Page 1


Training Classes on offer Take the Lead Dog School & Animal Behaviour Clinic runs the following classes at Bridge of Weir. These are:-

Puppy socialisation classes For pups that have had their first vaccination until they are 20 weeks of age. At this class owners will learn how to communicate with their puppy to teach their pup manners such as to come back when called, to sit, to walk on a lead, to accept being groomed, not to jump up on people and to leave objects when told to do so. Pups will also be able to meet and play with other pups. Common problems that many pups have are dealt with at this class e.g. mouthing, food guarding, fear, toilet training problems and inappropriate chewing. By dealing with these problems early on, the pup will learn what is acceptable behaviour and what is not.

Junior/beginner classes These are intended for those dogs that have either graduated from puppy class or are older, but are under 18 months of age. Owners are taught how to get their dog to pay attention to them using food and toys. This class covers the following issues: teaching the dog to come back when called, to sit, to lie down, to stay, to walk on a lead, to accept being groomed, not to jump up on people and to leave objects. Dogs are advanced when they and their owners are ready.

Intermediate/ advanced classes. Owners at this class get the opportunity to try some new activities with their dogs such as agility, higher standards of obedience, tricks etc.

Take the Lead Dog School & Animal Behaviour Clinic

page 3


One to one lessons For those owners who either due to lack of time or because their dog is not able to take part in a group class, I am able to offer individual lessons in their home.

Behavioural Consultations Behavioural Counselling is recommended for dogs showing problematic behaviour which ultimately affects the dog’s and/ or owner’s quality of life e.g. aggressive or destructive behaviour. Behavioural Counselling aims to identify the cause of the problem and subsequently establish a rehabilitation programme. The Behaviourist works in conjunction with your Vet to ensure that there are no underlying medical problems and to coordinate any medical treatment. The initial session, which generally lasts between 2-4 hours at your home or in the Pet Therapy Clinic, is followed up by a written diagnosis and behaviour modification programme, a copy of which is sent to your Vet. Follow up support regarding progression is generally carried out by ‘phone and e-mail. I also consult for Cat & Rabbit Behavioural Problems.

Information about Take the Lead The Animal Behaviour Clinic & Take the Lead Dog School has been in existence for over 10 years. The principal behaviourist and trainer is Elaine Henley, who has an academic background in human psychology and who, having completed the Certificate in Applied Animal Behaviour, is now furthering her studies by working towards her Masters Degree in “Companion Animal Behavioural Counselling” from Southampton University. Elaine has also successfully completed the “Clinical application of Pheromone Therapy” from the University of Lincoln. As well as running The Animal Behaviour Clinic, where she assists owners who are experiencing difficulties with their pet’s behaviour, Elaine is the behavioural practitioner at the veterinary “Pet Therapy” clinic in Glasgow where she sees owners and their pets on veterinary referral. page 4

Take the Lead Dog School & Animal Behaviour Clinic


Research areas of interest include the prevalence of abuse towards pets when women are victims of domestic abuse in Scotland; the behavioural problems of “puppy farm” dogs; environmental enrichment for pets. Her research has been published in academic journals and she has been invited to give presentations at international conferences and also to chair a special session on Animal Abuse at the ISAZ conference 2005, which was held in Niagara Falls, USA. She is principal lecturer on Animal Behaviour at Glasgow Metropolitan College. Having showed her Hungarian Puli for several years at Crufts and other major shows, Elaine now trains her German Shepherd in Schutzhund which is a sport for German Shepherds incorporating three phases, tracking, obedience and protection. She also has a keen interest in Cavaliers. Elaine founded Canine Fostering in 2003, an organisation that fosters pets for women who are victims of domestic abuse. She is a member of C.A.B.S.T.G. (Companion Animal Behaviour Study Group), S.C.A.S. (Society for Companion Animal Studies), A.S.A.B. (Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour), A.P.D.T. (Association of Pet Dog Trainers), and ISAZ (International Society for Anthrozoology). “Take the Lead” is a founder club of Renfrewshire Council’s Good Citizen Award Scheme and is able to award certificates in bronze, silver and gold, depending on the level of ability of individual dogs.

TAKE THE LEAD DOG SCHOOL & ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR CLINIC Telephone: 01294 833764 e-mail: e.Henley@btinternet.com

Take the Lead Dog School & Animal Behaviour Clinic

page 5


RULES OF LEARNING 1. Dogs learn best through patience and the use of suitable rewards. Think of food rewards as a wage or salary rather than bribery. 2. Rewards must be given within two seconds of the desired response from the dog. 3. Once desired behaviour has been learned, start to randomise the rewards, as this will produce a behaviour that is hard to break. 4. The value of a reward should be appropriate to the desired behaviour. 5. Learning should be enjoyable. Spend 5-10 minutes, 4-6 times a day training your dog. 6. Separate training sessions by 30 minutes or more. 7. Do not train until the dog is fed up. Stop when he is still keen. 8. If the dog fails at any of the training stages do not punish him, simply go back to a previous level at which he succeeded. 9. Always finish your training session on a happy and successful note. 10. Once your dog has learned commands from one member of the family, then ask other members to train the dog using the same commands. This will ensure your dog listens to all members of the family. 11. Punishment can be counter productive. Use it with care. Natural punishments, such as your voice, a stare or walking away can be very effective.

page 6

Take the Lead Dog School & Animal Behaviour Clinic


Take the Lead Dog School’s approach to training your companion We don’t teach formal obedience at classes. Instead we help you to teach your dog some manners:- to pay attention to you; to respond to his name; to walk on a slack lead; to sit or lie down when told; not to jump on visitors or strangers; to come back when called. At class, we use motivational methods of training. Motivational training is giving the dog a reward for completing a required task. The more we use rewards the more the dog will work to get the thing that he wants, the reward. We reward acceptable behaviour, always at first and then intermittently. Once acceptable behaviour has been established, random rewards reinforce it. If (any kind of) behaviour is rewarded, the behaviour is likely to increase in frequency. If behaviour is not rewarded, the behaviour is likely to decrease in frequency.

Take the Lead Dog School & Animal Behaviour Clinic

page 7


MOTIVATIONAL TRAINING VERSUS PUNISHMENT Why do humans love to punish bad behaviour and ignore good behaviour? If the dog barks, we shout at him! If the dog chews something, we smack him! If he messes the house, when a pup, we rub his nose in it! However, we forget one thing. In carrying out these revenge attacks against the dog we usually make matters worse. If we shout when the dog barks, then the dog barks louder because he thinks we are joining in. If, when we return, we smack the dog for chewing, the dog will be even more stressed next time when left and will chew even more. If we rub the puppy’s nose in his dirt then all the pup learns is not to go to the toilet in front of his owners. “Ah” you say, “but he knows that he shouldn’t have done that.” Dogs don’t know! If your dog cringes away from you when you return home and find chewed items, he only understands that you are angry, not why, and is cringing awaiting his punishment. Think about what you are doing. If your dog does not stop barking, what do you do? Do you ask the dog to stop by asking him quietly or do you shout each time more loudly, even hitting him? If you do the latter, then a vicious circle develops and the punishment can only get worse. So what should you do? If you had rewarded the dog for not barking, tried to understand why the dog was chewing and rewarded the pup for toileting outside, then you would have a less confused and less stressed animal. Positive reinforcement or motivational training takes patience and understanding. It also takes a little longer to train the dog in the desired behaviour, but once learned the behaviour is often difficult to break.

page 8

Take the Lead Dog School & Animal Behaviour Clinic


TYPES OF REWARD Food: this is the main type of reward used in dog training. It is more effective if it is something that the dog does not normally receive e.g. chicken, cheese, liver. Keep the titbits small and easy to handle, so that they act as a quick reward that is easily disposed of to allow you to go on to the next instruction. Avoid large biscuits as these take time to crunch! Remember that the titbits may be in your pocket for quite a while so make the cheese hard and the liver cooked!! Toys: choose one of your dog’s toys, making sure that it can be easily extracted from the dog’s mouth, for example a ball on a rope or a ragger. This is your training toy. This toy should never be left lying around for your dog to pick up at any time he chooses. Instead, when you decide, you both play with it together. By doing this your dog will realise that the best games are with you and this toy. The toy becomes very important to the dog, as he wants the fun and play that come from you. Praise: Eventually it is praise alone that we want your dog to respond to, so use your voice in combination with food and toys to build good associations. Remember that praise should come from the heart. Petting: find the spot that your dog enjoys being scratched and use it to your advantage.

Take the Lead Dog School & Animal Behaviour Clinic

page 9


TIMING OF REWARDS Accurate timing is an essential part of training your dog. A reward must be made within 2 seconds of the desired behaviour to have any effect. Remember a young dog has little concentration. By the time, you dig the reward out of your pocket, your dog is thinking of other things and your reward is wasted, as he has forgotten what he did to earn it. You may, in fact, reward the completely wrong behaviour, which is worse than not rewarding at all. If you ask your dog to sit and he responds correctly, but has stood up by the time the reward is given, WHAT have you rewarded? Not the sit but the standing up! He must receive the reward when he is still in the sit position in order for him to make the right connections i.e. when I park my bottom on the ground I get a reward.

WATCH ME Before we begin to train your dog you must be able to get your dog’s attention. Therefore the first thing we do at every class, no matter the level of training your dog has had, is to get him to pay attention to you. Your dog will learn that whenever you say his name he is required to pay attention to you and more importantly for him he is going to get a reward. In other words, he must associate his name with something pleasurable. In some cases, dogs only associate their name with an unpleasant experience. Here is an example of the misuse of a dog’s name. He is called “Joe”. When Joe is good, he is called “Joe” in nice soft gentle tones, but when he is bad, he is called “JOE” in loud and unpleasant tones. His name should only have pleasurable associations for him!

page 10

Take the Lead Dog School & Animal Behaviour Clinic


Stage 1. Have your dog on a lead: this will stop him wandering away, if he becomes distracted. • Show him a titbit. When he shows an interest in the titbit, call his name. When he looks at you, reward him instantly. • Using your voice, praise him, telling him what a good boy he is. Even give him a friendly pat. (Eventually you will be reducing the food rewards and the reward will be your voice or a pat.) • Practise this a few times daily. • Once he is able to do the above, raise the titbit towards your face. Now when his name is called and he looks up at your face, making eye contact, reward him. Be careful not to stare down into your dog’s face. The reason for this is that many dogs feel threatened by a stare.

Stage 2. Once your dog is able to look up at you when you say his name you are ready to move on to the next stage, which is getting him to look up at you when there are distractions. When you say his name, you want to be more interesting to your dog than anything else.

Take the Lead Dog School & Animal Behaviour Clinic

page 11


HANDLING Handling is the most basic control exercise ever taught to a dog. If an owner cannot touch his dog all over, whilst the dog is in the sit, stand, or down position, then training will prove difficult. The main areas a dog will not like being touched are behind his ears, backs of the front legs, between the pads, between the hind legs and the tail. The dog’s most usual actions are to mouth, roll over or bite the brush. In extreme cases a dog may growl or even nip his owner. More importantly, if you the owner are not able to handle your dog, how do you expect a Vet to examine his patient? How to begin? • Touch the dog’s collar gently, telling the dog he is good, (really baby talk him!) and reward him with a treat. • Once he will allow you to touch his collar, willingly, leave your fingers there for longer. • Gently place your dog in the “stand” position. Starting with his head, briefly handle him all over. Touch his ears, mouth, down his front legs, along his back, under his tummy, down his back legs, over his bottom and down to the tip of his tail. Again “baby talk” to him. Note any areas that meet any resistance. These are called “red areas”. If a “red area” seems to be causing a problem, look for a reason. Could it be sore? Could it be uncomfortable? If he is mouth shy, could he be teething? If he is worried about his bottom, do his anal glands need attention? If he objects to you handling his ears, are his ears sore? • Be aware that there may be a health problem and have him checked out by your Vet first. If you get the all clear from your Vet, then he may just be unsure about you handling him in a particular spot. If this is the case,

page 12

Take the Lead Dog School & Animal Behaviour Clinic


then touch the “red area” and reward, repeat again and again, all the time talking to him in a calm voice. Never get angry. Allow your fingers to linger over the “red area” until your dog accepts your touch willingly. • Increase the amount of time you spend examining each area. • Once your dog is comfortable about being handled by you, allow someone else to go over him. Make sure you choose someone who will be kind and gentle and not undo all your hard work. • As his confidence grows, try to have a variety of people handle him, men, women and responsible children. Please make sure that you are in control at all times and do not allow anyone to be rough with him.

Take the Lead Dog School & Animal Behaviour Clinic

page 13


TEACHING THE DOG TO SIT This is probably the first most important manner that you can teach your dog. A dog that is sitting calmly is much easier to handle than one who is bouncing around. A dog that is sitting is able to have his collar and lead put on. You can examine his ears and teeth and it makes cleaning both far easier. A well-mannered dog should sit to greet people. Whatever the dog’s size he will be far more appreciated by your visitors and by strangers if he can sit to greet them. It is also better for the dog as he will not get into trouble for knocking a child over (remember that society today is becoming less tolerant of unruly dogs), or for getting mud on someone's clothes. How? • Firstly, gain the dog’s attention by showing him a titbit. Slowly raise the reward above his head; as his head goes up his bottom goes down. For the first few times your dog will do silly things like lose his balance or jump backwards and just as you are about to give up, his bottom will touch the ground. As soon as it does reward him instantly. • When his bottom does go down all the time use the command, “sit”. As soon as he does sit, reward him. When you think your dog understands the command “sit” then use the command only, without the treat going over his head. When he sits on command reward him instantly. • Try to avoid saying “sit, sit, sit” as your dog will associate you saying the command many times before he has to do the action. Try to give only one command. If you do find that you are not getting the correct response then either your dog is not paying attention to you or else he does not understand what you want of him. Either way, go back to the beginning and start over.

page 14

Take the Lead Dog School & Animal Behaviour Clinic


Common problems • If your dog jumps up to reach the reward, hold the titbit closer to his nose. Then he does not have to jump to get the reward. • If your dog is not paying attention to you then the reward is not appealing enough to him. Change his reward to something tastier. Alternatively, train before his meals. That way he will be hungry and therefore keener. • If your dog sits quite far away from you, then check your body posture. By this, I mean that if you are leaning over the dog he may feel threatened by you and therefore sits away from you. Instead, try crouching down, bending your knees. That way you avoid leaning over.

Take the Lead Dog School & Animal Behaviour Clinic

page 15


TEACHING THE DOWN This is a great position to get your dog to relax in while you are chatting with a friend or if you do not wish your pet to jump all over some one. Here we show you the basic down. Eventually we would hope that you will be able to ask your dog to down for minutes on end, with and without you in sight. We would also expect you to be able to tell your dog to down from a distance. This could save his life some day in an emergency. As with the sit do not use a command until you are getting the correct response. Only use the command “down” to obtain this position. Do not use this command when you are instructing your dog to get off the couch or when he should stop jumping on people. Use a different command like “flat”. This way your dog will not be confused. Firstly:Have the dog in the sit position, and hold a small piece of food just in front of his nose. Slowly bring the food down the dog’s chest and just as your hand is about to touch the floor move it away from the dog. Your hand should be making an L shape, thus putting the dog in the down position. As soon as the dog goes into the down position, reward with the food and verbal praise. If your dog stands up, then it may be that the hand holding the food is moving too quickly or your hand is not making an L shape. Secondly:When you can ensure that your dog will go into the down every time the food and the hand signal are shown, start to put your command in whilst the dog is adopting the down. Eventually put your command in before the action, and reward at the end.

page 16

Take the Lead Dog School & Animal Behaviour Clinic


TEACHING THE DOG TO STAND This is a good position for you to bath or groom your dog, allowing you into awkward corners like under legs and tails. Vets find it so much easier to examine a patient that is standing steady. • Start with the dog in the sit position. Holding a reward at his nose, slowly draw your hand forward. To acquire the food the dog has to stretch forward. In so doing he will pull himself out of the sit position into the new one, the stand. • As soon as he is in this new position, reward him. • Again no command until the correct position has been achieved a number of times. • If he starts to walk forward, hold the titbit steady and reward him the instant he goes into the stand. If the titbit moves forward, he will naturally follow it. • If your dog immediately sits back down, don’t give him his reward until he actually stands.

Take the Lead Dog School & Animal Behaviour Clinic

page 17


TEACHING YOUR DOG TO WALK TO HEEL ON LEAD To be able to walk anywhere safely with your dog is a pleasure. Many dog owners do not have the luxury of always being able to allow their dog to run free. They have to lead walk their dog along busy pavements and paths. For any owner whose dog “takes them for a walk”, walking becomes a chore as owners are dragged from place to place. Children in the family are unable to take the family pet out in case they are pulled off their feet. There are many different methods that you can use to achieve your goal. There are also some very good training aids available, to give you greater control. Two of these are a “Gentle Leader” and a “Halti”. Both of these are put around the dog’s neck and head, allowing you to control the dog’s forward movement. The dog is not able to use his chest muscles to lunge forward, as you have greater control of his head. Successful heelwork takes time and patience, and you must be consistent. There is no point in making your dog walk to heel one day, then letting him pull the next. This only confuses the dog. Think about how many of you allow your dog to pull you into the class! At home, try to train where there are no distractions. Remember too that for the first while it will seem to you that your walks are literally 3 steps forward and 2 back. Keep trying!

page 18

Take the Lead Dog School & Animal Behaviour Clinic


• Have your dog on either your left or right hand side. Do not chop and change sides as this may confuse your dog. • Get your dog’s attention using a titbit and start off walking, praising continuously whilst the dog is walking correctly. • For a very boisterous dog, we recommend that you use treats in your left hand. Walking a few paces forward, give the dog a treat when he is in the correct position. (3 paces -titbit, 3 paces- titbit) until the dog looks up expecting the reward. When he can do this, randomise the reward. For example 4 paces- titbit, 6 paces-titbit, 5 paces-titbit, 9 paces-titbit. • When he has clearer understandings of what is expected of him, randomise your reward. Reward with a titbit, or verbal praise, or a toy or even a game. As soon as he tries to pulls ahead of you, immediately stop and quickly about turn and walk in the opposite direction. When he walks by your side praise him, and offer him a titbit. If your dog is constantly walking ahead of you make your about turns reverse turns, i.e. turn into him rather than him turn around you.

Take the Lead Dog School & Animal Behaviour Clinic

page 19


TEACHING YOUR DOG A RECALL or TO COME BACK TO YOU Many dogs “leg” it as soon as they are let off a lead. These dogs are out of control, as their owner has no way to get them back if there should be an emergency or even to go back home. He is an accident waiting to happen and a pest to other people and their dogs. So how do we get the wee blighter to come back to us? • Starting at home with no distractions and the dog in the same room as you (put his lead on if you have to), attract his attention and call his name. When he starts to approach you call “Come” in a clear, firm, welcoming voice. Avoid direct eye contact and even turn your head slightly to one side. As he reaches you, reward him with food and plenty of praise. Really go to town on the praise. Repeat several times, have a short break and start again. Practise this until you are 100% certain that your dog will come to you when he hears his name and the command “come”. • Still with no distractions, but with your dog in another room, call his name with the command “come”. Reward him with a treat and lots of praise. And again repeat lots of times until your dog is 100% accurate. • Start to put in a few distractions e.g. someone sitting in the room and then moving around the room, then someone playing with a toy etc. • With no distractions, take the dog out into the garden, call him to you. Again, praise and reward him till 100% accurate.

page 20

Take the Lead Dog School & Animal Behaviour Clinic


• Now add distractions in the garden. • Take him to a park (a flexi - lead or a long line may be useful), let him sniff around and wander slightly from you. Call him back and when he responds praise him and give him a treat. Have a game with him. The most important thing to remember is that you have to be more interesting to the dog than either new smells, another object or another dog. You have to make it worth the dog’s while to come back to you by having the best rewards, the best toys and most importantly the best-loved voice. Never call your dog back to you to punish him. All that this will teach the dog is that sometimes when I do go back I’m punished, so why should I go back? Try to avoid saying over and over again “Fido come, Fido come, Fido come...” this teaches the dog that he does not have to respond first time to your command. He can come back 3rd or even 5th time. Avoid calling him back just to put his lead back on to end his walk. Would you want to come back if you knew that “Fido come” meant that the glorious walk was ended and it was back to the house? Instead, make a game of calling him back intermittently, that way he does not know when it is home time. If you have previously used the command “come” and the dog does not come, or if you have punished your dog in any way, then change your command to “here”, again in a happy tone of voice. Start at the beginning again and teach your dog that “here” means something good will happen. Getting a dog to come back is not formal obedience training so never ever ask your dog to sit When he has actually come back to you. Reward the coming back and be thankful that he did!!!

Take the Lead Dog School & Animal Behaviour Clinic

page 21


ADDENDUM; INFORMATION FOR PUPPY OWNERS SOCIALISATION Animal behaviourists stress the importance of socialisation from 8 until 18 weeks of age, as it is at this time that the pup is more receptive to his environment. As an adult, a dog who has been well socialised during this time will not be as fearful of new situations, new places, meeting strange humans and other animals. Instead, he will be confident and happy. A nervous or fearful adult may be a danger to himself, to other dogs and to humans. A nervous or fearful dog may, if he feels threatened, bite. Unfortunately, because vaccinations are not completed until a pup is around 12 weeks of age, many owners miss out on this window of opportunity to socialise their pup. That leaves them just 6 weeks to cram in as much as they can. Yes, you can socialise a puppy that is older than 18 weeks, but they are not as receptive to new situations. How do I socialise a pup who is not fully vaccinated? • Introduce your pup from the beginning to all your usual household noises e.g. the dishwasher, the washing machine, the vacuum, even the T.V. • Try to introduce your pup to as many different types of people as possible. Elderly and children of both sexes. Men with beards, adults with glasses or walking sticks, people with hats or long coats, people carrying umbrellas. As it is not yet safe to put your pup on the ground, place him in a sports bag and carry him around busy places. • Take your pup to Tesco or Asda (carrying him). He will hear lots of noise, be able to smell different things and meet lots of people. • If you have a friend with a friendly dog, invite them over to your home. That way your pup will learn to play with and socialise with another of his own kind. He will learn dog communication skills and the lesson of an inhibiting bite. • Take him out in the car every time you pop out.(Remember that cars may be very hot, so don’t leave him inside for too long.) Many dogs are not able to go on even the shortest journey as they become extremely distressed in the car. • Take your pup to the countryside and introduce him to the different sounds and smells there. Again, carry him in his sports bag. • Take him past cars, bikes, children on skate boards, mothers pushing prams. • Make a list of everything that you think that you should expose your pup to, that way you can tick the items off as you encounter them. Ways of socialising puppies Dogs are not like us, they do not have verbal reasoning skills, and therefore they cannot understand the meaning of our words. When a pup or older dog is frightened, page 22

Take the Lead Dog School & Animal Behaviour Clinic


he looks to see what our reaction is. If the dog or pup sees that we are not fussed and that we are carrying on as normal then he will also. If we pet them or talk softly to them when they are frightened they will understand that we are also reacting to the frightening stimuli, therefore they should be frightened. If they get our attention when they are frightened then they soon learn that being frightened gets attention from us. We are encouraging and reinforcing incorrect behaviour not comforting a frightened pup. To introduce noise and traffic to a pup take your pup to noisy places. Be as calm and relaxed as possible. If you the owner treats the “frightening situation” as no big deal then so will the pup. Try to get your pup used to children especially if you don’t have any yourself. Children can seem quite frightening to any dog that has not been properly socialised with them. Children have high-pitched voices, they run around faster, they grab, and they smell differently. They are also more inclined to stare at a dog and in some cases they are about level with an adult dog. Encourage children to give the pup small treats and to stroke and pat the pup gently. Then allow the children to play games with him, under your supervision, again gently. If the pup does bite, say to the children to stand still, give a loud yell, and stop playing. The pup soon learns that the fun ends when he nips. Introduce him to as many nice children as possible. When your pup does meet a horrid hysterical brat, if your pup appears frightened, ignore this. Don’t offer any words of comfort or petting. Instead, move away with your pup and introduce more nice children. Start as you mean to go on! Once your pup is relaxed in his new home you are able to start teaching him manners. You the owner are the “parent” of the pup. He looks to you for guidance. You have to be consistent in your dealings with him. Sleeping arrangements I would urge you all to have a separate bed or crate for your dog and have this in a separate room from yourself. Do not allow your dog to share either your bedroom or your bed until he is at least 2 years of age. • Fact. Most adult dogs that suffer from solitary attachment or separation anxiety share their owner’s bed or have access to the bedroom at night-times. • Fact. Most dogs that display aggressive behaviours towards their owners also sleep in their bedrooms. • Fact. Most dogs that display over- boisterous behaviour towards other people or dogs sleep in the bedroom. • Fact. Many of the out of control dogs that we see in the park, the kind that “stick their fingers” up at their owners and do not come back, sleep in the bedroom. Take the Lead Dog School & Animal Behaviour Clinic

page 23


Dogs, like children, have to be taught that life still goes on even when they cannot have access to an adult human. Provide your puppy with his own comfortable bed and teach him from the start that this is where he sleeps. You have every right to stand or sit down in his bed. By doing this you are teaching your pup that you, as his parent, have the right to go anywhere or sit anywhere you want to. If you do decide to allow your pup onto the furniture, make sure he waits until asked before he is allowed up and take care to lift him off when you leave. Don’t allow him to jump up when he wants to and never allow him to push your in-laws off the couch, no matter how much you dislike them !!!

INDEPENDENCE As owners, we want our dogs to be happy and to enjoy living with us, to enjoy our company when we are there and to be relaxed and secure when we are not. The majority of dogs are like this. It is perfectly normal for a dog to approach his owner on occasion for attention, a pat or a game. All of my own dogs will on occasion come over to me and paw at me for a scratch or a pat. Sometimes they get one sometimes they do not. However, some dogs are very needy; they are the ones who have to be with their owner, if possible 24 hours a day. They will follow their owner from room to room; they lean against their owner or paw at him when he is sitting down. Needy dogs are the ones who lie by the entrance of a room or another important place where they are able to watch for their owner moving. Often when doors are closed on needy dogs they will scratch, squeak or bark until the owner returns. They are the dogs who when left for a few minutes act as though the owner has been away for hours. They become excited and jump around to gain attention. Needy dogs, when left alone, become anxious and stressed. They may chew to relieve the anxiety, they may toilet or they may become vocal. Certainly, they are not happy dogs. In my daily working life, I see many poor dogs that have never been taught to become independent. I do become annoyed at times, because I know that this problem could have been prevented. Do not assume that you are to ignore your puppy. Ignoring any social creature is cruel. Your puppy should have lots of attention from you, but strictly on your terms. Ways of achieving this • Whenever your puppy approaches you for a game or a cuddle, or barks at you, ignore him and tell him to “git”. Try to avoid direct eye contact or talking at the pup. If he is persistent, then use a water spray or pop him out of the room. • When you come into a room, ignore your pup for a few minutes, certainly do not acknowledge the jumping around, barking or any other attention seeking behaviour. When he is calm, call him over to you. Play with him, have fun. page 24

Take the Lead Dog School & Animal Behaviour Clinic


• If you are at home all day with your dog, don’t allow him access to you throughout the day. Be separate for varying periods of time off and on. • If you work, then when you come home you don’t need to have your dog with you all evening. Be apart for the odd half hour or hour. By doing this you will be teaching your pup one of his most important lessons, that life still goes on even when he cannot have direct contact with a human.

DOGS AND CHILDREN Dogs and young children often don’t mix. Too many adults buy a dog, not because they want a pet for themselves but as company and a play thing for their children. If you want a new toy for the child then go to Toys ‘r Us. Too many adults have bought into the Lassie myth, where Lassie is depicted as the guardian and friend of the child and they all live happily ever after. Of course, Lassie is a super hero dog that does not behave like a normal dog. She does not nip, jump up or compete with the child for the adults’ time and affection. Lassie will not react when her ears or tail are pulled or she is hit by another toy. Lassie does not chase after the small child when the child is running and will not react when the child screams and throws its arms around the dog. I have a puppy and a small child, what do I do? 1. Teach the child to respect the pup. This means that you as the adult must intervene whenever you see your child being too rough with the pup or running around and screaming. A dog that feels threatened or unable to cope can run away, stand still and hope that the scary child will go away, or attack. 2. Never allow the child to play with the puppy unsupervised. 3. Teach the child that if the dog is sleeping or goes into his own bed or crate that under no circumstances is he to be disturbed . 4. Children that are brought up with animals benefit hugely from the experience so teach your child how to pat the dog calmly and involve your child in training the dog and in its feeding. 5. Teach your puppy a soft mouth. Pups are naturally chewy and will mouth their humans. Every time your dog’s mouth makes contact with either your skin or your clothing scream loudly, then either turn your back on the dog or put the dog out of the room for a short period of time. 6. Never ever, allow your puppy to push in when you are cuddling your child or having any sort of “child time”. The puppy waits for attention and should learn this from an early age. If your puppy is persistent then pop him out of the room.

Take the Lead Dog School & Animal Behaviour Clinic

page 25


Problem solver Try to spend 5-10 minutes each day having a training session with your dog. Take your dog on training walks each day. Reinforce the good behaviour he has learned. Deal regularly and consistently with the problems you encounter and review your own handling carefully. “Easily distracted”. We could put that on the report cards for many young animals, two legged and four! But what can we do about it? 1. At home, think about what you do when your dog is excitable, jumping around. Do you ignore the dog, shout at the dog and wait until he has destroyed something before you act or do you nip this in the bud mmediately? 2. Outside, when your dog runs after other dogs, jumps on people and chases, do you wait until the dog has done this, then shout and shout or do you intervene before he has a chance to do so? 3. Do you give him into trouble by nagging him? Dogs do not understand verbal language. 4. Do you give your dog attention whenever he asks for it or do you make him wait until you are ready? Easy solutions: (if you try these and you don’t see an improvement then call me!) Think about the food and treats that you are feeding your dog. Tinned meat and dry food such as Bakers and Pedigree Chum all contain a huge amount of additives and preservatives. Just as with children these may wire your dog. This is why I only recommend James Wellbeloved, Burns, Royal Canine and Hills, no other! Every week at class, I ask you to get your dog to sit and pay attention to you. The reason for this is that they naturally want to play with /mug their doggy friends. Therefore, by doing this each week we are rewarding not only calm behaviour but also rewarding the dog for paying attention to you. 1. Practise this at home, out in your garden and out on walks. Increase the time that you expect your dog to sit and pay attention to you. Aim for 10 minutes. 2. Don’t allow your dog to use your home as a play gym. Toys are kept in a toy box which you control access to and if you want to play with your dog either take him into the hall or outside. If you play with your dog in the living room, he won’t understand when it’s playtime or not.

page 26

Take the Lead Dog School & Animal Behaviour Clinic


3. As soon as your dog begins to jump around and become excitable, remove him straight away to a “time out” area. This could be another room or a crate. Leave him here for 5 minutes then allow him to return to you. If he again becomes excitable then remove him again. Do this until he understands that being in the living room equals being calm in that room. 4. When you have visitors to your home, tell them to ignore the dog. If he jumps on them, then remove him for “time out.” Repeat as necessary and only allow him to join you again when he is calm. Then your visitors can, if they wish, call him over, ask him to sit and reward the nice calm sit. 5. When your dog is nice and calm, sleeping etc, then call your dog over to you. Again you will have rewarded calm behaviour. 6. If you don’t want your dog jumping up on other people then never allow him to jump on you. When you come home, ignore the dog for 5-10 minutes until he has got fed up jumping. If he doesn’t stop then put him outside in the garden. Now call him to you, tell him to sit and reward the sit. Whenever you pat him, tell him to sit first. Don’t talk to him or look at him when he jumps around you. Instead pop him out of the room for 5 minutes for “time out”. 7. When out and about and he is off lead, always have a 10 metre line attached to him. That way you can get him back if necessary. Sometimes when you meet other dogs, tell him to sit as they go past. Sometimes allow him to play with other dogs in the park, sometimes not. When you do allow him off lead to play, make sure that he has been sitting for a few minutes and he is calm. 8. Don’t allow your dog to drag you through the doorways at your home. He sits until he is calm, then he is allowed out for his walk. By doing this he will learn again a wee bit of self-control. Yes, it takes time and patience but it is worth it. “My dog pees himself when he becomes excited.” This is very common in young excitable dogs, I’m afraid. Age, maturity and only giving him attention when he is calm will help. If you have a bitch that does this, I personally think that it is a good idea to wait until after she has had a season, 3 months, and then to neuter her. Some males are also helped by neutering them at 6 months. “My dog whines/ barks when he cannot have access to me”: Depending on the type of dog this is very, very common. Working dogs are the worst!! Up until I got the wee Cavalier I have always lived with working dogs……Many of them can cope quite nicely when we are not in the house, because we have habituated them to being left on their own during the day and at night-times. Remember that they have been bred Take the Lead Dog School & Animal Behaviour Clinic

page 27


to work, to become attached to one person and to follow commands from that person. Although they will take “orders” from others they need to be with their significant person whenever possible. I use the word need, because that’s what it is, a real psychological need. They are not being naughty; they need their significant person to be there for them. Easy solutions: (again, if you try this and it doesn’t work phone me) 1. Don’t feel guilty if you do work. Often, working owners feel guilty about leaving their dog, so when they are home they think that the dog should be with them all of the time. WRONG!! All you do in this case is create a huge neediness by making a big difference between your being there and not being there. For the dog, when you are there and he gets plenty of attention, life is fun, so he becomes unhappy when you are absent, because life is dull. 2. So, when you are at home in the evenings or weekends, pop the dog in another room or in his crate, for the odd 20 minutes here and there. Put him away from you without a fuss and only let him out when he is quiet. 3. For very noisy dogs consider using a Pet Corrector or a soft muzzle but only after you have talked to me about how to use it properly as a threat and deterrent, or else your dog will still bark!! “I live with more than one dog: they are behaving like a pack when out and competing with each other at home.” I have never lived with just one dog myself. Just now, I live with 3 females and I will be getting a fourth/ fifth before the end of the year! You need extra help if they are starting to fight, which is normal with same sex, same breed, but can happen when you live with same sex, different breed dogs. Easy solutions: 1. You and you alone control access to the resources that are important to all of the dogs. This will include your attention, food, toys, and comfortable sleeping areas. 2. Keep the toys in a basket and dogs are only allowed access to them when you want. If one tries to take a toy from the other, give that dog into trouble and exclude it if necessary. Play with one dog at a time; if the others try to push in, they are excluded. 3. Never feel sorry for any of the dogs, thinking that they are the underdog etc. 4. Give only one dog attention at a time. If another pushes in, he is immediately excluded. Then after you have finished patting the dog, tell that one to go away and call the “toe rag” over. page 28

Take the Lead Dog School & Animal Behaviour Clinic


5. Where possible change their sleeping arrangements around, so that they do not become over protective of their own beds. You choose the bed, not them. 6. When you have an older dog and a young rascal, until the youngster becomes sexually and socially mature the older dog will be the “pack leader” of your dogs. Make sure this dog is trained to respond to your commands. The younger dog will follow the older one. 7. The problems begin when the younger becomes sexually/ socially mature. Interfere in fights and you will cause bigger fights. If they aren’t competing over a resource, such as bed, food or your attention DO NOT INTERFERE. If the fight is over a resource, give yourself into trouble because you should have been controlling the resource in the first place not them. 8. When out and about with a “pack”, unless you walk them somewhere like I do, out in the middle of no-where, then do not allow them to run off lead together, unless their recall is 99%. If you do, they will be more likely to run up to mug other dogs and people. Instead, have one on lead, one off, and swap this about. If you do let them all off always have a 10m line attached to one. 9. When you live with more than one dog, spend quality time with each individual, take one only for a walk, play with one, even have only one sitting on the couch with you. (I tend to find that owners of more than one dog will often have all their dogs on the couch!!). 10. Don’t allow any of them to sleep in your bedroom; this does cause resentment as one is getting more time with you than the others. 11. Oh, and never leave them together at night-time or during the day! Older dogs will become fed up with younger dogs and attack. “When can my puppy stop sleeping in his crate?” The crate when used properly is a safe den for your dog; useful for toilet training as dogs are unlikely to pee in their own bed; useful for housetraining as they can’t chew up the house when you are out; useful for a “time out” zone; useful for when you have to leave more than one dog together. I would advise that you always use a crate for the dog’s lifetime, but if you really don’t want to, then wait until your dog is around two years of age and knows how to behave and you have got him past all of the silly puppy and teenager stages of development.

Take the Lead Dog School & Animal Behaviour Clinic

page 29


“My dog is still biting me.” Phone me, as I need to know in what situations this is happening. If it is because the dog is becoming over excited you must at once put the dog away for “time out”. “My dog doesn’t like the Gentle Leader.” You might not like this answer, but the Gentle Leader is the only device that I recommend. Why? Along with my good friend and her husband (both Vets) I spent a happy weekend looking at all the various training devices, from head collars to harnesses. We looked at how they work on the dog and what damage may be caused when they are not being used correctly, even what damage they cause physically to the dog when they are used properly! A harness causes pain to a dog every time it is pulled. The Gentle Leader was the only one that caused no damage. Try putting on the Gentle Leader at other times, not just when you are going out for a walk. Put it on when you are feeding the dog, playing with him, giving him a tasty treat. Using it for several 5-minute spells will help. He will eventually get used to it. “My dog will go up stairs but not down them.” Many young dogs with short legs won’t go down stairs, as they are not able to judge distances. They will eventually manage. “My dog chases people’s shoes and laces.” Wear a house line on him and when he does chase, say a stern “no” and spray with some water from a plant spray. If he continues, exclude him from the room for 5 minutes then let him re-join. The house line is good because you can catch him easily! “My young dog won’t pee when he is out on a walk.” Rather than letting him out into the garden, try only taking him out on a walk for the toilet. Desperation will force him to pee elsewhere. “My young dog still pees indoors even when he has been out for a walk.” This happens for many reasons; the dog hasn’t understood that he should pee outside; he is left unsupervised and just goes; being fed cheap food. The problem is more common in dogs that came from a puppy farm or were bred outside in a kennel. 1. If you don’t have a crate, buy one. Confine your dog in this at night-time, when you are out of the house and when you cannot supervise him. If you have to go out of the room to answer the phone, crate him. page 30

Take the Lead Dog School & Animal Behaviour Clinic


2. When you let him out of the crate take him straight outside, carrying him if necessary. When he does the toilet praise him. 3. Take him outside when he wakes up, before he goes to sleep, after he has played, before and after meals and every hour on the hour. 4. Stay with him when you take him outside. How else will you know that he has toileted? “My dog jumps up on small children.” Training will help. Until he stops this, do not allow him near young children unless he has a head collar and a 10m line attached and you are there to reprimand him every time he does. Also ask the children not to jump around the dog, winding him up. “My dog attacks other dogs.” See me about this one. “My dog picks up household items and won’t give them back.” Ah the little darlings, they wait until they see that you are busy with something else and then they grab a something that they know you value, they let you see that they have it and then when you try to take it from them they run away. Great fun for the dog!! 1. Be tidier. It might sound obvious, but if you don’t want your young dog to have it, tidy it away. 2. If he does grab something, unless it’s going to kill him, DO NOT chase after him, ignore him. Go and pick up one of his toys and play with that yourself. When he comes over to join in, tell him to push off and continue to play wit the toy. The dog will soon realise that his stolen item is boring and will drop it while trying to get the one that you are playing with. 3. Teach a “leave” command.

Take the Lead Dog School & Animal Behaviour Clinic

page 31


FINALLY Teaching any dog some manners, no matter what its age is, is difficult, frustrating and time consuming. As with other areas of our lives, what you put in, you get back out again. You don’t have to train your dog all day, every day, but it helps if you at least spend a few minutes each day teaching the dog some basic obedience. Once a house rule has been made then stick to it, at all times. If you have any questions, please do ‘phone me or e-mail me. I am always happy to answer questions. Good luck with your dog!

Elaine Henley

Telephone: 01294 833764 e-mail: e.Henley@btinternet.com

Take The Lead Brochure  

Doggy Bible

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you