Teaching an “old” dog new tricks

Teaching an “old” dog new tricks

I have been taking my Labrador Willow to Nij and Jo’s training classes since she was a puppy, and when she passed 2 years old and was fairly well behaved I considered her ‘trained’. I kept going to the classes for enjoyment and to meet all the lovely people there, but I wasn’t really expecting her to advance further.  So it was a surprise when around her third birthday there was a sense of things clicking into place for her and her performance suddenly improved.

Willow has grown up alongside my two grandchildren, and a long-running battle has been trying to teach her that she is not allowed to eat children’s food, even when it is waved under her nose or dropped at her feet. This met with limited success.  Well, she is a Labrador!  However, at recent classes, we have done an exercise involving two treats in which the dog is not allowed the treat they first notice but gets the other one. I discovered to my delight and astonishment that Willow, while still taking up position under the table at meal times, has stopped diving on any bits of food that might drop to the floor.  I can now remove it, and give her a dog treat as a reward.

I’m daring to hope that in time I will be able to take her to Brocks Hill after a sunny weekend without losing her to the call of the overflowing bins!

Sara Shaw

June 2018

Puppy Socialisation

Puppy Socialisation

  • Read what clients have to say about Puppy PartiesMembers who have attended these regularly report the following problems:

    “My dog runs off to see other dogs”

    “My dog doesn’t come back”

    “My dog snaps at other dogs when approached”

“I was informed by a veterinary nurse just the other day that if a pup gets too boisterous she asks the owners to place their dogs on chairs. She then went onto say you have to be careful not to reinforce behaviour” – Surely putting a puppy on a chair is reinforcing the behaviour. JAN SPACIC


“It seems regular puppy party visits can create wrong expectations in the participants (dogs and owners) – instilling the idea that every dog wants to play, which can create very rowdy, boisterous adults with very little self-control and an owner who expects another dog to be as ‘friendly’ as their own dog is.

This is what I have seen and the reason why I would not attend puppy parties – quite often excitement is far too high during these sessions, the emphasis is on playing with the other pups rather than working and fun with the owners, they only experiencing their own age group, puppies are not allowed to practise their skills, conflicts are disrupted, only play is allowed, sometimes this ‘play’ isn’t even play.
These are the things I can think of now, but there is more.
I don’t want my puppy to be highly excited, I would rather they got the chance to deal with all age groups, not just youngsters and it is really important to me that they practise their communication skills, part of that are conflicts. Somebody who hasn’t experienced these, will not know how to deal with/ or avoid them.” – BEVERLEY APPLETON


“I only do the one-off vet’s puppy party as I am lucky enough to have a great agility club and breeder that allows my pups to have social time with a large pack of dogs in a safe and controlled manner. My worries were with the vet’s behaviourist who didn’t recognise or advise on a very fearful GSD with first-time dog owners, advising on early spay or castration, and the chop their bits off solves all problems” – ELAINE JONES


Please send us our views on your experience at Puppy Parties

Email: nij@bertiedogs.com

Are Annual Boosters Necessary?

Due to advances in research, it is now widely recognised that routine boosters for Parvovirus and Distemper should be given every three years after the first annual booster. It is worthwhile discussing the merits with your vet whilst also checking the drug data fact sheet online. Details of the vaccine used will be on a label given to you on completion of the first vaccinations on a card. Regarding Leptospirosis, the recommended period for vaccinating is annually, but again you should discuss this with your vet and ascertain how many cases they experience each year. It is also worth discussing obtaining a prescription from your vet and related charges so medicines can be obtained cheaper online from reputable sources.

More to follow about Titre Testing – watch this space