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The best advice

I was recently asked what was the best dog related advice I had been given. It was quite an easy question really, because something Graeme Sims said sprang straight into my mind. He said that the secret of good training was to love your dog so much that they can't resist you. I think that applies to life with a dog in general, not just training, but certainly if you apply that to life in general with a dog, I think you get better training results.

I like that advice because it implies so much. If you love your dog there are many things that you will do for him; you will spend time with him, you will feed him well, you will give him comfort, exercise, medical care, training, toys; you will consider him. You won't ignore him or mistreat him, and you certainly won't dump him. That one word, "love", conveys so much.

Of course I've picked up a lot of other great advice while working on DogCast Radio. With training in mind, one of the most helpful tips I've been given is to train in the environment you want the dog to perform the behaviour in. So for example just because my dog has a great recall in my back yard, I shouldn't expect the same results at the dog park, with all the tempting scents, sights and sounds around - unless I've done some training with those distractions around.

Socialisation is another piece of advice. This works best with puppies, but can help older dogs too. Accustoming your dog to as many different environments, sounds, sights, smells, people, dogs and even floor surfaces will help produce a well-balanced dog, who takes most things in his stride.

Simply bringing your own dog up is an education. I know that Star's toilet training, and recall training went a lot better than Buddy's because I learned from my mistakes the first time around. Yes, I made mistakes with Buddy, but luckily it was nothing disastrous, just things that slowed our progress down. I will never teach a dog to toilet on newspaper for example, as it's too hard a habit to break.

However, the other thing I've learned is that different methods work for different people - and different dogs - so I know there will be people reading this for whom paper training has worked brilliantly. And that's the great thing with training, there's bound to be a method that will work for you and your dog, it's just a question of finding it.

Using a clicker was also an excellent suggestion - but I could probably fill a whole other post with that, so instead I'll close by asking what's the best dog-related advice you've ever been given? Maybe we could compile a DogCast Radio top ten?

Take care,

Julie x


275 - Controversial advice from Chloe Cavoodle: stop interactions with unknown dogs

Chloe Cavoodle is an assistance dog who posts all about her life in Sydney - her human, Liana, suggests we stop interactions with all strange dogs. Hear why! Plus hear the first chapter of Julie's book Crufts or Bust about Julie and Buddy's attempts to qualify for Crufts.

189 - The Dog Healers and War Dogs Remembered

In this episode you can hear Mark Winik talk about his debut novel, The Dog Healers, and listen to Julia Robertson explain why she founded the charity War Dogs remembered. Plus there's the DogCast Radio News, and what Mischief the German Spitz puppy has been up to.

188 - Service Dogs UK and Roxie the Doxie Finds Her Forever Home

In this episode you can hear about Service Dogs UK, a fantastic charity which trains assistance dogs to support veterans of any service - military personnel, police, firefighters, paramedics and the coastguard - who develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to their job. Also, listen to Dr Jody A Dean, a clinical psychologist talk about how her book, Roxie the Doxie finds her Forever Home, is helping children understand and talk about adoption and other family issues. Plus the DogCast Radio News and some thoughts on the alpha dog myth.

187 - Muffins Halo and Chorley Fun Dog Show

In this episode you can hear about Muffin's Halo for Blind Dogs, and what motivates people to enter their dog in a fun dog show. In the DogCast Radio News, listen to stories about the latest dog related research. Plus there's a new member of the DogCast Radio team!

186 - Maxwell Muir on wolves

In this episode you can hear trainer, behaviourist, writer, broadcaster and wolf expert Maxwell Muir talk about what wolves mean to him personally, their plight in a modern world, and his hopes for their future. Plus we have the DogCast Radio News.