This way or that way?

I read with interest in one of the Sunday papers last weekend an article about dog training and the ‘right’ way to train.

There seem to be two schools of thought and researchers have come up with conflicting ideas regarding the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ way of training our four legged friends.

The article talked about positive and negative ways of approaching the work that needs to be done to have a fully trained, happy and safe dog so that owners and dogs can enjoy life together.

It can be really daunting for owners when embarking on the business of finding a good dog trainer, and it can be confusing knowing what type of training is the best one, especially as there are many different views about what makes ‘good’ training. It is so important to get it right for both the owner and the dog and I always say that the first thing any dog owner should look for is a trainer who has a first class reputation, and who has had consistent and excellent success over the years that they have been training.

Asking around and checking out the trainer is important before the owner speaks to them. It’s always worth contacting local businesses that may know of them and be able to give you some feedback, for example the local Veterinary Clinic would be a good place to start. If they have a reputation, positive or otherwise, then the local Vet will know. Also ask around if anyone knows of someone’s who’s been for training and see if you can speak to them to get their feedback.

You can also tell a lot about someone when speaking to them on the phone, how they talk to you and explain their training methods and what to expect from the session with them. After researching local trainers can you make an informed decision.

The article in the paper I read gives a view on the softer, treat based training methods, however this study has caused controversy as relying totally on this method fails to teach dogs boundaries as well as good manners, resulting in unacceptable behaviour and confusion on the part of the dog.

The other view was on the side of training with no treats, with pack leadership firmly in place, boundaries set out clearly and good manners been installed in the dog from the start. Resulting in a calm well balanced dog with an understanding of what is required of him. Research shows that this is a much more positive approach to training.

Whichever view you take one thing is certain, a healthy happy relationship is important when training as both owner and dog need to be totally together and in harmony to make it work. As the late Barbara Woodhouse was known for saying “there are no bad dogs, only bad owners”

There have been so many books and videos, so much information on the internet that no wonder people are confused. Some clients who come to me have been elsewhere first, and haven’t received what they wanted and needed often they are a little confused about the physiology of the dog as well, but once a few simple things have been explained and they understand then training the “Grayling Way “ can begin.

In my view training should be fun, firm and positive!

I have a full summer of trainings ahead but until then I’m taking a well-earned break and will be not be saying sit, stay and come as I am heading off on a holiday to Barbados to soak up some sun; my training whistle will be hanging up behind the door having a rest as well!

Share The Story