Tips and Tricks

Janette’s Class Rules

In my class, there are taboos:

  • No smacking (I hope that rule is very clear. Do I really need to say this?).
  • No yelling! (We may learn about special times when yelling is acceptable, but we will do that under controlled conditions).
  • No harsh jerking on the lead! We don’t want to choke our dogs! We will learn to guide them using the lead, but not to pull their heads off!
  • No extension leads! They just confuse your dog.

In my class, there are expectations:

  • Have fun (that applies to you and to your dog).
  • Ask questions. I talk a lot, so feel free to interrupt me.
  • Reward, pat, cuddle and get excited when you have success.
  • Talk to your dog. Be interesting. Be more interesting than the dogs in the other class, or the smells on the grass. Make him want to be a part of your team.

It’s supposed to be FUN

  • Make sure that training is FUN for both you and your dog. It is a hobby, and not a challenge or a chore.
  • Don’t overtrain your dog, so that he hates training sessions. Just a few minutes at a time are sufficient.
  • Find out what your dog responds to – what does he like? What can you use as a reward after training? It might be a ball-game, a cuddle or a food reward.
  • If you or your puppy is exhausted but the lesson has not finished yet, it is OK to step out and rest. You can learn a great deal from watching others. Don’t overwork your dog! You don’t need to ask permission – it is up to you to know your own dog and its needs.

Let’s communicate!

  • We don’t need to yell at our dogs. If they don’t respond to your commands, it is probably YOUR fault.
  • Your dog may not know you are talking to him (say his name first!).
  • He may not understand you (more explanation is needed – he is not a mind-reader).
  • You may be using a word that he does not recognise (make sure you use the same commands every time!).
  • Be clear that you are not ASKING your dog to obey you. You are (gently) TELLING him to obey you, and that you will be very happy when he does obey. He will want to please you.

Have patience… It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.

  • Some days your doggie will work brilliantly. Other days he will be as silly as a wheel, and will act as though he has had no training at all.
  • Don’t panic. Think of your own childhood. It’s probably just part of growing up, and things will improve.


Canine Good Citizen – The Responsible Owner’s Pledge
I agree to take care of our dog’s health needs, safety, exercise, training and quality of life. I also agree to show responsibility by cleaning up after my dog in public places and never letting my dog infringe on the rights of others.

To be a Canine Good Citizen, my dog will:

    1. Accept a friendly stranger
    2. Sit politely for petting
    3. Allow examination by a Veterinarian and handling by a Groomer.
    4. Walk on a loose lead
    5. Walk calmly through a crowd
    6. Sit and down on command and stay in place
    7. Come when called
    8. React calmly to another dog
    9. React calmly to distraction
    10. React calmly to supervised separation

Any dog that growls, snaps, bites, attacks, or attempts to attack a person or another dog is not a good citizen.

SwishblueGeneral tips for your training session

Are you about to start a training session?
Let’s get you and your dog ready for success.

  • Are you relaxed and comfortable? Put away the electronics, put on your comfortable shoes, get your training treats/toys ready in your pocket, and then you are ready.
  • Is your dog relaxed and comfortable? Is he healthy and ready to train?
  • Get your dog’s attention and settle him down before you start.
  • Remember it is your job as a trainer to motivate your dog and to make sure he is happy to be your training buddy.
  • Think about how you communicate with your dog. Every dog is different; even two dogs within one family might require you to use different techniques.
  • Use a pleasant voice and happy body language as part of your communication tools.
  • Be extremely patient……… training takes time! It’s worth it. If you feel frustrated, keep it to yourself. Use that energy to think of why your training is not being successful.
  • Concentrate on positive training. Reward the positive, and redirect the negative.
  • Be consistent in the way you train. Always use the same words and signals for each exercise.
  • Be careful not to reward unwanted behaviour, but be sure to reward the right behaviour IMMEDIATELY.
  • When a command is given, the dog must complete the exercise even if it takes several attempts.
  • Be firm but kind. Your dog will benefit from your leadership and positive direction.
  • Vary your training routines so that the dog does not become bored.
  • Check your collar or harness at intervals to make sure it is in the right position.
  • Don’t expect too much! Reward each and every little success, no matter how small. Next time, the success will be just a little bit greater…

Always finish training on a happy note with a game or huge cuddle.
Training is a great way to create a bond between you and your dog.

SwishblueThe H.B.O.D.C Trainer’s Lament

by Janette

Oh where oh where has my little dog gone
Oh where oh where can he be?
I left him on a sit-stay – it was only three minutes
When I returned he was nowhere to see.

Oh where oh where has my little dog gone
Oh where oh where is he at all?
I left him sitting nicely, walked away and turned
But he just won’t respond to my recall.

Oh where oh where has my little dog gone
Oh where oh where, I don’t have a feel.
My arms are aching, my voice is hoarse
How many times do I have to yell heel?

Oh where oh where has my little dog gone
Oh where oh where, what a joker.
He’s not a handbag dog, to carry about in his harness
He wears a check-chain (just don’t call it a choker)

Oh where oh where has my little dog gone
Oh where oh where is this thing?
Vera is calling, Isabelle is pointing,
And Ali expects me in the ring.
It was just a minute, I thought, to have a run and a poo
Little white fluffy dogs make him so hormonal – what can I do?

Oh where oh where has my little dog gone
Oh where oh where can he be?
A well controlled, upstanding member of the community
He’s an all-round Café Society Doggie.

Oh where oh where has my little dog gone
Oh where oh where, that’s the rub,
We train every Sunday, at Murphy Reserve,
We are the Hobsons Bay Obedience Dog Club.

SwishblueDogs and the Hot Weather
The hot weather is here. We hear a lot about kids being left in hot cars. This is a terrible thing as it gets very hot in a closed car.

It is no different for a dog locked in a hot car they become distressed very quickly so please think before you stop to go into the super market for a few things.

5 minutes is long enough to do some damage. Always carry some water in the car to give your dog a drink. Cut back on the running around at the park. After a run let your dog cool off a bit in the shade with a drink before getting back in the car to go home or back on the lead to walk home.

There are some very good water & drink containers around in pet shops get one or make your own.

“Cool Coats”, Cool Bandanas” and “Cool Mats” are also great aids to prevent your dog from being stressed by the heat. Your pet-shop may stock them, or you can search the internet. Ask our Trainers if you would like more information.

Hobsons Bay Obedience Dog Club