Bringing balance to the canine/human relationship

 

Our puppies need leadership and guidance from us so that they know they
can trust us. In time, as we build on the basic levels of care and training
with them, we will know we can trust them too.

 

Always provide for your dog’s physicals needs, regardless of their
behaviour. We must never use our resource holding power to punish the
animals in our care. All animals need free access to water, shelter, clean
bedding and a place to go to the toilet away from their sleeping and feeding
areas. Feeding them a healthy diet of the correct amount every day is also our
responsibility.

Remember they also have emotional needs. Providing a safe and stress
free life for your pet will bring out the best in him. Animals, especially dogs,
have many emotions and are profoundly affected by those that the humans in
their group are experiencing. If you become frustrated and angry with your
puppy over issues such as toilet training, they will try to avoid the unpleasant
emotional connections and may not feel comfortable going to the toilet in your
presence at all. This can lead to further problems with toileting in hidden
places, such as behind furniture etc. That ‘guilty’ look is their way of trying to
appease you if they can sense you are angry/upset. It is commonly
misunderstood as the dog telling us that they know they have done something
wrong. In fact it is their canine body language of submission in response to
our emotions, or their past experiences of our emotions, around this
behaviour in the past.

 

Being a leader does not mean being ‘dominant’. Your dog is very unlikely
to be looking for a chance to take your place in the group but they do need to
respect that fact that you are in charge and privileges should be earned. Much
like toddlers or teenagers they will take advantage of your inconsistency and
see you as a weak leader not to be listened to if you are unfair, or give up on
training too easily.

 

Basic obedience is the essential building blocks for the foundation of
your future relationship. When you puppy enjoys engaging in simple
exercises that keep him safe and well behaved, you have the basis of a
responsive and trusting relationship on which to build. Further training with
tricks, sporting events and competition training are only possible when you
have a solid foundation of basic obedience.