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Dog Behaviour

Do you sit on the hard chair while your dog takes the comfortable couch? Does he jump all over you when you arrive home? Does he tow you along while out walking? You don’t allow the people in your life to behave like this so why allow your dog? The key to dog training is to positively reinforce good behaviour and humanely correct misbehaviour consistently.
“Rosemarie worked wonders. I have a happy and relaxed dog, who is a pleasure to be around.” – Ann
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Your dog is as much a part of the family as your kids, your wife, husband or your cat! Every member of the family needs a role including your dog. It is the lack of role that can lead to imbalance. The parents’ role is to take care of the children, to run the house and provide an income. Even small children have a role to go to school, so how about your dog? If he does not know his role he can become dysfunctional.

Puppy asleep in a flowerpotIn the not too distant past, dogs had very clearly defined roles like personal protection, guarding property, herding animals, keeping the home free of vermin, pulling sledges and finding lost people. It was never thought of to allow a dog on the furniture as furniture was never replaced so had to last. As houses were heated by an open fire the doors of the rooms were closed so the dog did not roam freely around the house.

To function properly dogs have needs which must be met. As well as the basic needs of shelter – being part of the family unit, food – having good nutrition, health – getting regular vet check ups, their most important requirement is exercise. This balances them psychologically and brings calmness.

Then comes structure and discipline – on which they thrive and will learn to respect you, and only then comes affection – the loyalty bond. In essence you are the leader and it is their role to follow.

Once dog owners understand these concepts they are on the way to establishing a happy, confident, well adjusted canine family member!

Areas to work on where you can establish yourself as a wise, strong and dependable leader are with the feeding, walking, reuniting and claiming everything. Two dogs with sad eyes. One lying, the other sitting.Having him earn everything – no freebies! Rewarding calm behaviour and ignoring very excited behaviour. Most owners ignore their dog when they are being good. Try catching him doing something good and rewarding that instead of giving him attention when he is doing something wrong. This can inadvertently reinforce the bad behaviour.

“From the moment we met Rosemarie, she set our minds at ease with some great advice in learning how to look after our very energetic puppy.” – Emma & Michael
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Training is vital and here are some tips:

  • Use a training method that is effective. This may sound basic but if it doesn’t work for your dog don’t use it.
  • Communication is critical, as is understanding
  • Reward exists in nature, so does punishment
  • Reward is far more effective in teaching desired behaviour that punishment
  • Teach your dog what you want him to do rather than focus on what you don’t want him to do
  • Understand the cause of bad behaviour in order to address it effectively
  • Never correct in anger
  • Do nothing to physically harm your dog
  • Every dog is different so training methods need to be tailored to the specific needs of your dog