Acorn Dog Training

Show Training a Puppy

Good Citizen Tests


Joyce Stranger

If you want to show it helps if the puppy is taken to exemption shows before being plunged in the big ring at a big show, having never been anywhere before. I spend too much time on ten-month old dogs suddenly taken on a long journey to a championship show without any preparation whatever. They have only been in the car to visit the vet and are car sick which is not a good start to showing them.

Two of them were bulldogs that just lay down as soon as they got in the ring and refused to move. They had never been out of their kennel and run before. They were driven one hundred and twenty miles to a big Championship show.

One never did get over his terror, but the other, after some months of training and re-assuring and gentle exposing to busy situations, did get Best In Show. Another dog that came to me, who had not had enough exposure to busy places, was so fascinated by the world he couldn't concentrate for a minute. He wouldn't stand still, wanted to play with other dogs and was generally a nightmare. We taught him to concentrate. He started lessons in June, got his first C.C at the beginning of August, and he gained his third CC at the end of November.

His handler had not been taught proper ringcraft. Now she is doing extremely well with two of his sons. Sometimes there are no good local ringcraft classes. It is worth watching the top handlers, if that is so. There are also times when someone may not want to train a dog that will be competition so the teaching is not as good as it should be

Sadly the people who bought his son did not listen to his breeder and did not bring the dog for lessons till he was eleven months old and had made a complete fool of himself in the ring at a big show, having been taken there without any preparation whatsoever. Calming him is something of a nightmare.

I recommend that the pups are driven somewhere daily when first bought and carried before the date the vets say; none have ever come to harm. Those treated like this don't turn into the nightmare dog that snaps and snarls at people and other dogs, because he has never known anyone but his breeder and then his new owners.

My last GSD was born in a boarding kennels and must have seen a hundred people and many different dogs before I brought her home. The whelping kennel was in a corner of the boarding block and every dog had to pass it on its way out and in when exercised.

All that breeder's bitches whelped in the same kennel over the years. On fine days the pups were in a pen near the road, saw traffic, sheep, horses, and a flock of tame doves. The pups went out in the car whenever the breeder went out himself, taking them in turn, three at a time in a box, with someone beside them to re-assure them.

I have never had a pup like this one. With my other dogs I did have to spend time getting them used to the big wide world. She already knew it. These experienced puppies are so easy to train as their brains have been challenged. Kept away from the world and protected, they start with a major disadvantage, which is compounded if the owner is told not to train ill six months old.

My 'new' dog is a four-year-old Labrador who led a very restricted though very happy life before she came tome. She went to a few shows, was walked in isolated places and spent much of her time in a kennel, as she lived with seven other dogs.

I didn't realise this. I took her with me to the hairdresser, as my dog is very welcome there. She got under a chair and refused to budge. I thought I would have to spend the night there. It took nearly an hour to coax her out. Now, eight months later, she can't wait to get there as she always gets a fuss and a biscuit.

There are other problems due to that lack of early massive socialisation. She had never been alone until she came to me and for weeks I could not even walk out of a room without her panicking.

Unless they have training and guidance the dogs teach themselves. They race around, won't come when called, run off and seem to have suicidal instincts because of that. They jump on people. This in itself adds to the anti dog feeling. I can sympathise as last May a stray Labrador got into my garden. While I was trying to get him on a lead to wait the dog warden he jumped at me in sheer delight and knocked me over and I dislocated my
shoulder. It is still not right.

Another dog greeted his owner like that on the garden steps and she fell down them and broke her arm. My training slogan is that we want to produce a dog that the neighbours
love as much as we do.

So many of my owners tell me that people say to them, 'Isn't your dog good? Aren't you lucky?' Their answer always is 'no, it is not luck'. It is attention to training him to be sensible from his earliest age.

Many people think training is for competition but it is not. There are only certain things a dog can do. Originally all that was wanted was for the dog to understand the words sit, own and stand, to come when called, to stay when told, and to walk without pulling or dragging.

Over the years that has changed and now it is unrecognisable. But there was tennis before Wimbledon, and many people enjoy playing at a much lower standard. There was training before Cruft's. The Kennel Club's new Bronze, Silver, and Gold medals recognise that and is one of the most sensible things they have done in the years since I bought my first pedigree dog, in 1971.

Anglesey UK

All have been written after years of teaching first time owners.

These are available direct.
Add 50p per book for p&p.

A Puppy in the Home. £3.00
ISBN 0-9513357-2-3
Dogs dont think the way we do. This is how your puppy thinks. It
may surprise you.

I'm Nobody's Dog. Can I be Your Dog?
(Coping with rescued dogs.)
ISBN 0-9513357-3-1
Rescued dogs have their own needs and often come with their own baggage trailing behind them. There are ways of making it far easier for your waif to fit into his new surroundings. Everything is strnage and people may have hurt him. He needs understanding and TLC.

Have Fun with Your Dog. ( Teaching without Tears.)
ISBN 0-9513357-4X
Training should be fun., not a chore to be got through somehow. your dog will learn far more easily if you make it fun for you both.

So You Want Your Bitch to Have Puppies.
ISBN 0-9513357-5-8
Few realise how much work is involved. The bitch only feeds them ful time for three weeks, For the next five weks they have to be given daily food, cleaned up every hour or so as pups make an awful mess and cant be left in it. They need to meet people and see the world safely, or they will grown into dogs that are afraid of a butterfly and dont like
people or other dogs. If you dont want to unleash a nmber of anti social and nasty dogs on people, then read this. That first few weeeks is the most important part of pup's life and will shape the adult.

A Dog's Guide to Buying Humans.
( Cartoons. Useful for children and for Xmas presents.)
ISBN 0-9513357-1-5
The cartons are very funny. This is an adult dog's advice to a puppy friend on the way to live with those very unpredictable creatures that think they buy dogs and are unaware that dogs buy them.

Who's the Boss Then?
(Living in harmony with your dog.)
ISBN 0-9513357-6-6

It is easy when you know how. Just a few subtle cues can change the whole way you and your dog react together, and show him in the nicest possible way that he doesn't call the tune.

Puppy Rearing to Avoid Aggression.
(And how to cope if unlucky).
ISBN 0-9513357-7-4

The pup from his first day with you needs to go out and about even if only in the car; to see the world, see other dogs and people and to meet lots of people, or he will be afraid of everything. This is how to reverse that if you are unlucky. Dogs that go nowhere and see nobody can turn out very unpleasant companions, ready to attack anything they fear.
It cant just be left to chance. It doesn't work that way.

How to Own a Sensible Dog £6.95
ISBN 0-95-13357-0-7
Answering all the questions people ask that one never finds answers to in any book read. Also very useful to give those thinking of buying a dog before they plunge so that they can see what is involved. It has now sold 10,000 copies and Wafcol dogfood bought 1000 last year.




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