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An article popped up on my phone this morning, “Britain’s dog owners have lost control – It’s time to put all dogs on a short lead.”

Obviously this was written about the death of the seal. It’s a sad fact that to some people the fact that the seal died is more important than had it been a child. Sad though it is, but get real people, it was swimming in the sewer infested water in the Thames so was never going to have a long happy life anyway! It was sad that it’s end had to come as the result of a dog attack, but thats all. Life can be cruel sometimes so lets have a sense of proportion.

But looking at the heading “Britain’s dog owners have lost control” and I don’t think thats far from the truth. I’ve said before, I have never seen so many badly trained, out of control dogs. Why?? I think there are a number of reasons, both equipment and method of training. People are indoctrinated in force free training. People are frightened of correcting their children, (just look at them running riot in ASDA) and frightened to correct their dog. It started years ago when Dr Rodger Mugford wrote a book, “Never Say No” I thought at the time, “Wow, there goes half of my training!” Of course you should correct your dog. I don’t mean thrashing it to within an inch of it’s life, but I do mean letting it know that a particular behaviour is unacceptable. Yes, training should be a happy time, but if your dog is sticking two fingers up then it’s time to remind him/her who is giving the orders. Most dogs, and particularly Labradors, are good at learning and taking orders. But they are a very social breed and love everything and everyone. Remember that and also remember, “Everything is a training opportunity” Sadly there are people who have never really trained their dog at all. Slightly better are the people who believe they have attempted to train their dog and “The dog does not listen.” Think about that. Dogs DO listen but they don’t speak English. Think, “Does my dog understand what I’m trying to teach or am I simply confusing him?” I watched an online training seminar last Thursday, and the one point she made was that visual cues are more powerful than verbal cues. Logical when you think about it, signs are universal, sounds need an understanding of the language.

Then comes equipment. For several hundreds of years we have used collars and leads. Then along comes a manufacturer who designs something different, a harness. So he then decides it’s a good idea to tell people that collars will hurt our dogs, “Use our harness which is kind to dogs.” Completely ignoring the fact that collars have been used with no problem for the last 200 to 300 years He had “manufactured” a market for his wares. Think about this, you would not lead a horse by the tail, you lead from close to the front because the front steers, not the bum! Then comes extending leads, another hate of mine. Sorry but most people using extending leads are using them to avoid bothering to train. Sorry, there is no excuses, if you are going to have a dog then training is as essential as toys and a bed. It is part of dog ownership. If you are not prepared to train then get a goldfish instead. Get out there and start training. I used to instruct a class and one thing I used to say to the class. “Watch others training their dog. Shut your ears to the sounds but watch their actions. Can you understand from their actions what they are trying to teach? Because if you cant them what chance is there for their dog to understand?”
 

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There’s folk that come to my dog class who believe an animal shouldn’t be forced to do things, they’re “free spirits”. 🙄🙄 Their dog is a quivering wreck because it has no leader, and it was castrated at some stupidly young age. It’s bitten me (never again, I’ve shown him since who is boss, not by cruel means but by showing him I’m in control and I’ll protect him so there’s no need for him to react). His owner is always cooing and reassuring him and trying to coerce him into doing what she wants by being soft. I’ve taken him several times and he’s been very obedient and responsive in a good way. She’s taken one of mine and been amazed that mine have done what she wants them to (Even Freddie is almost as big as her 🤣🤣).

I’m not perfect, some of mine have rubbish recall but I simply don’t let them off unless they’re somewhere safe and recall can be relied on without distraction. There are plenty of stimulating activities you can do on leash...then there’s always the long line. I do retrieving, tracking, rallyO and obedience with mine (plus ringcraft for the shows too). They may not be fit enough to do a day in the field (nor am I) but they’re fit and muscular enough to be considered to be fit in the ring, they’re content and know how to relax.
 

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I’m seriously hoping I’m not in the second category! Magnus has a very boisterous nature which at times is difficult to control.
We continue to work on his recall which if there are no distractions is pretty good, however throw in other dogs, people, water and it’s non existent hence he’s only off lead if we’re pretty sure we’re alone....and not near a river or sludgey puddle!
He’s good with instruction, sometimes it takes him a while to ‘get it’, his jumping up is getting much better and more and more we can pass other people and dogs without his need to introduce himself.
At 9 months I can see his teenage beligerence rear it’s head at times but I stand my ground. Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing enough but I think that it’s just taking us a bit longer that most to get there.

Does the incessant stealing ever stop? It’s very difficult to give a row and instruction when the dog has 5 bananas from the fruit bowl hanging out his mouth 😁
 

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An article popped up on my phone this morning, “Britain’s dog owners have lost control – It’s time to put all dogs on a short lead.”

Obviously this was written about the death of the seal. It’s a sad fact that to some people the fact that the seal died is more important than had it been a child. Sad though it is, but get real people, it was swimming in the sewer infested water in the Thames so was never going to have a long happy life anyway! It was sad that it’s end had to come as the result of a dog attack, but thats all. Life can be cruel sometimes so lets have a sense of proportion.

But looking at the heading “Britain’s dog owners have lost control” and I don’t think thats far from the truth. I’ve said before, I have never seen so many badly trained, out of control dogs. Why?? I think there are a number of reasons, both equipment and method of training. People are indoctrinated in force free training. People are frightened of correcting their children, (just look at them running riot in ASDA) and frightened to correct their dog. It started years ago when Dr Rodger Mugford wrote a book, “Never Say No” I thought at the time, “Wow, there goes half of my training!” Of course you should correct your dog. I don’t mean thrashing it to within an inch of it’s life, but I do mean letting it know that a particular behaviour is unacceptable. Yes, training should be a happy time, but if your dog is sticking two fingers up then it’s time to remind him/her who is giving the orders. Most dogs, and particularly Labradors, are good at learning and taking orders. But they are a very social breed and love everything and everyone. Remember that and also remember, “Everything is a training opportunity” Sadly there are people who have never really trained their dog at all. Slightly better are the people who believe they have attempted to train their dog and “The dog does not listen.” Think about that. Dogs DO listen but they don’t speak English. Think, “Does my dog understand what I’m trying to teach or am I simply confusing him?” I watched an online training seminar last Thursday, and the one point she made was that visual cues are more powerful than verbal cues. Logical when you think about it, signs are universal, sounds need an understanding of the language.

Then comes equipment. For several hundreds of years we have used collars and leads. Then along comes a manufacturer who designs something different, a harness. So he then decides it’s a good idea to tell people that collars will hurt our dogs, “Use our harness which is kind to dogs.” Completely ignoring the fact that collars have been used with no problem for the last 200 to 300 years He had “manufactured” a market for his wares. Think about this, you would not lead a horse by the tail, you lead from close to the front because the front steers, not the bum! Then comes extending leads, another hate of mine. Sorry but most people using extending leads are using them to avoid bothering to train. Sorry, there is no excuses, if you are going to have a dog then training is as essential as toys and a bed. It is part of dog ownership. If you are not prepared to train then get a goldfish instead. Get out there and start training. I used to instruct a class and one thing I used to say to the class. “Watch others training their dog. Shut your ears to the sounds but watch their actions. Can you understand from their actions what they are trying to teach? Because if you cant them what chance is there for their dog to understand?”
Thanks for starting this discussion John, it's helped to give me some fresh impetus after I've ( already! ) become a bit lazy and inconsistent with Jas's training. Like anything worth having I guess, it's worth putting in the work 🙂
Me and Jas have just got back from a short walk in the drizzle - loose lead all the way - hot dog sausage in hand 😀 Next time I can get to the pet supplies place I'll be getting a rope slip lead. At 16 weeks she is already very strong and still got all her crocodile teeth but she's keen to learn and we're getting little glimpses now of the lovely girl she is going to be.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I was walking around the roads this morning with Chloe and made this little vid on walking at heel on a loose lead. I never take my dogs for a walk. I go for a walk with my dogs, and there is a big difference. One's work, the other is pleasure.

 

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Baymax, b.Nov2020
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Well of course I couldn't resist bragging ;) and here is little 4 months Baymax on our walks to the park being quite reasonable


Doesn't look out of control, does he? ;) Happy Easter to friends on the forum and their Labs !!!
 

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He looks fab! The only thing that makes me “twitch” is you walking him on your right instead of left 🤣🤣
 
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Baymax, b.Nov2020
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This coming from a citizen of a country that insists on driving on the WRONG side of the road strikes me as preposterous :) :) :) (joking of course).
Well you got me! I have to confess that I switch sides depending on circumstances :)
BTW what if I was left handed ? (which I'm not but I could always pretend I'm training Baymax for my lefty wife)
Happy Easter !!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Which side we walk dogs on is interesting! I always think that as originally dog training really started with gundogs, and most people being right handed, having the dog on the left made it less likely of blowing the poor dog's brains out! Actually, in both competitive obedience and gundog competitions you need to get the judge's permission to work a dog on the right because it does materially affect it. Particularly, thinking the heelwork pattern in obedience it can make a big difference to the test! When I was judging obedience I always laid the pattern out for right handed people, so a left hander would have had an easier round!

Another interesting point, think of castle towers, the staircases are circular. Because it would normally be the defended higher up the staircase they design the stairs so that the defenders sword is not hampered by the wall where the attacker has the wall on his right so he cannot get a swing with it!
 

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He looks fab! The only thing that makes me “twitch” is you walking him on your right instead of left 🤣🤣
I struggle to keep Jas on the left because when walking on the 'right' side of the road to face oncoming traffic I want her on the inside 😀
 

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Baymax, b.Nov2020
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Another interesting point, think of castle towers, the staircases are circular. Because it would normally be the defended higher up the staircase they design the stairs so that the defenders sword is not hampered by the wall where the attacker has the wall on his right so he cannot get a swing with it!
Supposedly same reason for which men slept on the right side of their double beds so they could lay their sword nearby on the ground and swing it. Left handed men were mostly single it seems :) :)
 

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Now bear with me as this is somewhat off topic :) but you piqued my interest on sleeping habits and I stumbled on this . Just before you jump to judge the "off-topicness" scroll down to Figure 5 :)

Happy Easter
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Got to say, if I slept in some of those positions I would need help getting back on my feet! 😢
 
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