My uncle suffers from visual impairments and ever since he got his guide dog, he’s been far more capable of living his life. It was realising the difference they make first-hand that made me decide I wanted to support such a great cause by actually getting involved. So I took a few courses and did some volunteering, and now I’m a fully qualified Guide Dog Trainer. Apart from being incredibly rewarding, it’s also a lot of fun (even when the dogs do decide to test your patience). The biggest challenge for me is not getting too attached – especially when they look at you with puppy dog eyes… What Is The Best Dog Training Technique ?

With your dog sitting at your side, set off and give the command “heel” (so that your dog is aware you are about to move). If the dog gets ahead, stop and encourage it back to your side with a titbit. Repeat. To begin with, stop every three to four paces to praise your dog and give a titbit. Do not use your voice unless your dog is at your side. You can also practise this off-lead in a secure area – this makes you work really hard at keeping your dog with you, rather than relying on the lead.
Carry a handful of treats (or one of these convenient treat pouches).  Walk around your yard, giving a treat to your dog while you’re walking every few steps. Give the treat down at your side, by your thigh. The idea is to convey ‘being right here next to mama when she’s walking means I get treats!’ Otherwise, completely ignore your dog. If he moves off and reaches the end of the leash, just stop walking until you get enough slack in the line to keep moving.
At Guide Dogs, we individually design training programmes to meet the needs of you and your dog. You’ll undertake two weeks training away from home, usually at a hotel, which we will pay for. This is followed by another three weeks back at your home and surrounding area. In some circumstances you may need all training to be done at home, but we’ll discuss this with you as part of the application process.
Many owners appear disappointed that their young puppy will not toilet when out on a walk, yet relieves itself the second it gets back home. This is because the puppy has been taught to toilet only at home (hopefully in its garden), and being creatures of habit, they often wait until they have returned home before evacuating their bladder and/ or bowels.
First of all take a treat, hold it in your hand and wrap your fingers around it and no matter how much your dog tries to get at it, bite your hand or paw at your hand you mustn't let him have it. What you have to wait for is the minute that his nose comes away from your hand. That's what you're rewarding him for. He needs to know that he's never ever going to get a treat by biting your hand. How Do You Train A Family Dog ?
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