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Training tips and games 


  • Positive reinforcement is the only effective method of training.

  • It will encourage you to build a strong bond and close relationship with your dog...also use exercise and fun activities.

  • Be consistent, reward your dog with different values and quantities along with training in different locations environments.


  • Shout, use a harsh tone, yank the collar, tug the lead or smack a dog this is not effective and will only harm your relationship with your dog

Do treat your dog like you treat your best friend, with love and compassion.

Recalling your dog is one of the most important basic obedience skills.

Dogs soon learn the benefit to coming back when called if the training and reward is correctly offered. Find the best method and reward for your dog, it could be a food treat, a tuggy toy game, being petted with lots of fuss or even ball! Find out what makes your dog 'tick' for the best outcome. 

Keep training sessions short and fun. As puppies cannot transfer skills like an adult dog, so train and practice with them in different environments... such as inside your home, in the garden and out on your daily walks. 

Proof your dog's newly learnt skills by training with distractions such as a busier area, around other dogs, near a children's play area or school... even bikes, cars and joggers are all distractions.

Your dog will need to enjoy the reward you use for success. Food is the most obvious, but can be replaced if your dog is not food-driven.  Also, change the value of the reward for increased success... one treat or a handful, will keep them guessing and get a quicker response.

For this game, use high-value tasty titbits, such as sausage/cheese/chicken cut into pieces big enough for the dog to see it landing on the ground.


If you and your dog understand working with a clicker, that will help mark the correct behaviour... if you can click at the correct moment!


1.  Get your dog's attention by giving him a few tasty pieces, so he knows it is worth his while. Then throw one piece about 1-2 ft to the left or right, making sure your dog sees it landing.



2.  Let him go for the treat, while you take a step or two away from him.



3.  Call your dog on a cue word 'Come' (not his name). When you call out, the cue word ‘come’, he should be either looking at the treat or eating it and call out before he heads back towards you.



4.  As he turns towards you, throw another piece in the opposite direction, making sure he sees you doing it and roughly where it lands on the ground.



5.  Keep repeating back and forth at least 5 or 6 times before you start to increase the distance from yourself.


Clicker moment:


You would ‘click’ on the very moment his head starts to turn towards you. If you have clicker-trained your dog, he will know looking towards you is the correct behaviour.




Keep training sessions short, about 5 minutes once or twice a day is sufficient. Increase the distance gradually and if he fails at a particular distance, reduce it again before increasing.




Make it fun! Once he has the hang of this ‘game’, you’ll have to start running to get enough distance from him…. Now that’ll keep you fit!!

Prowling Dog

Have Attention

Send to the Reward

Barking Dog

'Come' before or on the turn

Lying Dog

Tired Happy Dog!

Walking Your Dog Safely

Does your dog need a headcollar as an aid to walking?

They don't replace training to walk on a lead, but certainly, help whilst they are learning or as a security aid if walking a giant breed or strong dog.

A widely available headcollar range with a single under-the-chin lead ring is fine. However, this type of design may twist upwards around the eye, which could cause damage from long-term use. The dogmatic is designed with an independent loop with a free-moving lead ring, hence avoiding twisting or pulling up towards the eyes.

When you first use a headcollar of any design, it is best to start with desensitising your dog to wearing a headcollar for a week, before using it out on a walk.

Start in the home with short sessions of putting on, rewarding and taking it straight off. Repeat these 5 or 6 times in each short session.

Do this a few times each day, extending the time before taking it off.

Aim to extend the length of time your dog has it on until he is comfortable enough to eat his dinner wearing it, then you’ll know he’ll be ready to attach the lead and go for a walk.

Dog with mouth guard
Happy dog
Muzzled Dog

Dogmatic Soft Leather or Fabric

Tux in his Dogmatic Headcollar

Dogmatic fabric padded headcollar


Widely available generic headcollar

Living with a stress dog

dog stress levels

Understand your dog!

Dogs are innate to a 'Fight or Flight' action. 


Having a dog on a leash will mean it will have only one last line of defence and action, if under threat or stress... Fight!

 Observe the dog's behaviour signals to measure the level and intensity of the stress being experienced, as shown in the Turid Rugaas scale opposite.

Understanding the dogs' behaviour when experiencing a stressful situation, will help to avoid the dog taking the ultimate action.  

See more here:

Turid Rugaas calming signals - The Art of Survival

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