Dog training and Health

Dogs in the Human Pack

CaoimheDogs are social animals quickly adapting to different situations, they have been living with us for many thousands of years.  Dog packs have a social order and much of the dogs’ behaviour  is determined by its’ position in the order of the pack.  When we invite dogs into our homes and families we invite them into our pack so to minimise the problems, the dogs’ ranking should always be the lowest, below all the family members.

Training the dog is not a one off occurrence, a dog is trained all the time, even when we are not aware of it.  The dog will watch and learn every routine of the household in minute detail and will know our habits better than ourselves.

Our position as ‘Alpha’  ( top of the pack ranking) gives us privileges we can give to the lower ranks, this does not mean we have to show aggression to the lower ranks but privileges should be earned, this causes our dogs a certain amount of necessary stress, we can tap into this to train our dogs by positive reinforcement with rewards for appropriate behaviours acceptable to our society.

It is very difficult to train our dogs if we go against their natural instincts so wherever possible we work with and mould the instincts into appropriate behaviours.

You and Your Dog Identification and the Law

From April 2016 You will be required by law to microchip your dog.  Microchipping is available from your vet or enquire via your local dog warden. Here is a link to the Kennel club information on microchipping-

http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/our-resources/information-guides/   In addition you will still need a tag for your dog.  Please read the information below to ensure you have the correct information on your tag.  It is a shame when people arrive at club having paid out good money for a nice tag only to discover it does not comply with the law and would not be acceptable to proceed with the KC Good Citizen test scheme

S2 of the Control of Dogs Order 1992 requires every dog, while in a highway or place of public resort to wear a collar with name and address of the owner

collar

inscribed on the collar or on a plate or badge attached to it. Please note partial addresses or postcodes alone do not meet this requirement.  As a kennel club registered  Club encouraging good citizen dogs and Handlers we only recommend  legally compliant tags,    We would also recommend  you  have a contact telephone number and mobile number   ( for holidays or trips away from home) on the collar in case of emergency.

Dog Tag Sales at Club – our treasurer Rosemary Turner can assist supplying  tags at a reasonable rate for members on request. ( click here to view printable order form – dog tag order form online version  and  just hand completed form to Rosemary at club: there are different sizes and types of tag, click this link for details Dog_Identity_Discs or ask Rosemary if you are unsure which tag to get ) A donation is made to our club charities from every tag sale.

In the interests of your own dogs’ health and the health of others your dog may contact, your dog should undergo a full course of vaccination when  it is a puppy and regular boosters throughout  its’  adult life.

Vaccination is a requirement of membership of this club.

If your dog is kennelled regularly we would also recommend treatment against Kennel Cough, this can be carried out annually with your routine vet check up and boosters .

Dogs are susceptible to worms which cause stomach disorder and can spread a disease to humans, particularly children who may contact dog feasces so dogs should be wormed regularly to protect them.  Vets recommend quarterly worming for dogs regularly mixing with other animals or entering public or farm lands.

Kennel Cough is a highly contagious dog disease, it is a nuisance to healthy fit dogs but can be fatal to very young puppies, old or weak dogs.  If your dog develops any dry cough or shows signs of repetitive retching without obvious cause please keep it away from any other dogs and contact your vet for advice.  Please do not bring your dog to club until the quarantine period has passed.  If your dog has contracted Kennel cough and you have visited club recently please help us by informing us so we can take remedial measures to protect other dogs.

Fleas and Ticks are easily picked up by dogs in the environment so it is advisable to check  for these and consider one of the various treatments available from your vet or pet shop.

Insuring your dog may give you peace of mind regarding fees however your household insurance may also give you cover for third party claims.

Please ask one of our trainers or helpers if you have concerns about any of the above or any training issue.

Click http://tlcdogclub.co.uk/hints-tips-advice/   for more detailed advice and health tips.

The Dog Warden

The Dog Warden is employed by the district Council to enforce  dog laws and to deal with stray dogs. The Dog Warden also promotes responsible ownership and as such our local warden often examines the Good Citizen Dog Test at our club.

If you lose your dog or find a dog please report to the Dog Warden who will assist with advice and liaise with local rehoming centres.

Training

Cassie and Rula making friendsNow with all the legal stuff out of the way lets get on to dog training – Your voice is the most useful training aid you have because it is with you all the time.  The expression you give in your voice will communicate immediately to your dog whether it can see you or not.  A sharp No should immediately stop the dog from doing what it shouldn’t.

A well fitting adjustable collar is best for a growing puppy and accompanied by a comfortable clip lead should be strong enough for control during early training.  Your trainer will demonstrate the array of different dog collars and leads available as well as training aids during week one of the beginners course.

Don’t know which lead to get before coming to training?  For more equipment advice click  Leads

At this club we train a method of positive reward. When the dog does something, or responds, in a way we feel is acceptable the dog is rewarded with a titbit or game with a toy.  You will see this demonstrated throughout the classes.

Grooming can also be part of our relationship and training regime as well as an opportunity to examine the dog for injuries, grass seeds, fleas, ticks or any other medical problem so why not get started early with a regular grooming routine.

Getting Started

Commands:-

All members of the household should use the same words for commands, remember your intonation is very important, commands should be simple single words, each sounding dissimilar to any other command, avoid commands like sit down as this is likely to lead to confusion in the dog.

Commands recommended by the club are

. Sit

. Down

. Stand

. Wait – meaning wait for the next command

. Stay – meaning stay in this position until I return and release you.

. Come

. Close( The heel command)

. Away  – to bed, this is a very useful exercise, particularly when visitors arrive and should be commenced very early in the dog’s development

Socialising

Give as many experiences as possible. Walk your dog through shopping centres and street markets, sit the dog outside a school at home time, walk dog near traffic, up and down stairs, near to noisy machines, on different ground surfaces in fact anything to increase their confidence early in life in our very unnatural world.

Exercise

It is important not to over exercise a very young dog as this can cause damage to bone structure.  As a guide here is a daily general rule of thumb to assist:-

Under 10 weeks, exercise in the home only

Once vaccinated over 10 weeks and up to 6 months 2 x 20 minute lead walks with not more than 10 minutes aerobic exercise.

6 months up to 1 year, build up exercise to no more than 2 x 1 hour walks per day.

Dogs should not be trained in jumping until over 1 year old and then only on soft ground.

Competitions

First year at crufts for Bodi

You may feel, as I did when I first came to the club, that you are not interested in dog shows or competing, but after a while you may change your mind and attention to detail in early training  will pay dividends later. Our members compete in all sorts of dog sports and competitions so if you are looking for different activities with your dog why not have a look at the team profiles to see what is out there and which team  member may be able to assist or guide you.

Conclusion

Training, to a dog, should be like one lifelong playtime with you controlling the game and the dog reaping the rewards of participation. The progress you make will build a valuable bond for you to appreciate throughout the life of your dog so enjoy training and if you have any problems or questions please approach one of the trainers or helpers at the club for advice.

For training tips and advice click  ‘Hints, Tips & Advice’