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Training & Behaviour

How to Successfully Train Your Dog

Ever wondered how to train your dog? Here, Nick Jones, Professional Dog Behaviorist gives some insider tips on how to train your dog.

Nick Jones

What would be your number one tip for training obedience?

To simply start early, combined with plenty of socialisation to dogs, people and all other outside experiences you think your dog might encounter.

In your professional experience, which breed/s of dog have you found to be most receptive to training?

The herding types such as the Border Collie and German Shepherd are super sharp and learn very quickly. However, for some this can be a double-edged sword if the owner is not adequately experienced with such a 'high performance' dog and problems may arise as a result. I always encourage people to take their time in choosing a breed that is appropriate for their experience levels, exercise giving abilities and to take into account other factors such as family circumstances. In my experience most dogs are receptive to training, assuming they are young enough and that we have the correct motivation to bring about the desired responses.

What are your favourite teaching tools/equipment and why?

Thankfully the tools I favour most are always with me. These are my voice, my body language, facial expressions and my hands to either reward the dog or to control a dog lead. For close work a lead is essential and I regularly use these in the home as well as out to guide the dog into more calm and respectful behaviour depending on the behaviour presented. These are effective, kind and simple ways to bring the best out of most dogs.

What would be the one thing you recommend dog owners do at Christmas time to ensure their pets have a great time too?

Plenty of long walks wrapped up well from the winter elements. It's a great opportunity to bond with your dogs and to walk off the excess calories. Though having said that I like to place a few Christmas sweets in my pockets or the usual chocolate covered almonds I hope to find in my stocking! Remember not to share chocolate with your dogs though, as it can be poisonous for them.

What would be your top three quick tips for training and teaching a dog?

These are my three key tips to help train your dog:

1) Keep your training sessions short
2) Keep them fun and light-hearted
3) Address the training elements regularly

Is there anything else you've found useful when training your pup? Let us know!

Nick Jones

Nick Jones MA, MCFBA of Alpha Dog Behaviour helps dog owners understand their pet’s behaviour, and to calmly resolve issues that may be making life difficult. Nick is a full member of the CFBA and helps with issues such as dog aggression, jumping up, pulling, non-recall, nervous behaviour, chewing, separation anxiety, biting and nipping, excessive barking and puppy visits. Nick is also a Dog Expert Witness and assesses dogs under the Dangerous Dogs Act. Visit Nick's website and Google+ profile to find out more.

Nick Jones

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