Lots of fun new changes and developments going on at Elite Dog Training. I've had the delight of spending time catching up with a few previous clients and their dogs too! My dogs have been doing their best at agility the last few weeks and my female rottie Akiva has decided she wants to try and take on my male rottie Kaiser as 'agility champion'.
I would like to apologise AGAIN for my slow response to emails and lack of availability. After a few weeks off I injured my back to the point even standing still was agony. I am now slowly getting back into work and hope to be able to book in everyone on my waiting list over the next few weeks. I am unable to take on jobs with big / boisterous / strong dogs at the moment as my back needs time to heal properly.
I would like to apologise to everyone I have cancelled recently. Due to an unexpected death in the family I will be off work until March 2015. Thank you for your understanding.
Please excuse the messy garden as we're having building work done :)
At this time of year my training services are in such high demand I would like to apologise to those who have emailed and left messages for me that haven't been replied to yet. I hope to get in contact with everyone within the next few weeks but my services are currently fully booked for January. Please feel free to read through the training advice pages meanwhile where you may find some helpful tips. I apologise for any inconvenience, Sarah.
Finally the new website design is up and the new training advice pages are coming together nicely. There is now a new widget to make booking and contacting me even easier. Enjoy!
Lots of new dogs and their owners joining Elite training the past month - and they all have one problem in common. They lack boundaries. A common reason for this is some owners see boundaries as a type of punishment - that they are being unfair and unkind to their dog. Example: Percy the Labrador jumps on his owners all of the time but is otherwise a 'perfect' pet. When asked "Why does Percy jump on the sofa?" (which is where he has a frenzy of over enthusiastic kisses for the victim he lands on, often ending in injury to the person who is squashed under 40kg of 'puppy') owners usually reply "Percy likes to be with the family and we like to cuddle up on the sofa together".
There is no problem with allowing a dog on the sofa if you wish. However it must be on your terms. My rottweilers are allowed on my sofa at home with my permission, they simply nudge me and look from the sofa to me and if I say 'ok' they snuggle up. if I say 'no' they go to their own nearby pillow. If allowed on the sofa - as soon as I say 'off' the dog must get off straight away. These boundaries can prove essential. Have a hot cup of tea in your hand? Elderly relative visiting? Last thing you need is Fido taking a running jump onto your lap!
Part of Percy's training is to slow down, listen to commands better (not the 20th time of being asked and eventually lured by a sausage) and to give owners space in every situation when asked. Percy can still snuggle up with the family but he has to slow down, 'ask' and then only if allowed, sit on the sofa (and not use the family as a human bouncy castle).
Boundaries do not have to mean 'unkind' or 'unfair'. You could be asking your dog to:
- sit away from the table while you eat (safer for the dog and can help some behavioural problems)
- walk without pulling on the lead (not nice for the dog or owner)
- leave a toy alone on command (great for households with kids, possessive dogs etc).
to be continued...
As a DogLost member, when we heard that a local dog had gone missing we joined in the search. Little did we know that on a previous occasion, a member of Primo Pet Services had already picked up the stray dog once in the past but the dog had escaped the handlers garden.
Puhi, an old dog brought to the UK from Bulgaria was finally found by a well known rescue after a suspected RTA. After a quick once over, Puhi was given back to his owner (who had already lost him 3 times since new years alone) and in fear that Puhi would once again run away, myself and other DogLost members stepped in. We persaded the owner to let us take Puhi into our care while she could sort out her own life to ensure Puhi would no longer escape (causing a danger to himself and road users).
Traumatised, Puhi Is unable to be rehomed or in a foster home with other dogs just yet. Although he adored my rottweilers he is far too insecure (and doesn't understand English words) to trust around other dogs in a home environment. Using Primo Pet Services Shar Pei puppy Dotty, I managed to raise £42 for Puhi's care thanks to Jollyes Petfood Superstore in Enfield (rounded up to £50 by Primo Pet Services). Puhi has since gone from strength to strength. He's put on weight, been vaccinated, neutered and is starting to relax in a safe environment.
By Sarah Harman
With the cold weather and tons of rain the parks are all ridiculously muddy! We're trying to exercise the dogs at locations with concrete paths but some dogs simply can't help themselves and jump into a mud bath! This cockerpoo is usually a bright ginger colour (yes apricot to the enthusiasts!) and gives you a good idea of why our dog van smells so doggy!
It's mid December and I'm already preparing myself for the flood of puppies in January and February that come to us for training. Here are a few notes for soon to be puppy parents...
1. Our number one demand for training is toilet training dogs! - Research this key step in your puppies development BEFORE getting your puppy - don't wait until puppy has turned your house into a gave of puppy poo 'hot lava'
2. Ensure that when you return to work after Christmas you have plans for your puppy in place - even leaving your puppy for an hour without practice can be too stressful for some puppies! (check out our website www.primo-pet-services.co.uk for puppy carers)
3. PLEASE DON'T push your puppies face in their faeces if they get it wrong! Refer to note 1
4. If you need help with a training issue - get help early on. Dealing with a 4month old Labrador that likes to bite is easier to train than a 2year old biting machine.
5. Don't give up! There is help and support for almost all doggy issues available from different resources. Too many dogs go to 'rescues' each year and many are euthanized.
"Beware so called 'dog trainers' and 'dog lovers' who think 'alpha rolling' or 'pinning' a dog will solve any problem. The dogs are dragged to the floor by their necks and held down frightened and confused. Pinning is not the answer for hyperactive dogs, dog aggression, pushy behaviour etc. It teaches dogs to be afraid of the handler, encourages dogs to react without warning and worse. If your dog has behavioural problems please do not resort to this so called quick fix. This week alone I've had a sharp increase in desperate dog owners who've found out the hard way. I've spoken to some of the so called 'experts' giving this advice and every dog in their group were literally terrified every time the handler moved their hand towards the dogs!"
I know the 'alpha' technique is very controversial and some people may 'swear' by it. There may be a few people who have physically forced their dogs into a behaviour they want with no repercussions. The sad thing is - people see the 'alpha roll' being used on dogs and they see a dog 'snap out of it' or 'obey'. What people don't realise is what they are actually teaching the dog - that sudden aggression without warning is acceptable. Additionally the problem that caused the behaviour has not been resolved. For example: the dog that was making your dog uncomfortable (so your dog snarled at and pinned) is still making your dog unhappy - but now that you've pinned the dog forcefully to the floor he's scared of you AND the other dog.
A great article written in APDT News Letter explains more...
"Alpha roll advocates often justify the technique because “it’s the way wolves do it,” but that rationalization is weak. As professional dog trainers, we—and ultimately our clients— would benefit from an explanation grounded in critical analysis rather than habit or myth."
The theory behind the alpha roll is based on a research study of captive wolves kept in an area too small for their numbers and composed of members that wouldn't be found together in a pack in the wild. Studies of wolves in the wild show wolves only 'pin' another wolf if the fight is serious (usually with intent to kill) and rarely fight within the pack to that extent. Dominance theory has been justified by some trainers as it can make owners act like they have more control over their dog than they may feel. Hard-nosed, brutal efforts to dominate pets can simply cause fear, anxiety and even aggression rather than creating a stable household. A more accurate way of comparing the domestic dog is to feral dogs that are scavengers who live and mate unrestricted by a 'pack' hierarchy.
' it is a form of cruelty. It may not inflict physical pain, but it can terrify dogs. And it can be dangerous, causing an aggressive dog to react strongly against an owner. Alpha rolls are part of an outdated theory of dog behaviour that’s based on discredited science. ' - Pete Wedderburn (Vet 25+ years)
Pat Goodman, MS, a resident ethologist at Wolf Park:
“I find it is rare for them to forcibly push down and hold down a subordinate, a rival, a youngster. In the overwhelming majority of cases, rather than being pushed down, the wolf who ends up on the ground is already going down in response to psychological pressure."
"I cannot think of many learning situations where I want my learning dogs responding with fear and lack of motion"
So what are you telling your dog by being a bully? That you are unpredictably aggressive and should be feared of. So instead of showing him that you are a calm, trustworthy leader, you are demonstrating very effectively through aggression that you are a threat, and you’re doing so in much the same way a highly insecure domestic dog would.
A brilliant article on why aggression based alpha techniques have a negative and sometimes dangerous outcome (using a celebrity 'dog trainer' you may well have heard of as an example)
- Click Here -
*please note some of the footage used of the 'celebrity' dog trainer may distress some viewers. Footage is from the 'celebrity' DVDs