It’s a Dog’s Life, Or Is It?

This was a first: I was recently asked by somebody who is thinking of adopting a pup – YAY and well done to the owner to be – how long does one need to train a dog for…

Dogs need to be taught simple requests, or cues, so that they are able to do what is asked of them. During this time they must also learn what is non-U, such as not jumping up, not taking food which is not meant for them and not biting the visitors. This training should continue until they are at least a year old. This is a lovely time to build a bond with your dog, get to know each other and prepare for a wonderful life together. If you use positive reinforcement in your training and gentle methods, this should happen easily and you and your dog will enjoy the training.

You enjoy having friends round or meeting for a beer or a coffee. Do you think of your dog enjoying the same sort of activities? Not a beer or coffee, of course! Both of these are detrimental to dogs, but a walk in the park, perhaps? Dogs can be lonely and bored if left alone for extended periods. Dogs enjoy a variety of activities: walking and sniffing, playing tug-o-war, chewing, swimming, socialising, chasing and retrieving a ball and training. Training does not need to be all heel, sits, downs and stays. You can teach your dog fun things and teach him to do things he does naturally, on command. A client of mine is busy teaching her dog to crawl and stick her tongue out when asked to.

Ensuring your dog has an interesting and varied life is important. Training should continue through to your dog’s golden years.