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Where can I find information about training my dog?

Ask your vet about accredited local training classes for dogs and their owners – the saying goes ‘train the owner – train the dog’ and is normally rather accurate! You could also contact the Kennel Club for information on ‘Good Dog Citizenship’.The key to proper training is positive reinforcement - treats and limited praise are vital, as too is patience! Here are some tips to help you:

  1. Training needs to be consistent otherwise your dog will just end up getting confused.
  2. Try to use the same phrases, body language and tone of voice.
  3. Do not demand too much from your dog too early. It is much better to reward lots of small achievements rather than setting the target too high.
  4. As soon as your dog responds in the correct way to your command, say “good” and reward with a treat and lots of praise.
  5. Slowly you will be able to expect more from your dog. As soon as your dog shows any sign of understanding, reward him/her with a treat, these can be reduced later on, but always give your dog plenty of praise.
  6. It is advised to begin training in a quiet place, free from distractions. Only when your dog is fully competent should you attempt train him/her in a busier environment.
  7. Do not forget to teach your dog a ‘release’ command. This is important so that your dog knows when the trick is over and he/she can relax. Try using words such as, ‘OK’, or, ‘Free’.
  8. The PHC does not believe in harsh punishment, a view upheld by all good dog trainers.