Updated: Apr 5
I recently wrote an article for the local paper and thought I would share it with you on Change your pets life day"
"A dog trainer from the South who has helped train over 10,000 dogs is urging owners not to give up on their pets this winter as a record number of dogs are going to be handed into rescue according to figures from the Dog Trust.
Carol Ashworth, who runs the Walkabout Dog Training Academy, says “You shouldn’t have to struggle with your dog, they are great fun and there are lots of ways to help. It such a shame to hear about these dogs being handed in January and quite often it is just because the dog has got bored and people have given up on them.
“It can only take 10 minutes a day playing with your dog to give them the vital stimulation they need and this can often save your dog from being rehomed.
“It really can be as simple as giving your dog some appropriate exercise. It will improve things and with the explosion of secure fields which you can now hire for sole use for you and your dog, there really is no excuse not to let them run and you play with them”
A Dogs Trust spokesperson said: “Dog ownership is a wonderful thing and will bring many years of joy to your family. It is also a big responsibility, and we recommend people think carefully about whether a dog is right for them, at this point in their life.
“Every six minutes we receive a call from someone who feels they have no choice but to give up their dog to Dogs Trust and in January, after the Christmas season is over, there is a worrying peak in online searches of people wanting to give up their dog.
In 2017, the Dogs Trust, which 39 years ago came up with the campaign slogan "A dog is for life, not just for Christmas," had this week been asked to re-home 43 dogs at just one of its 20 rescue centres, in Harefield, west London.
Here are some of Carol’s top tips to do with your dog to help with their training and behaviour:
1. Exercise them – on lead to the park or woods. Take a toy and play with them or some yummy food to get their attention. The walk doesn’t have to be for long, but your dog will love being out with you and you will benefit from being out in the fresh air. Dog owners are nice people, so get out there and meet some.
2. Exercise them off lead – hire a secure field for a short period and take them there to let of steam. Not sure you will get them back – leave a long line on them and have two toys to play with them. This will help build your confidence in controlling your dog.
3. Play hide and seek at home – hide their toy in a room and get them to go and find it and bring it back. They will especially if you have another toy to play with instead. Great to do when the weather isn’t so nice to be out.
4. Teach them a trick – “give paw” “watch me” or “sit, lie down, sit” Super fun to teach your dog and you are building the bonds needed for when you are out and about
5. Follow my five steps to success – you should do this in the house to begin with, then the garden and finally out on a walk.
a) Put your dog on a lead and collar.
b) Walk 5 steps forward with your dog by your side and tell them to sit
c) Come around in front and get them to watch you- Reward them.
d) Repeat going the other way
e) Do this five times and then stop.
At the Walkabout Way we offer field trips and local classes as well as home visits so there is always a way. Dogs need guideline and boundaries to make them feel safe, so learn how to help your dog become the family pet you have always wanted.
Carol runs her dog training academy, to help people to understand their dogs better and teaches dog lovers to become dog trainers. You can find out more at the website here for more details: