Tag N Rye
Training Tips

Are you thinking of getting a puppy?

Far from trying to stop someone getting a dog/puppy I am hoping that this short article will prepare you for what you are taking on.

Bringing a new dog into your home at anytime of the year results in a great commitment on your time, your heart and sometimes your patience.  So ensure that before you are going to make such a commitment that you are prepared.

Puppies are cute, puppies are sweet and puppies poo and wee everywhere until they are housetrained.  This may take up to 6 months in some cases.  All this can apply to an older dog should one from a rescue centre adopt you or a stray follows you home.  They can also nip, cry, chew what ever they can get their little teeth into and dig up gardens while they are young and know no better.

However, with the correct, reward based training the puppy/dog can be transformed into a well-behaved animal.  Training does not have to take long hours of your time, in fact the time you spend with your dog can be used constructively.  All training should be a controlled form of play, in other words both you and the dog enjoy it.  There are numerous training classes which you can attend with your dog and some trainers who will call to your home to help you with your dog.  Ask your vet, pet shop or other doggie friends for someone they can recommend.

Dog can live 12 or 14 years or more, they will need feeding three times a day as a puppy, twice as adults.  Physical and mental exercise, grooming, inoculations, kennelling when you go on holidays and your time when you come home after a long, tiring day at work.  Apart from the initial cost of buying a puppy, basket, kennel, collar, lead, licence fee, inoculations, vets fees, toys and food there is also the cost of having them neutered/spayed to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

If after reading the above you are still eager to own a dog then great.  A dog can bring so much pleasure to people.  There is nothing nicer than being greeted like you have been away for ever and they make you feel so special.  They never question your motives, or your decisions.  They give you unconditional love and no matter how awful you look or feel they tell you that you are the best.  Seriously though, owning  a dog can be so rewarding.  Just ask the person with the big smile on their face and a dog on the end of the lead!!!!

Puppy has arrived, so here are some Quick Training Tips from Tag N Rye Dog Services

Dogs not doing what they are told:

Dogs do not speak our language so unless they have been trained properly to obey they cannot be expected to do what they are told.  Ensure you have trained your dog properly by using the same chosen word every time the dogs does the required exercise until the dog recognises the word and reacts on command. e.g.., when the dog goes out through a door say 'out good boy', when the dog sits say 'sit good boy'.

Jumping up on people/furniture

Most dogs will usually repeat an action that gets a reaction. When the dog jumps up on you and you shout at him and push him off he will not understand that you do not want him to do this.  He will think that as you give him attention for doing that and none if he keeps his feet on the floor that you want him to jump up.

Teach him to sit before you give him attention or ignore him when he jumps up on you, giving no eye, verbal or physical contact.  Wait until he gets off you before talking to him. Should he jump up again as you talk ignore him as before until he is on the ground.  It is important to acknowledge the correct behaviour if ignoring the bad behaviour.

Remember if you sometimes hug your dog when he jumps up un-invited he will not understand when it is or is not alright to do so. If you teach your dog that jumping up by invitation is acceptable (call dogs name and pat your legs) but not doing that means do not jump.

Barking when being left in the garden.

If the dog is not used to being away from the owner when they are at home then the dog will not understand why he is being left alone outside when the owner goes out.

Teach your puppy that it is perfectly alright to be left alone for a while when you are in the house.  Give the puppy a stuffed Kong toy or treat ball and leave him in the kitchen/garden for a short time playing with the toy.  Return to the puppy before he starts to  protest about being alone. Over time increase the period he is left alone with the toys until he is happy with being by himself.  Ensure the garden is secure and there is somewhere dry the dog can go into in case of bad weather.

Puppies not being house trained quickly enough.

A 12 week old puppy is equivalent to an 18 month old child and very few of those are nappy trained by that age. Take your puppy outside at regular intervals into the area you want him to toilet in.  When he goes to the toilet tell him 'busy good boy' and when he has finished give him a treat for what he has done where he has done it.  As the puppy gets older he will learn to hold on and even go to the door to tell you he needs out.  Never punish your puppy for toileting in the house, it is not his fault as he has not yet learned what you require of him.  Wash the soiled areas in the house with either:  1 part white vinegar and 4 parts water or 1 part biological washing powder and 10 parts water.

Do not use bleached based products as there is ammonia in bleach as well as urine and faeces.  The next time you are feeding the puppy place his dinner bowl on the (cleaned) area that he had dirtied earlier.  Very few dogs like to dirty where they are eating or sleeping.  Some dogs may urinate with excitement when you come home, ignore this and they will usually grow out of it

Not coming back when called

Apart from lack of proper training this problem may be as a result of dogs associating coming back when called with the lead going on to end a walk, to be put outside or even corrected.

Teach the puppy that his name is valuable and every time he responds he gets a nice treat/fuss. When he reacts to his name the instant you call him in the house then start adding the 'come' command to his name.  Ensure he gets a nice reward for his response.

Always train your dog where there are no distractions before you expect the dog to train around distractions.

Any reference to 'he' etc includes 'she

Why would you call in a Pet Behaviourist?


The reasons to call in a Pet Behaviourist will vary from dog to dog or indeed client to client.  However it is important to separate the difference of a behavioural problem to the dog not doing what he is told. Before one says their dog is disobedient the owner should ask themselves if the dog has actually been trained properly in the first place – REMEMBER YOU CAN ONLY DISOBEY WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN TAUGHT TO OBEY.


A behavioural problem may be described as a behaviour that has changed within the dog and not for the better, e.g., growling over food, barking at shadows, running and barking at people when they get up to leave the room etc. These are some of the more serious problems that dogs can develop.  Other ones might be pacing the room; hiding under furniture and growling/snapping if they are approached, chasing their tail – all of which can become serious if left unattended.


If your dog suddenly starts to display an activity that is unusual to him then a consultation with a behaviourist is to be recommended.  Make a diary of what he does, the frequency of it etc., any changes that have happened in your life style that may have initiated the problem. Anything you can tell the Behaviourist can only help with finding the cause and hopefully the cure.



What is involved in a consultation?


This will vary from Behaviourist to Behaviourist but fundamentally the Behaviourist will want to find out as much as they can about the dog, age, neutered, habits, where they sleep, what privileges they get, what liberties they take. When the owner first noticed the problem, what was happening within the home with the problem occurred and anything else that is felt relevant to the situation.

Changes in both the owners and dog’s lifestyle may be recommended and possibly some basic obedience.  If the owner does not change what he does then the dog cannot be expected to change either.

The consultation may last a couple of hours during which time the Behaviourist will be observing both the owner and the dog’s interaction – all very revealing to the trained eye.


Occasionally a follow up visit may be required but this will depend on the dog and the problem.


Julie Holmes Ch.M.I.A.C.E


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