Owning a dog in Town – My Top 5 Tips by Lauren Langman
1. Understand what your dog finds rewarding
If you understand what your dog enjoys then you will have the key to his heart. You will be able to communicate more easily with him and you will find life much more fun together. Get a handle on what your dogs find rewarding – it is really key. For example, do your dogs like food, toys, games with you, chasing birds, swimming or generally being a dog and rolling in mud! It goes without saying, the more you engage, play and have fun with your dog, the more value your dogs will have for you. We just love teaching our super fun relationship enhancing games and we just love to see the joy both dogs and owners get from these games. The best bit about our relationship fun and focus games is that they can be taken anywhere.
2. Teach your dog to walk nicely on the lead
Living in the town inevitably means you have to walk your dog on lead to and from the local park. Does your dog pull all the way there? Are you fed up with achy arms and shoulders and feeling out of control? Learning the skills for loose lead walking is high up on the agenda when it comes to our life skills training. After all, the whole walk should be pleasant for you and your dog. It may not seem possible to you right now, but walking nicely on the lead is possible!! We can teach you lots of exercises to help you crack this challenge.
3. Teach your dog a really reliable recall
This is a biggy. When they first come to our training, many of our students have a recall when there are no distractions around, but as soon as there are distractions, their recall becomes non-existent. Is this you? Recall is hugely important and we’d go as far as to say it’s probably one of the most important behaviours to teach your dogs. Would you love to walk through your local park and know that your dog will recall away from other dogs, people, sniffs etc? We have bags of experience when it comes to teaching recall and we play tons of fun recall games too to make it exciting for you and your dog. Recall should be a super positive experience for your dog. Do you want to learn our recall secrets?
4. Know what to do in a difficult situation
We have a lot of people who contact us because their dogs find certain situations scary or stressful. Do you own a dog like this? Do your dogs dislike certain situations, people or other dogs? Are you becoming anxious about it yourself? Knowing what to do in a situation and having the confidence that you are doing the right thing comes with practice and knowledge. We help many owners overcome these challenges and we have a wealth of experience and tried and tested strategies and techniques that will work.
5. Teach your dog to have manners around food
Picture this; you’re walking through your local park and a family are having a picnic. Does the sight of this bring you out in a cold sweat because you know your dogs will want to go and investigate? If there’s food around, are your dogs the first ones to find it and scoff it?! Having manners around food isn’t only important on your daily walks, (rummaging in bins is a particular favourite!) but it’s also important in your home too. If you want to learn how to teach your dog to make the right choices on his own and to have self control when there’s food around we can show you how.
About the Author: Lauren Langman is responsible for the design and development of all Devon Dogs classes, events and workshops. She competes in Agility at Grade 7, the highest rank of competition in the British agility arena. She regularly competes and wins at top agility events in the UK including Crufts and Olympia, and has represented the UK at World Agility Championship level on many occasions.