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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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What Parents, Educators & Dog Owners should know and be able to tell & teach adults & children, on how to act and behave when in the company of dogs. Most dog bites are preventable.

What Parents, Educators & Dog Owners should know and be able to tell & teach adults & children, on how to act and behave when in the company of dogs. Most dog bites are preventable.

77% of dog bites are caused by the family dog or a friends dog. Dogs are dogs not substitute human children and all have the potential to harm. While they make great companions and are a lot of fun, people often, feel too secure and comfortable when in the company of them and don’t see or are oblivious to the potential dangers.

After all you are living/interacting  with an animal, that is quicker/faster than you, in every way, has sharp teeth that can do a lot of damage and in a lot of cases, is stronger.

If I were describing another animal, say for instance, a Tiger,  would you feel as secure and comfortable in the company of one them, of course you wouldn’t, because they have the potential to harm or kill you. You would be very aware, safety and knowing how to act and behave, would be your top priority.

Dogs are no different, they need to be treated with respect and understanding and sometimes human expectations are too high, they don’t think like we do, they are, after all, a different species. Please watch the The Family Dog, stop the 77 video below.

Parents, educators & dog owners have a responsibility to teach children and adults how to act and behave when in the company of dogs. Both kids and adults need to know about basic dog safety and awareness, because for the most part, children under the age of 12yrs are the one’s who get bitten. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of adults who get chomped on, as well.

Even if you are not a dog owner, everyone needs to know how to act and behave when in the company of dogs. You may not have a dog but the chances are, you know someone who does.

Below is a very good graphic from family paws, on the 5 types of supervision, it is too easy to get caught up in doing something else and not being aware of what is going on around you, such as talking or texting on the phone or on the computer, chatting or having coffee with friends, the list is endless.

Parents & dog owners, need to do more than just supervise, when children, adults and dogs are together. They need to be watching 100% of the time.

Dogs do talk to us if we watch, observe and listen. They need to watch out for signs of stress in the dog, such as: changes in facial expression, licking of the lips, and the dog’s general demeanour. If you are unsure remove the dog from the situation, it only takes a second for something bad to happen.

5-types-Supervision-LowRes

TV and Movies often portray “The good family dog” but don’t be fooled, these dogs are well trained, and they have trainers on the sets with them. If you want a well-trained and adjusted dog, you have to put the time and effort in. They need guidance, direction and boundaries, as do children.

Even people who have been around dogs all their life’s should Never assume that a strange dog is going to be friendly towards them, remember you may think you know dogs but that strange dog doesn’t know you. It may see you as an intruder or a threat. There are many things that can cause a dog to bite you, so please take the time to read 5 easy ways to get bitten by a dog  and Dog Owners its ok to say NO!

Dog Safety Advice for All

Never leave a child alone with a dog, because a child’s actions may inadvertently trigger an unwanted response, and the child may get bitten.

Never tease a dog. (E.g.: shouting & yelling, barking, throwing things, pulling faces & ears etc). These actions can cause a dog to attack because it may feel threatened or frightened If the dog is confined in a yard or tied up it will not forget the teasing, and if the opportunity presents itself, it will get its own back.

Always ask the owner’s permission before petting a dog. If the owner is not around leave the dog alone. If it is a stray dog, stay well away.

Never run away from a dog and Never run away screaming and shouting, because a dogs natural instinct it to chase and catch its prey.

Never enter a yard with a dog in it; always ask permission from the owner.

Never stare into the eyes of a dog, the dog may see it as a threat or a challenge to fight.

Always approach dogs calmly, carefully and slowly. Let the dog see and sniff you that’s how they get to know you and never approach a dog from behind.

Dogs like to play rough, they don’t have hands like you or I, and they jump up and use their mouths to grab hold and hang on. So do not jump, wave your arms around or scream when playing around dogs, these actions excite and stimulate the dogs chase response.

Never play with a dog unless supervised by an adult.

If you are approached by a strange dog stand very still and remain calm. Don’t scream and shout, stand sideways and don’t stare, that tells the dog, via body language, that you are non confrontational, then slowly move away, by taking small steps, if you can.

Never approach a strange dog. (You will never know what it will do).

Never put your hand through a fence or a window of a parked car to pat a dog, because it will bite you.

Never disturb a dog that is eating, sleeping, or caring for pups.

Never try to separate dogs that are fighting.

If you are knocked over by a dog, Always protect your face, arms & neck and roll up into a ball and remain very still.

If you get bitten tell an adult.

Never put your face close to a dog.

Never hug your dog or any dog around the neck because you may trigger the dogs bite reflex and the dog will bite you.

Children should not take their dog out for a walk unless accompanied by an adult, because if a situation arises e.g.: encounter with a stray dog, children don’t have the strength or presence of mind, to act quickly enough.

Be careful when handling a dog who is in pain or injured, it may bite you. Always, take precautions.

Always, try to be relaxed and calm around dogs, erratic movements could startle a dog or they may think you are teasing them.

Never take your dog on someone else’s property without finding out first, if it is OK to do so.

Fast-moving outdoor athletes should keep a safe distance between them and dog walkers. (E.g.: joggers, Cyclists etc). Again, these actions trigger the dog’s natural chase response.

Never run or walk up behind a dog, (even one you know) and try to pat it. Always, let a dog know you are there, let it see and sniff you.

Below is another very good info graphic from Doggone safe, although it says holiday tips, these tips can keep everyone safe year round.

holiday bite prevention tips

More information with graphics can be found @ http://www.zerobitesdogtraining.com/bittenP1.html
Also take time to read the NZ herald Dog Attack feature
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/dog-attacks/news/headlines.cfm?c_id=575

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2016 in About

 

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Do Dogs Bite Out of the Blue?

Do Dogs Bite Out of the Blue?

Very good article, and again a must read. Will help to reduce the number of reported dog bites and the many more that are not reported. Dogs do talk to us but we have to watch and listen. 77% of dog bites are caused by the family dog or friends dog. If you can’t be watching your dog a 100% of the time, when around children or adults for that matter, remove the dog or people from the situation. As dog owners its our job to watch out for our dogs and teach kids and adults how to act and behave when in the company of our dogs or anyone else’s for that matter.

Dogs and Babies...Learning to Live Happily Ever After

Heads Up!…I’ve moved this blog to my new website:  DogsandBabiesLearning.com.  You can find this post and comments through mid-November here.  If you are subscribing, commenting, linking or sharing, please do so from the new website.

I prepared this slide for my Dogs and Babies – Play It Safe! class as a way to illustrate one reason why dog bites to children might seem to happen “out of the blue.”

Before thinking more closely about it, we tend to think that “Good Dogs” live on the left side of the continuum and “Bad Dogs” live to the right.  That’s because good dogs don’t bite children, do they?  Once you determine that you have a “Good Dog,” you tend to leave it at that and just go about your life with dog and baby.

What we forget to consider is that just like us, dogs have good days and…

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Posted by on January 14, 2016 in About

 

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Are you prepared for: Kids, Dogs and the Holidays? 77% of dog bites are caused by the family dog or a friends dog.

Are you prepared for: Kids, Dogs and the Holidays? 77% of dog bites are caused by the family dog or a friends dog.

Any gatherings can be a cause for concern when dogs and kids are involved, it doesn’t just have to be around the holidays. 77% of dog bites are caused by the family dog or a friends dog. Statements such as “my dog wouldn’t hurt anyone” or “my dog is good around kids” really need to be taken with a grain of salt.

All dogs have the potential to harm, given the right situation and humans are no different, if backed into a corner. We can become verbal or physical, if necessary.  Dogs on the other hand, use body language to communicate their stress, distress, discomfort or they may even growl.

Unfortunately, how many listen to what the dog is trying to say, how many dogs get a one way trip to the vets every year because nobody was watching or listening. All too often people don’t see the potential dangers because they feel too secure and comfortable around dogs and are often oblivious to the potential dangers associated with inappropriate behaviour and not being aware.

Supervision is the key, you have to be watching 100% of the time.  Unfortunately the word supervision for many these days, means casting a casual glance around, while doing something else such as:

Having a family gatherings or party, you can’t be watching both your dog and what is going on around you all the time, your dog needs a safe place to go where it won’t be bothered. Dogs can become very stressed and people can do stupid things.

Talking and Texting on the phone,

Chatting or having coffee, while your dog is left alone with kids or other adults, yes I said other adults, they also need to be know how to act and behave, when in the company of dogs.

Letting your dog off leash and not watching where its going or what its doing.

The list is endless, non of the above is 100% supervision.

Many dog bites/dog attacks can be avoided,  if people were more aware. Below is a link to a  great info graphic designed and published by Family Paws Parent Education on the 5 types of supervision.   and below is another very good info graphic from Doggone Safe on dog bite prevention tips for the holidays. Of course these tips can be applied anytime of the year.

holiday bite prevention tips

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2015 in About

 

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Should dog/puppy training classes cover more than just the basic commands & behaviours?

Should dog/puppy training classes cover more than just the basic commands & behaviours?

Training classes in many forms are run all over the country, should dog/puppy training classes cover more than just the basic commands & behaviours? I know some do,  I personally think all should, we, not just here in New Zealand but worldwide are seeing an increase in dog bites/attacks as well as certain behaviours. When an incident of an attack is reported by the media, one thing that is always mentioned is, the call for more education.

Although there are plenty of dog safety education programs and information out there for the public and dog owners alike, how much of that information is actually sort out by the general public or dog owners.

Unfortunately, in today’s society many people are too complacent when it comes to dogs, in other words, they feel too secure and comfortable in the company of dogs and are unaware or oblivious to the potential dangers. After all, dogs are faster than humans, they have teeth that can do a lot of damage, and in many cases are stronger. So forget for a minute I am talking about dogs, If I were talking about tigers, would people be so complacent?

In order to effect a change in people’s thinking, yes education is the key, it’s no harder than it was, to educate people to wear seat belts while in a vehicle or teaching people, to look both ways before crossing the road.

As a dog trainer/behaviorist ( we are educators) how many include information in the way of FAQ sheets as well as talking/showing, dog owners, you teach, the do’s and don’ts of dog safety (in other words how to act and behave when in the company of dogs). As well as giving them the lowdown on the dog control act.

So your clients have the tools to protect their dog and educate others, how to act and behave when in the company of their dog or anyone’s for that matter. 77% of dog bites are caused by the family dog or a friends dog.

We as dog trainers/behaviorist have the opportunity to make a difference and become part of the solution and turn the tide.

Other articles you may find of interest: 5 easy ways to get bitten by a dog  Dog owners its ok to say no!  Greeting People may make your dog scared or uncomfortable  Socialising your dog, its all about your dog, its not what you think, your dog needs or should be able to handle  How well do you supervise your dog when around kids or other people

 

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2015 in About

 

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Good Dogs Wear Muzzles Too

Paws Abilities

We were walking our dogs outside a rally obedience trial several years ago when my friend froze. “Watch out!” she said sharply, “There’s a muzzled dog across the parking lot!” I looked, and sure enough someone was walking their dog in a comfortably fitted basket muzzle. The dog was on a loose leash with soft, relaxed body language, intent on his owner. I chuckled and went back to watching my own dog. “I don’t know why you’re worried,” I said, “That’s the one dog at this show that I’m the least concerned about.”

Layla wears her basket muzzle if she's going to be off leash around unfamiliar dogs. Layla wears her basket muzzle if she’s going to be off leash around unfamiliar dogs.

Our societal perception of muzzles is shifting, but the prejudice is still present in many communities. The thought is that only “bad” dogs wear muzzles, and if a dog is wearing a muzzle he or she must be a mean animal with horrible…

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Posted by on September 28, 2015 in About

 

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“Playing” at the dog park – Red Alert Behaviors

“Playing” at the dog park – Red Alert Behaviors

Another great article from No Dog About it Blog, again talking about playing at the dog park – red alert behaviours and why dogs need to be supervised, when off lead.

Same can be said if your dog goes to a doggie daycare or boarding kennels. If dogs are running free in groups, they need to have someone watching 100% of the time to watch out for, changes in behaviour, such as over excitement, stress, bullying and aggression.

No Dog About It Blog

Poor guy has a lot of dogs checking him out. Nice dog too. #dogparkThis past weekend I had the opportunity to attend a two-day workshop on dog interactions, dog behavior, aggression and behavior management. One session focused on behaviors often seen at dog parks and doggy daycares. It was eye-opening, mind-expanding and thought-provoking.

One of the key learnings I took away from the seminar had to do with what we often like to think of as “playing” at the dog park. (Hint: Most of what we see at the dog park is not playing.)

When we think of dogs playing, what do we often see them doing? Chasing?  Wrestling? Playing tug? Probably all of those right? But what are we missing?

If you’ve watched any of Sue Sternberg‘s dog park videos, probably a lot. Dogs are always communicating with one another, whether it be before, during or after their interactions with one another. What we consider “play” at the dog park is often not play, but something else, something…

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Posted by on September 4, 2015 in About

 

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