichment.

Canine enrichment, is important because today most dogs have lost their jobs, they were born and bred to do. As well as exercise, they need to have their brains stimulated and used, which in turn can tire them out. Exercise and enrichment can help elevate boredom, reduce behaviour problems or eliminate them altogether, depending on the problem.

Other articles you may find helpful if you want a happy well rounded dog. 

Dog safety for all (not just kids)  Signs of stress in dogs: is your dog stressed?

Boarding Kennel Stress: Things owner need know!   Socialising your dog the right way

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2018 in About

 

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Your puppy needs to be fully vaccinated, before attending class. What does this mean?

Your puppy needs to be fully vaccinated, before attending class. What does this mean?

I am not going to go into the pros & cons of vaccinating your dog and what it entails, as there is plenty of information out there (do your research) and if you are not sure about something, ask your vet.

I train dogs in the Ashhurst Domain and other public areas, the Domain for example, is open to the public 24/7 as are many other parks and reserves. It is also a high traffic area, meaning people, dogs, (vaccinated or not) vehicles etc, can come and go as they please.

In other words it is not a controlled environment. So the risk, of your, not fully vaccinated puppy contracting something, is greater.

If you do decide to take your puppy out, it may or may not contract something but that is the risk you take and the choice, you make.

What does fully vaccinated mean? it means by the time your puppy reaches 14 – 16 weeks of age, it should have had, all its shots and be fully vaccinated. Of course, as with anything, there are exceptions.

Now I hear you say, what about socialising, or my puppy is doing this and that, what do I do?

Well if you know someone who has a fully vaccinated dog and the dog, is mellow and chilled, you could introduce your puppy to him/her OR you could attend a puppy pre-school, where you will find puppies of similar ages, up to 4 months.

Puppy pre-schools are often run by your local vet but look around and see what is available in your area.  These classes are held in a “controlled environment” and the puppies your puppy will meet, will be at various stages, on their vaccination schedule.

I hope the above has helped clear up any confusion some people may have had, regarding the term “Fully Vaccinated” and what it means.  Many obedience classes, boarding kennels and the like, require dogs to be fully vaccinated.

Are puppy classes enough?  There are no quick fixes when it comes to training your dog

A poem from an untrained puppy  Socializing your dog

 
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Posted by on October 5, 2018 in About

 

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Smart Dogs, Committed Owners

Smart Dogs, Committed Owners

I often see on social media and the like, articles and videos portraying dogs, doing incredible things. Whether it be in some canine sport, obedience or tricks, the list is endless.

Many comments, of admiration and praise are left by people who are impressed by the dogs achievements and rightly so.

What is not often mentioned, is the dedicated time and commitment these dog owners have put in, many on a daily basis. The ups and down they have had along the way, its not all smooth sailing.

Patience, time, dedication, understanding, commitment, routine, failure, repetition plus great sense of humour, all have a part to play.

So next time you view a video or read an article, take moment to think and maybe praise the owner as well, after all, it takes two.

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2018 in About

 

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Puppy Training Classes, Are They Enough? To be honest, no they are not.

Puppy Training Classes, Are They Enough? To be honest, no they are not.

A poem from an untrained pup
Click on the image to enlarge and read “A poem from an untrained puppy”

Puppy training classes, are they enough? To be honest, no they are not.

Puppy training classes can be a great start to socializing and training your dog, if run correctly but that is all they are, just a start.

They do not prepare the owner for the problem behaviours that often occur in the “teenage period” which usually starts around the 6-7 month mark and can continue until the dog is 15-20 months old, this time frame can vary depending on the dog.

Usually classes are run for four weeks and only take dogs up to 4 months of age. They cover the basics in behaviour and training but very few, cover anything in-depth. Most do not teach, you the owner, good leadership skills, in other words, what you need to know and do, to utimately have a well rounded obedient dog, who is a joy to have around. After all there is more to learn than just “sit and stay”.

Young dogs are quite pliable and can be easy to teach, owners often say to me “he is such a good boy/girl, does everything I tell him/her” but four weeks of puppy training is not enough to instill basic training in a dogs mind.

I often chat to frustrated owners who are having problems with their dog. They tell me, they took their dog along to puppy training class but for whatever reason, chose not to continue on with any form training.

Which is not good for them or their dog because more often than not owners become angry and frustrated, which can and does make matters worse.

That is why its is important to continue on with obedience training classes.

A good training class should cover obedience & behaviour problems along with many other issues, in more depth. They should teach you how to handle your dog in the real world. In other words, Good leadership and communication skills are the key. After all, like I said before, there is more to be taught than just “Sit and Stay” Classes should give you a good grounding and help set you up for life.

Below is a very good article on why you should continue you and your dogs education by taking your dog to classes.

Why should I take my dog to training classes?

http://www.tarynblyth.co.za/articles/whytrainingclasses/

I run classes on a monthly basis, If you and your dog would to join one of my classes, please contact me or visit my website or see the class information on this blog for details.

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2018 in About

 

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I don’t have Facebook on my phone.

I don’t have Facebook on my phone.

I thought I would mention and I know it maybe hard to believe but I choose not to have Facebook or messenger on my phone, as I personally, don’t want to be connected, all the time.

So if you leave me a message on Facebook and wonder why I have not replied, it is not that I am being rude by not replying, it is just that I won’t see it, until I switch on my laptop and check my messages, both morning and night.

So, if anyone needs to contact me,  either phone or text, maybe the way to go for some, text being my preferred option, as I always have my phone with me and do check it, regularly.

My contact details can be found under the “About” tab on ZeroBites Dog Training Facebook page.

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2018 in About

 

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