Training

Obedience training
Obedience training

Training your puppy to respond to basic commands is an essential part of managing their behaviour.


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Swimming
Swimming

Dogs instinctively know how to swim – it's not called dog paddle for nothing!


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Teach your dog tricks
Teach your dog tricks

It's not just for pups. Old dogs really can learn new tricks and it can be a whole world of fun for both of you.


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Toilet training - adults
Toilet training - Adults

Toileting inside or in the wrong area can occur at any age.

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Expert Q&A

Our expert vet team regularly takes questions from PawClub members and posts answered to the more common ones online. Some questions you may be interested in are:

Getting your dog to come when called is an essential part of obedience training and is important to keeping him safe. Start inside the house by running away from him and calling him with a high-pitched voice. When he chases after you, give him a tasty treat as reward and praise him with your voice and by patting. Do this as many times as you can throughout the day. Soon he will learn that coming to you means getting a reward. When your puppy is consistently coming when called, move the training to the backyard or frontyard where there are more distractions.

As a next step, take him to a quiet (on-lead) park. Put him on a long length of rope so he can’t stray far and continue teaching him the same way. When you are happy with his progress, you can move on to taking him off-lead. Remember, whenever you call your dog to come, always reward him when he does (eventually) come. Never punish your dog for taking a long time as this may reinforce disobedience.

Also, if you are about to go home and you call your dog, always give him something fun to do before you leave the park or he may associate coming to you with “the time that the fun ends”.

You need to find the 'incentive' that works for your dog. Some dogs prefer a pat or to play with a toy as their reward (e.g custom or police dogs and their wrapped up towel/tug toy). The other option is to actually restrict her food or only feed her food from your hand and never from the bowl. This means she must perform a behaviour or 'trick' before getting her meal. 

The best way is to gradually introduce him to being left outside for short periods of time and then lengthening this over time. Make sure that when you let him back inside that house that he is not barking or scratching at the door as this will teach him that this behaviour gets rewarded! Also when putting him outside, give him something very yummy to eat e.g. a rawhide, pigs ear, bone or Kong lined with peanut butter. This way he will learn to enjoy going outside as 'good things' happen there.

The best rewards for your dog are ones that are palatable, low fat and calorie and can be broken into small pieces. Some dogs can be sensitive or allergic to certain foods so this needs to be taken into consideration. Some common rewards that are appropriate are: dried liver treats, single kibble pieces from their regular food, vegetable pieces such as carrots or even small pieces of chicken, no skin). Rewards are an important part of a dog's training as they reinforce what you have taught them and they learn faster. But remember the best reward is usually a cuddle and praise straight from the one they love the most-YOU!

Halter-type collars will give you the best control over your dog and are the most comfortable to wear. They give you control of your dog's head and when you have control of the dog's head, you have control of the dog. These collars work on the same principle as a horse halter. Even a smaller person can have good control over a large strong dog without hurting them. When you pull on the leash, the dog's head will either be pulled down or to the side - this makes it virtually impossible for the dog to move ahead or pull you forward. This also means you can control who your dog listens to by enabling you to make eye contact with your dog and draw their attention from distractions around them.

Rightaway! Dogs are never too young or too old to train! 

Effective training methods are taught by dog trainers at many dog obedience schools and puppy preschools at veterinary clinics. Lessons range from basic commands such as sit, stay, drop etc. to more advanced classes involving agility training and fun tricks.

Harsh punishments such as hitting and rubbing noses into their poo and urine is often very ineffective and counter-productive; it makes training in the future even more difficult. Positive reinforcement, using treats and praise, is the cornerstone behind successful puppy training. Please ask your veterinarian or dog schools for more details on training classes.

A successful training program will not only help you train your puppy quickly and effectively, but it will also enormously improve and develop the bond between you and your puppy!