£20 per hour (£30 on Bank Holidays)
Getting a dog is one thing, training your dog is another. To fully fulfill your dogs needs you must provide rules, boundaries and limitations. You must give your dog structure. Without the proper training your dog can develop behavior problems.
Mastering the walk: I can not tell you the amount of times I see people walking their dogs where the dog is actually walking them!!! You must learn how to walk your dog the correct way in order for you to fully connect with your dog. Firstly you can’t walk your dog if your dog is in front of you, your dog needs to be by your side or behind you. Don’t use a flexi lead, use a short slip lead, you’ll have more control. Don’t rush your walks! I know sometimes us humans have busy lives but take the time you have with your dog at a relaxed pace. Make sure your walk has structure, walk for 10mins and then allow your dog to stop and sniff/pee for 5min then walk again without stopping. This way your dog will learn when its time to walk and time to sniff. And reward your dog after a good walk.
Toilet Training: This is something which is so easy yet almost everyone gets it wrong! No dog wants to go to the toilet in their own den so when your dog pees/poops in the house its not something they want to do, they just don’t know where they are meant to go. So place some newspaper down or puppy pads, when your dog starts to go to the toilet gently move them to the newspaper, yes there will be accidents but what you must not do is tell your dog off! They will only have more accidents. As time goes on move the paper towards the door to the garden, eventually your dog will soon want to go outside instead of on the paper. And you must reward going to the toilet outside, either with treats or words.
Feeding Time: You wouldn’t think there was a right way to feed your dog but there is! When you go to feed your dog make sure they are calm and relaxed, not jumping up to get the bowl in your hand. Go to the feeding area and wait, wait for your dog to sit down and relax, wait for eye contact, place the food down and when you are ready invite your dog to eat. They then learn who gives them food, reinforcing your role as pack leader.
Socialization: This is a very important part of your dogs training. If you have a puppy the first 12 weeks are the best time to socialize. Don’t worry if you have a dog which is now an adult, dogs are social animals and will always want to socialize. Start by taking walks with your dog around your neighborhood, slowly start going to your local dog park or a place where people in your area with dogs go. Tell people that your dog is in training and you’d like to socialize him. You’ll find that most dog owners will be more than willing to help.
Recall: This is the only time I would ever recommend a flexi lead. Allow your dog to wander around, sniffing and smelling everything. Call your dog back, don’t use their name, say ‘here’ or ‘come’ and tug the lead softly, if your dog doesn’t react tug a little harder, you want to snap them out of the sniffing that they are doing and refocus on you. Only reward your dog if they come back to you straight away, if they go past you or turn away half way back then you must not reward. Correct the behavior and try again. Use something like cooked chicken to attract them to you, only giving the food should they do really well. Don’t give food every time as this will become the only reason they come to you. Eventually your dog will come back to you every time…now its time to try if off the lead!
Sit and Stay: Sit and stay and all the other things we teach our dogs aren’t something they would do out in the wild, these are human created behaviors that we require from our dogs if they are to live in our world. You can’t teach a dog a new trick if you don’t have their attention, you need their attention 100% for them to learn so remove any distractions. You can use a clicker for this kind of training, and it’s a proven technique. Help your dog to understand what you want, place your hand on their lower back and press lightly and say sit, your dog will slowly slower their back end, make sure your dog is sat down completely before rewarding. Repeat this but slowly remove your hand so your dog does it on their own. Don’t get frustrated, patience is our friend! When teaching stay you want total eye contact, back away from your dog, do this is small chunks, don’t back away too far at first. Only reward then you feel your dog is relaxed, call him to you and reward with a treat.