Training the dog

Toby had his first dog training session today.  In actual fact, the training was more for us (the humans) than for Toby.

We arrived in a bit of a fluster having got lost on the way and Mandy, our trainer, watched, somewhat bemused, as we all tumbled out of the car.

Toby was obviously feeling a little anxious as we all walked into the covered training area, but Mandy found him an interesting selection of toys to play with while we sat and talked.

Mandy explained to us how important this time is in a puppy’s development and that the experiences and things he learns now, will have an effect on how he behaves when he is an adult dog.  With so many different people in our family and therefore in Toby’s life, consistency and rules are going to be important to his training.  In particular she was keen that the youngest child followed the rules to ensure that Toby knows his place in the family hierarchy, ie that he is at the bottom of the pack.

So, much to the youngest child’s disappointment, there is to be no more picking up or cuddles on the sofa.  This may sound a little harsh, but in the long run it is likely to be better for both of them.

Mandy gave us lots of valuable advice on how to behave with Toby and in particular three key points to work on until our next training session

  1. Toby is to keep to set routine of food, play, exercise and sleep, just like a baby;
  2. When out, practise recall, getting him use to coming back to a whistle;
  3. Lots of treats and praise for responding positively to commands.

There was so much to take in, this is a whole new subject for us, but it was good to get some help from a professional and great to be able to get the answers to questions I hadn’t managed to work out from the books I’ve read.