Amongst all the series of Books for Dummies, I found Dog Training for Dummies, 3rd. edition, published by Wiley Publishing, Inc., and highly recommend it to anyone who wants or needs to train a dog. It is a complete book and is copyrighted, so I cannot reproduce it, but this is a short paragraph of introduction:
“Providing your dog with at least some training is the best and most loving thing you can do for him. Training your dog ensures that he is safe and welcome everywhere he goes and that he is easy to live with. When beginning obedience training, you need to keep in mind a few do’s and don’ts, and you should start with a few basic exercises, including sitting and lying down on command. Training him to respond to the Come and Sit-Stay commands is also extremely helpful.
Yes, dog training is based on common sense. However, you do need to keep in mind a few specific guidelines – the do´s and don’t´s to make sure that you are successful and fostering a healthy relationship with your dog. The following sections are here to help you get started.”
And there are six pages of the Cheat Sheet Do´s and Don’ts, in detail (remember, this is a book for Dummies like me), with simple directions and common sense explanations. For example: “Don´t give up when the going gets tough, keep trying…and don´t blame the dog, you are his teacher.” And “Do get outside help when you get stuck.” However, the most important, in my view, is “Do spend plenty of time with your dog and give him lots of exercise.”
Not everyone is able to do this, for all the reasons we know too well. And everyone who has a dog hopes that somehow he will be a good dog… but he is not a human, he is a DOG, and needs you to help him to understand what you want him to do… Remember, he doesn´t know what the words mean until you use them consistently enough that he connects the word with the action or consequences. His hearing is acute, shouting and yelling is not necessary or helpful, so try to control yourself and your frustrations, and use a normal tone of voice. Be consistent in your actions and expectations.
Further sources of inspiration are the Barbara Woodhouse books, “No Bad Dogs, the Woodhouse Way” and “Dog Training the Woodhouse Way”. (Old, but good!)
I close, wishing you all a very happy and healthy Christmas Season, and a happy and satisfying year ahead.
Lula May Reed
NO WONDER HE WAGS HIS TAIL
When God made the earth and sky, the flowers and the trees, He then made all the animals and all the birds and bees. And when His work was finished not one was quite the same.He said “I´ll walk this earth of mine and give each one a name.”
And so he traveled land and sea and everywhere He went, a little creature followed Him until its strength was spent. All were named upon the earth and in the sky and sea,
The little creature said, “Dear Lord, - there´s not one left for me.”
The Father smiled and softly said “I´ve left you to the end, I´ve turned my own name back to front and called you DOG, my friend.”
Please note that the article published in our last edition “To cut a long tail short” was written by Sally Salt and not as printed.