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Top tips

Number 1

Sit down, drink tea, relax and watch your dog. You're training him how to behave at the same time………….Most of what I have learned about dogs, has been learned through OBSERVATION. I spend a lot of time simply sitting down in a field or a park observing the relationship that my dogs have with themselves, other dogs and their environment. I often take a flask and some snacks, find somewhere nice and simply sit down and watch. It is unnatural for a dog to be continually on the go, 'being exercised'. Over exercise can create a frantic dog. Your dog needs to learn to relax and just be, just as we humans often do.If you are busy always trying to 'exercise' your dog, to 'tire him out' then you are actually training him to be continually on the go. Think about it! It makes sense. Teach him that he can also simply sit around and watch the world go by. That 'watching', can be just as stimulating and interesting as 'doing'. This is particularly good for older dogs who will benefit from the opportunity to just 'poddle’ about, smelling stuff and just 'being' a dog. Try it tomorrow, just give it a whirl. Get the most out of your dog and learn about his world. Sit down, relax, observe and enjoy.…..


Number 2

"I'm too stressed or busy to train my dog!"We hear this so often in class. An owner is simply too stressed or too busy to take time to train their dog. They feel that they have to dedicate a lot of time or 'succeed' to have made the experience worthwhile. I believe that often people view training the dog as a chore, some kind of battle of wills that they need time and energy to win. It is this view that drains them of their energy, not the activity itself. I would like to suggest that owners view even one minute dedicated to their dog, whether it be stroking the dog, or training the dog, as stress relief, not stress creation. When you stroke your dog it lowers your blood pressure and heart rate. You FEEL better for it. It doesn't matter if you decide to train your dog and it doesn't go according to plan. Simply spending the time with the dog, will have benefited your relationship and improved your communication. Enjoy your dog, that is what you got him or her for! You can let go of the stresses of the day and your busy life, in the moment that you dedicate to your dog. Dogs should be stress relief, not stress creation.


Number 3

Toilet training your dog or puppy.

If your dog soils in the house, then clean up the area with a solution of biological washing powder. Dogs identify a toilet by the way that it smells and feels on their feet. Only Biological washing solution actually removes all evidence of the smell. This alone can sometimes resolve toilet training problems!


Number 4

Training with food

Use high quality food to train your dog. The better quality the treat, the more your dog will enjoy the experience, it's that simple. And you want your dog to enjoy the experience, so that ho or she will be happy to repeat the exercises you are teaching.

At CaDeLac we use hot dog sausages, cheese, liver or chicken, cut into tiny pieces. We get through about 250 pieces for each dog in each of our classes, so ensure the pieces are very tiny, else your dog will explode!       

Also, when you get a new dog or puppy, add a very small amount of the food that you intent to train with e.g, hot dog sausage, to its normal daily food allowance. That way your dog's stomach will become accustomed to that food type and is less likely to suffer tummy upsets after training nights or sessions.


Number 5

Train little and often

It is a misconception that you have to set aside great wadges of time to train your dog. You can train your dog when you walk around the house. Call him to you or to heel,  when you wander into the kitchen to make a cuppa. When you get to the kitchen reward him or her with a piece of pre-prepared treat like sausage from your fridge.

Always have a bag of treats ready in your fridge.

Run through your dogs known commands or teach new ones while you boil the kettle.

The time it takes to boil a kettle is perfect for your dog training sessions. Short sessions leave the dog wanting to do more and this way he will remember that he enjoyed learning this activity and was left 'wanting more'.

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Main photos by kind permission Matt Malyan (
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