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How to exercise your dog

Exercising your working dog in the early days of his life are the most important steps in his early training and are the foundation of having a dog to be proud of when out walking below are the rules  boundary's and methods I use to achieve this goal the first question I all ways get asked is when should I start training my answer to this is it has already started to have an obedient loyal companion that will give you endless pleasure means training is a continuous way of life and the dog must see you as the centre of his universe and his whole life revolves around you and your family

The next question I get asked is how do you achieve this the methods below have worked for me for many years and are just as applicable and probably more important in a dog that is to be kept as a pet if it is not to drive you up the wall because it is lost confused and bored without being anchored in its place within the family there are plenty of books on the market for obedience training and training for work and field trials all have there merits and you will find they all come down to the same set of rules

1 When you get your puppy home establish a safe place for him this is where he can go and feel secure and know that while he stays there he will not pestered or interfered with it his his place

If this place is going to be in the house I find the easiest method is to start with a cage there is nothing worse for a puppy to be running round a kitchen and getting under your feet besides the risk of tripping you up with something hot you could tread on or injure him  and continually shouting his name and telling him to get out the way will lead to confusion and difficulty later on. So the first stage of you becoming the centre of his life begins

Place the cage out of the way but where you can keep an eye on it place a blanket or a cushion in the and a bowl of water leave the door open and encourage him to go in and out of the cage if he is reluctant at first toss a treat, piece of food or toy in to the cage let him run into the cage and come out Warning never throw a treat into the cage and shut the door behind him or he will soon learn not to enter.

When he enters the cage give the command bed praise him  you will find when you praise him he will  instantly run back to  you  after a short while when you say bed he will enter the cage you will find when he is being ignored he will go into the cage and lie down of his own accord

When on the command bed he enters the cage and lies down then give him a treat in the cage tell him to stat and gently close the door at this point carry on with your chores and take no notice of the pup keep looking over to him and if he starts to walk round or look like he is going to toilet then open the cage and take him out side to relieve himself

After a short time open the door give the command to stay if he moves to the door close it on him again give the command stay open the door repeat this till he remains motionless until the door is completely open then call his name and give the command here play with him and praise him for a short time then send him back to the cage with the command bed Warning do not fall into the trap  of saying aah he is only a puppy and letting him getaway  with disobeying or he will soon learn how to manipulate you don’t forget a dog ages 7 years to one of ours so he is not that 3 month old you think. he clever and learns fast remember dogs learn by ???? And bad behaviour is learnt just as easy as good and once learnt is harder to correct give the pup every chance to get it right and its praise,  treats, play and fun all the way

Keep the intervals between being in the cage and out short during the day establish a bedtime taking the dog out to relieve himself before putting him to bed at first leave this as late as possible and get up in the morning as early as possible to reduce the chance of him soiling in the cage remember he only  has a small bladder and when nature tells him he needs to go he will obey and go if he dose soil the cage do not scald him unless you catch him in the act he will not understand what he has done just let him out side and clean up use a strong deodoriser to discourage a repeat dogs tend to relieve themselves where they can scent previous toilet action, watch him during the day you will soon learn how long he can go between toilet breaks and you can gradually extend the time until he can go the whole night without soiling how long this takes depends on your consistency and can be as short as one week two at the most but with consistency you never achieve a completely reliable dog  that is house trained and obedient willing to please you. Now you should be able to leave the door of the cage open most of the time or even dispense with it leaving only his cushion or blanket in the corner.

You are now ready to move to stage two the walk

If all of the above has gone well you will have achieved the first set of basics

1 you are now everything the pup rely's on. you control when he plays when he eats when he rests when he goes to the toilet

2 you have established his place in the family pack

3 you have established the first important commands here and Stay he knows where to go when you are busy

But now you are going to change the picture of his world by introducing him to new open spaces this introduction is  very important so be prepared to go back to the beginning

Introducing  your  pup to the lead

This is something I usually do much later as I have access to ground to exercise my dogs without having to negotiate any roads or paths most people are not this lucky and need to introduce the lead at an early age

The working dog and when a dog is competing will not wear a collar none of my dogs have ever worn a collar and never will but if you exercise your in a public place the dog is required to wear a collar and identity disc with the dogs name on onside and contact no. Or address of owner on the other

A dog that is working is exempt because when working heavy cover e could get caught up and trapped on branches and brambles and I have experienced this when people have left a collar on a dog and we have had a search party out to look for the dog only to find hours later stuck in thick cover

If you choose to use a collar you can put this on for a few hours a day during the earlier training so he is used to something around his neck then start by clipping the lead on he will dance around a bit and wonder why he can’t run as far just be patient and wait till he settles down then walk away from him calling his name and encouraging him to follow you use the command HEEL he should soon get the idea if you have followed the above and be trotting at you side do not try to drag him just relax the lead and encourage him to you when he gets a bit bolder and starts to go in front of you turn and walk in the opposite direction this will encourage him to stay where he can see you and all ways follow you practise this in the house and garden and get it right before you venture out the front door when you have this to a satisfactory level it is time to venture out

The first outing

Place the dog on the lead wait until he is settled and calm tell him to stay and start to open the front door remember the cage exorcise if he moves close it after a few attempts he will remember and remain still until you command him to heel  make sure you are in front and you leave the house first if he runs forward and is in front of you turn and go back inside shut the door and start again do not be in a rush keep this up until you get the result you want failure to do so will result in a dog that will pull you out of the house ad may even pull you over when he is older and stronger this is you chance to get it right don’t be impatient and mess up