Guest Blog Post by LWDG Group Expert Samantha Thorneycroft- Taylor

When we purchase, or rescue, a working gundog breed we have an obligation to train them to be the best that they can be at whatever their role is going to be, and the best way to do that is to make training fun. 

Whether it’s a family pet and companion, a service dog, a gun dog, a livestock dog, a security dog it’s true, and it’s probably the single thing that I say the most to all of my clients. 

We all know that dogs aren’t born trained, though there are often genetic and hereditary traits that can be found within a specific breed. Yet, somehow, almost everyone ends up experiencing frustration with their dogs training at some point during the dogs life.

Frustration that the puppy just chewed yet another slipper, frustration that the gundog bred dog has gone self employed in a forest and wont recall, frustration that the livestock dog just caught and killed a neighbours chicken, the list of possible frustrations is endless..

Your Dogs Boundaries

Dogs need to be given clear boundaries from the start of your ownership, not by harsh methods or punishing corrections, but they do need to be taught the difference between right and wrong, and they need to be mentally stimulated and given a ‘job’ no matter how small or large that ‘job’ may be. 

I think that many of us will have, at some point during our dogs life, had that feeling of “oh god, I need to take the dog out for a walk” and it’s at this point, when we are no longer enjoying our dogs companionship, that we need to take the step to be proactive and to inject the fun and enthusiasm back into our combined lives. 

It’s well known that dogs experience many different stages whilst growing from puppy hood, through adolescence and eventually maturing into adult life. We need to be there to support them, to encourage them, to nurture them, and also to keep them on the straight and narrow throughout all the different stages of development they go through.

Small Segments Of Training Can Keep Things Fun

Around 20-25 minutes is all you need to dedicate to a single training session and even this can be broken down into much smaller segments - if you take a proper look at your daily routine you’ll soon realise that you had a couple of minutes whilst the kettle boiled, or 15 minutes whilst dinner was in the oven, or 10 minutes before you were due to leave for work.

These are prime opportunities to do something, anything, with your dog to get those cogs ticking. You could work on your heel position in the kitchen or a short sit/stay or a send to bed for example. You could hide something in the garden and go hunt for it together, you could practice your recall, or do some retrieving - none of these examples take more than just a few short minutes

It’s far more beneficial to your dogs health and well-being to have small bursts of mental stimulation with dedicated time and interaction from you, as their owner and caregiver, than it is for them to run for hours out of control and doing what they please!

So if you’re thinking “I don’t have enough time to both train and to walk my dog” then think again - either go training instead, or mix the two up and go for a training walk. 

As humans it’s easy to get ‘bogged down’ on one thing that is causing us difficulty and we either stick at it in the same way, over and over not making progress, or we avoid the issue altogether and hope the problem goes away. Neither of these routes are the answer.

If, for example, your delivery has gone to pot on retrieves then consider forgetting steadiness for awhile and having some fun.

Play with your dog, run around with your dog, throw some unsteady retrieves and really encourage your dog to come right back to you - have them chase you with the item in their mouth if that is what it takes to get your dog back.

If you’re at loggerheads when it comes to loose lead walking and are fed up of the continual pull, stop, reset, pull, stop, reset ‘cycle’, INJECT some ENTHUSIASM! Take it up a pace, keep changing direction, stop, start, run, walk, left, right - make it fun, different, and exciting! 

Take the pressure of yourselves; act like a child, forget the daily struggles, leave work at work, and go have fun with your dog! I can guarantee that you’ll both be far happier, and far more contented afterwards!

Need help with planning your training? Register here to get access to our webinar on planning dog training sessions that work!

Learn how to put together a month of effective dog training sessions in just 1 hour
with our jam-packed free webinar  where we'll show you how to train your working dog in just 10 minutes a day. You'll learn the secrets of using short sharp planned-out sessions that will help you get results faster than ever before!

After this webinar, you will know precisely how to fast-forward your training process and have more time to get the results you want in the time available. You'll also get access to our exclusive online planning community, where we can all share ideas and support each other.

Imagine finding time in your day for training and finding time doing what matters most – spending quality time with family and friends or enjoying doing great things like cleaning the house!

Ok, we know training the dog is far more fun than chores, but we have to make time for everything right! The best part is that it doesn't matter if your dog is young or old, big or small - our methods work for all dogs, no matter their age or breed.

By attending this free online webinar, not only will you be able to learn from The LWDG Group Experts but also have access to an exclusive online community of people who are just as passionate about dogs as yourself.

Samantha Thorneycroft-Taylor is an LWDG Group Expert, experienced dog trainer and Owner of Languedoc Gundogs

  • What changed my attitude was reading a comment that said “your dog is not your enemy”. So often we view them as sabotaging our every attempt to suceed at training and before we know where we are, it is an us and them battle. Now I think of it as an us and us journey. There is no malice. We are feeling our way together. We both make mistakes. Sometimes our agendas diverge 😊 but we remain friends who some days just need to be a bit more tolerant and communicate a bit better. X

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