Category Archives: Dog Training

Dog Breeds

It is most important to choose a dog — regardless of whether it is a pedigree or mongrel — whose size and temperament suits the family. By general consent the middle-sized dogs such as the Border Collie, the Labrador and Golden Retrievers, number among the quietest and most agreeable of companions. They are known for their tolerance of children but need plenty of exercise.


Puppies are ready to be taken into a new home at about the age of eight weeks. At this age in particular they need a great deal of human companionship and should not be left alone except for short periods. The transition to a new home is often best made by puppies who come into a household where there is already an adult dog. In fact it is often kinder to keep two dogs rather than one, since they are company for each other.


Like babies, puppies need frequent small meals. At eight weeks they should be fed four times a day at four-hourly intervals. Two of the meals should contain puppy meal and wholemeal bread, or baby cereal with a little milk. The others should be of minced or scraped meat. An occasional hunk of meat, or a safe bone that will not splinter or fragment, is good for the puppy’s teeth, gums and jaws, and will happily engross it for hours.

Adult dogs, by the time they are nine months old, should have one main meat meal a day fed to them in the evening, with a bowl of milk and cereal each morning. It is normal for dogs to swallow their food very quickly, stopping only to tear it into manageable chunks. Large marrow bones are good for adult dogs and puppies, and particularly so for those fed on soft tinned food instead of fresh food.

Clean drinking water must be accessible to dogs and puppies all day whether they are indoors or outside.


In the house a dog needs a comfortable, warm, dry bed. Large-sized manufactured beds are expensive, but if the bed is too small, the dog will not use it. If the expense is too great, then a large box or an otherwise unused chair will suffice.

Dogs which are expected to sleep outside the house need a substantially built kennel, with deep bedding for severe weather. Even dogs which sleep indoors benefit from having a kennel they can retreat into at times during the day.


As soon as the puppy is introduced into the family house-training can begin. Success depends on anticipating the puppy’s needs. Take it outside to urinate and defecate each morning and evening, and every time it finishes a meal or wakes from sleep. Stay with it until it has finished, then congratulate it.

While young the puppy must be handled quietly and discouraged from jumping up at visitors and barking.

From the age of six months, puppies can be taught to sit, lie down, walk to heel and to come when called, but further training is not usually appropriate for pet dogs.


The amount of grooming required varies according to the coat. Long-haired dogs, such as the Yorkshire Terrier, should be groomed daily, those with medium-length, short or wiry coats need much less attention. Baths should be given when necessary but it is important to dry the dog immediately afterwards with a towel or hair dryer.

Some dogs do not always wear down their claws naturally and any new growth needs to be trimmed off periodically with animal nail clippers, taking great care not to cut into the nerve and blood supply at the base of the nail.

COLLARS AND LICENCES (check laws in your country)

Owners have a legal obligation when dogs are six months old to obtain a licence which must be renewed annually together with a collar which states the owner’s name. The collar must be worn whenever the dog is in a public place — e.g., a street — and local Councils are empowered to designate certain roads where dogs are not allowed off a leash.


All dogs need walking every day although the distance will vary considerably, depending on the dog’s size, age, breed and health. A big, energetic dog such as an Irish Setter, can walk 16 km (10 miles) a day throughout the year.

As well as its daily walks, a dog needs to spend part of every day in the garden. A walled garden is ideal but at least part of any garden must be made dog-proof with good fencing, gates and secure catches.


Puppies should receive their first inoculations against infectious diseases at the age of nine to twelve weeks. Avoid walking the puppy in public until the first course of injections is complete. The veterinary surgeon will advise how frequently boosters are needed — often annually.


Of the various kinds of parasite that may infest a dog fleas and worms are the most common. Flea powders and sprays are available for use on the dog’s fur but also clean the bedding thoroughly, since that is where the fleas breed.

Puppies should be given a routine worming for roundworms at three to six, weeks with their first injections. If these worms are suspected again or if segments of tapeworm are found seek veterinary advice.


It is advisable to have a pet bitch spayed to prevent it coming into season twice a year, for three weeks at a time, and producing litters of 1-12 pups. However, some vets advise waiting until after the first season.

Pet dogs can be neutered by castration.

Dog Handling in Obedience Classes or Working Trials

Your objective from puppy to adult dog has been to achieve as near as possible perfect behaviour by the dog. Any information on dog training would not be complete, however, without some remarks on the correct behaviour of the handler. Although my remarks are directed to competitors in Obedience Classes they also apply to Trials.Continue Reading

Dog Obedience Training – Manwork

Manwork should be enjoyable to both dog and trainer but, before starting, make sure you have the right dog. A nervous dog which, without training, would run a mile if threatened with a stick can often be trained to attack quite easily. But he won’t lose his nervousness. Like the dog which fights through fearContinue Reading

Speak and Cease Speaking on Command

This exercise is a test of command and ability. The Judge may control the position of the handler in relation to the dog, but the handler may at his discretion give the command at the Stand, Sit, or Down. On the Judge’s direction the dog will be ordered to cease barking. Excessive incitement to speakContinue Reading

Dog Training – Directional Control

Sending dog away in direction indicated by Judge not less than fifty yards, stopping and redirecting not less than twenty yards. This exercise is included in both TD and PD stakes and obviously starts with a send away. At the end of the send away the dog has to be sent to the right orContinue Reading

Steadiness to Gunshot

It is not right that dogs should be tested in competition away from the controlling influence of the handlers as other dogs may also be free in the vicinity. Dogs should be tested individually walking at heel free. A dog under test barking or interrupting its bee/work on the sound of gunshot other than merelyContinue Reading

Training a Dog to Track Back

Although not now included in any of the Working Trial Regulations the track back or seek back is a very useful exercise to teach. It can be good fun for both dog and trainer and can be practised any time when out for a walk. It is merely an extension to retrieving and any dogContinue Reading

Dog Obedience – Search

Fortunately in Working Trials the retrieve is put to some practical use. In the CD Stakes we have an ‘Elementary Search’ when the dog must find one handler’s article placed by a steward and unseen by dog and handler. The area to be searched is twelve yards square and the time allowed two minutes. InContinue Reading

Dog Training – Agility and Jumping

Next to working sheepdogs, nothing gives me greater pleasure than a good jumping dog. And nothing is more pathetic than the all too frequent sight at trials of a handler trying to force a dog to jump an obstacle which it has neither the ability nor the inclination to negotiate. Just after the war theContinue Reading

Advanced Stand, Sit And Down

At one time a separate exercise this is now incorporated in class C heel work. At sometime during this test, at the discretion of the Judge, the dog shall be required, whilst walking to heel at a normal pace, to be left at the Stand, Sit and Down in coy order ( the order toContinue Reading

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