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Do you still enjoy being with your dog?

Okay why did you get this particular dog? So many of us are wrapped up in our lives trying to get it right for our dogs by training, trying to get it right for our families, trying to get it right for ourselves and on and on and on but how many times do you just stop a stroke your dog, enjoy being with them without thinking what else has to be done? When you decided to get this particular dog what was your plan? Were you hoping for a constant companion as you want the hills the woods, the park? Or maybe this was going to be the perfect dog for one of the many competitive sports you can do with your dog?

So, how’s it going then? Still on track or have things just gone a bit astray? How many of us just stop, and think about what and why you doing something? Quite often I have seen dog owners just keep on repeating an action without really engaging with what they are doing, so the result doesn’t change. Then something happens, and we must re-evaluate what we are doing.

Maybe you have a fracas with another dog, or your dog jumps up and nips someone – just think what that will do to your thoughts about your dog. Total disbelief, total denial, anger and then sadness. I can guarantee you will feel all of these, but you need to take this as a sign that what you are doing isn’t working. Its not necessarily the training that’s wrong but the fact your dog doesn’t believe you.

When I teach, I try and help dog owners to understand that you need to get your dog engaged and wanting to be with you, not the other dog or person. Your dog should ideally sit or lay down by your side whilst I talk to you. Be happy to walk past other dogs without reacting. We do this by working on your relationship with each other, and one of the most important things is to teach your dog to rest and relax with you or wherever you settle them. Have a look at my tips to help you: lockdown-projects

But all this will only work like all other parts of a dog training exercise, if you return the focus on your dog. Put the phone away, stop chatting away and keeping busy, and go for a quiet walk with your dog – somewhere they will enjoy and that’s not the beach when its totally crazy and full. Sit on a bench and relax and enjoy some peace and quiet – why not stroke your dog? This will help calm you and reward both of you and you may find that this is just what you need. Need some help, then come and join us at the Walkabout Way on Sunday mornings!


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