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The Benefits of a Well Trained Dog

Owning a dog is an incredibly rewarding experience – but if your dog isn’t properly trained, you may not be getting as much from them as you could. While a well-trained dog is a joy to be around, a badly trained pup can be frustrating and even potentially dangerous. We don’t agree with the old saying that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, however; as specialists in dog training in Surrey, we know that with the right approach, any dog can be taught to behave well.

Beagle in forest

A Warning For Dog Owners: Fetching Sticks Can Potentially Injure Your Dog

It has been the favourite past time of many dogs and a crucial role in creating a bond of trust between animals and owners for many years,  but is playing fetch with a stick putting your dog at serious risk of injury? According to the president of the British veterinary Association, this seemingly innocent playtime activity could be causing more serious damage than good. This announcement comes as a warning after a dog owner reported that her collie had to undergo life-saving emergency surgery after a four inch long stick became lodged in her tongue and displaced the voicebox which led the poor dog to stop eating and become increasingly subdued. So, just how dangerous is throwing a stick for your pet to catch?


How Clever is your Canine friend?

The recent BBC series the Wonder of Dogs was amazing wasn’t it? Or at least we think so here at Dog School, but we love all things cute and canine. We learnt how different dog breeds evolved. We learnt the different purposes for which dogs were bred and the many fascinating jobs dogs can do. The program demonstrated the unique connection between humans and dogs, there is mutual understanding and affection which cannot be compared to our relationship with any other animal. According to research, dogs can perceive human emotion, and they too can feel a vast arrange of emotions. We were touched by the episode that explored different carer dogs, which looked after their disabled or ill owners by alerting them to things. Dogs, in short, are incredible. Episode two explored the relative intelligence of dogs and compared breeds using different tests. The results, as already suspected, showed the Border collie to be the significantly most intelligent, so the programme confirmed what scientists already knew. Last week, a story surfaced about one of the most intelligent dogs in the world. The pet dog of a psychology professor, Chaser is said to be the most intelligent dog on record, as she can actively recognise 1000 words and follow fairly complex instructions. Chaser, a 9-year-old collie, belongs to John Pilley and together they undergo cognitive training where he teaches her words and actions. Pilley estimates his dog has the intelligence of a three or four year old child. He teaches her through play methods, by hiding her toys and then telling her to find specific ones. By doing this Chaser demonstrates conscious recognition of words and connects them with the correct objects. Essentially, if a dog can understand that it has a name, and is able to respond to that, then it will be able to attach names to other objects too. Pilley taught Chaser the names of different toys and objects through cognitive mapping and referential cues. By holding up the object, pointing and repeating the name, Chaser learnt to map the sound of the word and attach that to the toy. According to her owner Chaser can demonstrate many-to-one mapping, where an object can have more than one word e.g. ball and toy can be used to name the same thing and also one-to-many mapping; there can be many, slightly different looking objects that all can be named “stick”. Over her 9 years of training with her owner, Chaser has also learnt complex commands such as “take ball to Frisbee” and has also learnt to copy certain actions performed by Mr Pilley. We’re not saying that your dog is as intelligent as Chaser, who is dubbed “canine Einstein” by the papers, but this story demonstrates just how much dogs can be capable of with the correct training and plenty of patience! Here at Dog School, we can’t teach your dogs to be geniuses, but we can teach them basic, useful commands, obedience and tricks. No matter what breeds your dog or age, they will be able to pick up the commands we teach using repetition and reward based learning. It’s a fun experience for both you and your dog, and will leave you with a stronger relationship due to deeper understand of each other.


Have You Heard of These Amazing Security Dogs?

There are a number of potentially great protection dogs out there. Everyone, in the UK, will be well familiar with the Rottweiler, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and Doberman breeds. However, there are a number of less-familiar dogs, of overseas origins, that make fantastic guard dogs. As it’s important for an owner to understand the individual character, temperament and coachability of an animal, we decided to put together this list of five great security dogs, that many people might not be familiar with.   RHODESIAN RIDGEBACK Originally bred to hunt lions on the savannahs of southern Africa, Ridgebacks, needless to say, have a strong predatorial drive. A serious dog, with a selective bark, Ridgebacks are always focused on the task at hand. With that being said, they can be very stubborn animals. They often seem to develop tunnel vision, which means that they are not naturally obedient and need professional training to curb their instincts. Under the right conditions, this dog can be of real value; it is muscular, ruthless and a staunch protector of its enemies. However, Ridgebacks don’t make the best household pets, due to the fact that they are non-affectionate creatures that can be difficult to control.   DOGUE DE BORDEAUX One of the ancient French breeds, the bulky Bordeaux Mastiff. They are known as a powerhouse dog that, historically, would be used to pull carts or haul heavy objects. There are also many representations, in historical art, of this breed protecting the castles of French noblemen. Many believe the dog to be an offshoot of the British Bulldog. In reality, the Dogue predates both the Bulldog and the Bull Mastiff. Legend has it that the Dogue is actually a descendent of the Greco-Roman dogs of war that were marched across mountains on imperial missions. Possessing, in some cases, scissor bites which can do irreparable damage to human flesh, the Dogue de Bordeaux will present a fearless challenge to any intruder. With that being said, they must be used very carefully, this breed is difficult to bring under control once it is in full flow. Known for having the largest head in the dog world, they are a hefty animal and aren’t easy to maneuver and manipulate.     KOMONDOR Used to protect sheep in the Hungarian mountains, this breed dates back to the 16th Century. Believed to have descended from the mountain dogs of Tibet; this huge, ultra-sturdy dog is known for its white, corded coat. This coat and physique, in combination, allow it to withstand even the harshest of conditions. Usually weighing in at 100-125lbs and standing 27” high, Komondors are almost like a small armoured vehicle. Komondors require serious, professional obedience training and are best equipped to roam larger areas, whether it be rural land or large American-style backyards. Despite their dangerous nature, due to their protective instincts, they can make extraordinary guard dogs.   KUVASZ Another Hungarian breed, the Kuvasz is also a white-coated livestock dog. References to the use of the breed can be found in ancient Hungarian texts, so it is fair to say that this dog is a tried and tested protector. In modern times they have become increasingly popular as domestic pets, in no small part due to their teddy bear good looks. Their shiny white coat is a feature that was deliberately bred into the dogs by ancient shepherds. It was vital, in centuries gone by, for shepherds to be able to distinguish their dogs from wild predators, like wolves. Intelligent, with a clownish wit and playful nature, the Kuvasz is intensely loyal and appreciative of attention. However, they are cunning leaders-by-example that will quietly scheme against strangers and intruders, and must be watched carefully. They are also high-volume barkers, which can present its own challenges in a domestic environment.   CHOW CHOW Native to China, they are considered to be one of the world’s most aesthetically pleasing dogs. Naturally dignified and bred to act as royal servants, it is said that the Chow Chow will die for its master. Known to be aggressive, but able to distinguish between provocation and play, they are one of the most intelligent guard dog breeds in the world. Physically, they are compact, sturdy and almost square in shape. They have dense, double-thickness coat that can either have a smooth or a rough feel, depending on the owner’s requirements. They are also remarkable for a distinctive ruff, like a small lion’s mane, and an elegant curled tail. Indeed, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest that Chow Chow’s possess cat-like personality traits. *** In order to ensure the safety of family member, house guests and neighbours; guard dogs must be properly socialized, as standard. These animals must be trained correctly and must view their owners as ‘The Leader of the Pack’, which is why we think it is so important to offer professional dog training services in Croydon!


The Importance Of 1-1 Training

The importance of training your dog properly can never be underestimated. Although it may seem like a lot of hard work, and at times a very frustrating process, in the long run the time you invest in your puppy will be well worth it. Many people, especially those who are buying a dog for the first time, tend to forget that dogs, when all is said and done, are animals, and even though they provide an excellent companion and brighten up the lives of every owner, they need to be properly socialised in order to adapt to their new domestic surroundings.


Dog Aggression

Aggressive behaviour from your dog can be extremely problematic for you, your family and your pet. When a dog behaves aggressively, it is highly intimidating to other dogs and sometimes even people and signs are easy to spot. They include:


Old Dogs Learning New Tricks

The phrase ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ has stuck around because it is memorable and useful rather than because it is true. Here at dogschool, we are fully confident in our ability to train, help and teach dogs of all ages, shapes and sizes. In our experience old or adult dogs are just as willing to learn and intelligent as very young pups.


Character Building

Little or large, all dogs have their own character it just needs a bit of stimulation to bring it out. We at the Dog School treat each dog individually. Some take to training better than others, and whilst some need a little bit more time some train quicker. Whatever character all dogs can be trained.


A Happy Dog is Eager to Learn

When it comes to how dogs behave, it’s important to first look at what motivates them. If you can understand why they do what they do, you can take steps to prevent or correct bad behaviour. If your dog is acting up and being unruly, there’s a very good chance that your dog considers it to be a big game. Your commands will go over their head either because they don’t understand them or don’t respect your authority as the leader of the pack. So you need to assert yourself, but it’s vital that you do so in the correct way to avoid confusing your pet. If you start shouting at your dog or engage in controlling, aggressive training techniques, you might be able to change its behaviour, but you won’t develop the relationship with your dog that you desire. What you might eventually see is a change in their behaviour through fear or submission, but everyone would prefer to have a dog that behaves because of love and loyalty. This sort of affection can only be developed through sustained playful activity and lessons. Here at the dog school, we create a warm and friendly environment for both owners and dogs that has quickly made our various courses some of the most popular dog obedience classes in Surrey. We can teach you the basic techniques that will help you keep your dog under perfect control along with the knowledge that will let you know why your dog behaves like they do. We specialise on building a mutual bond between owners and dogs that will have their dogs behaving appropriately out of respect and admiration rather than fear of punishment. This will create a happier home environment as well as save you a lot of unnecessary shouting and stress. Calm confident commands and hand movements are all that are necessary to control dogs of all sizes and these methods can be performed just as effectively in a whisper. At dogschool we make the obedience classes fun for owners and dogs so that the dogs enjoy learning new commands and the owners can teach a happy and well behaved dog.