TRAINING YOUR DOG
WHAT IS DOG TRAINING?
Dog training is a term used to describe two different activities:
To teach a dog to do something he would not do on his own, and;
To inhibit him from activities he would do on his own, but which we consider objectionable.
In both instances, we have to recognise the dog's limitations. While some canine behaviours can be modified, it would be cruel even to attempt to change others.
The moral is: UNDERSTAND YOUR DOG AND LET HIM BE A DOG!
Facts about dogs and dog training
Dogs are such popular pets because they have so many seemingly human qualities. They are honest, trustworthy (at least once they have been trained!) and loyal. Dogs are social creatures, who enjoy our company as much as we enjoy theirs. In times of need they comfort us, and often mirror our moods. Because dogs have so many of these qualities, care must be taken not to attribute human traits which he does not posess, to the dog.
A dog is amoral
This simply means that he does not know right from wrong. The greatest injustice to a dog is to endow him with a set of human moral values and to expect him to live up to these values and to punish him for failure to do so. A dog will not do something or refrain from doing something out of a sense of duty, gratitude or conscience - a dog is an ANIMAL.
What about the dog who has done something naughty and slinks around "looking guilty"? The dog is actually showing apprehension or fear because of the owner's attitude and body language.
How does a dog learn?
A dog learns through experience. The number of times a particular action must be repeated for a dog to learn and then commit it to memory varies. For training to succeed we must clearly distinguish, in terms which are understandable to the dog, what is to his advantage and what is not. Once a dog perceives that it is to his benefit both to refrain from conduct we consider objectionable, and to adopt those actions we consider desirable, he learns very quickly. Of course, all this is done through praise and reward.
Influence on learning
The objective of obedience training is the ability to communicate your desires to your dog in a manner that does not violate his dignity, and which results in a harmonious and mutually enjoyable relationship. The frequently asked question is: how long should it take for a dog to learn a particular exercise? The answer is that it depends on the dog and the exercise. Try to familiarize yourself with your specific breed of dog - every breed has specific traits which will impact on how quickly they learn. For example, a herding dog can usually learn more quickly than a hunting dog, just as a gundog can retrieve more easily than a toy breed. What one handler's dog may learn in a few sessions, could take your dog several weeks to learn. Do not be disheartened.
The most important influence on learning is your attitude towards your dog. A positive and benevolent attitude on your part sets the stage for maximum co-operation on your dog's part. If at any time you feel disappointed, frustrated or even angry, your dog will become anxious and apprehensive. STOP immediately and only resume training when you have regained your proper outlook. To become successful in your training, banish the notion that your dog is wrong. The dog's behaviour is largely the end result of his upbringing. Always be consistent - never allow your dog to do one thing one day and then stop it from doing the same thing on another day.
Dog training is a rewarding and satisfying undertaking that is fun for both you and your dog. A five minute training session (if possible twice a day) is all that is required to effectively train your dog. Choose a time of the day when you are in a good mood and when your dog is alert. Before you start to work, plan what you want to work on. You need not practice everything everyday. You also don't need to go to a special area in the garden to train - the kitchen can be a very good place to train sits, downs, stays and tricks.
KEEP IT FUN - if you or your dog is bored, stop immediately.
Always end your training with your dog feeling that he has succeeded. Try to finish with a fun game together.
DOGS ARE NOT OUR WHOLE LIFE, BUT THEY MAKE OUR LIFE WHOLE! - Roger Carras
Please come about 10 to 15 minutes before the start of the first lesson so that you can sign in. When you sign in for the basic obedience course, you will receive a treat bag and a bag of treats. Please bring this bag to all future lessons as it makes it easier to get the treats out quickly to reward your dog. For further classes you can bring your own SOFT treats of purchase a bag of treats from the table.
NO choke chains are used. Dog may train on harnesses, or martingale collars (a flat collar with a little piece of chain). These martingale collars are available to buy on the day. We do have Halti (head collars) for dogs that really pull.
Basic Home Obedience / Life Skills Course:
This course is for any dog that has completed Puppy Kindergarten or over the age of 4 months. It teaches the dog to walk correctly and nicely on a lead and to sit when the owner stops. The dog will go to the blanket and "settle" in a down position, whilst the owners sits in a chair. The dog will learn to stay in a position, and to come to the owners when called. Also some slow and fast pace. This is done in a group situation so that the dog acquires social skills too. There is an exercise where they walk around the other dogs and learn to ignore them and be controlled.
09:00 - 09:30
10:00 - 10:30
10:30 - 11:00
11:30 - 12:00
10:30 - 11:00
For dogs that have completed the basic obedience course.
Saturday & Sunday
The times vary as they start after a Basic course has finished.
10:00 - 10:30
For dogs that have completed the intermediate course
8:30 - 9:00
09:30 - 10:00
11:00 - 11:30
09:00 - 09:30
09:30 - 10:00
FUN AGILITY: On hold presently until we return to Forest Farm.
KC Dog School started offering Agility classes at the beginning of 2012.
A fun agility lesson will be held on the first and last Saturday of the month.
09:00 - 10:00 (or 10:30 depending on numbers)
The whole aim is to make the classes as much fun as possible. With love and motivation, dogs work better while having fun! Sometimes it is the love the handler shows that gets the dog to do the obstacle that it most fears.
WHAT TO BRING:
Water bowls and water. Although there is a shell filled with water, most dogs play in it, so fresh water is necessary for drinking.
Soft treats that are high in calorie value - cheese, chicken viennas, liver bread, bacon bits, liver paste etc.
If your dog is toy-driven, bring the toy. (Some dogs prefer balls or tuggies to food!)
A crate, if your dog is crate trained, for those moments when you need to leave your dog while you learn something without having to worry about their safety.
All dogs need to have some form of obedience in order to attend the agility classes.