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Having an adult dog who is well trained and obedient is something that all dog owners should strive to achieve. Being able to take your dog anywhere is really rewarding and means you can share experiences with each other. Happy and confident that your dog trusts you and listens to you and you can trust your dog. We all want to have the perfect relationship with our puppy/dog but just how do you get it? Where do you start and what can we do to strengthen that bond?

Well trained dogs are rewarded with more freedom. Dogs that don't steal or beg for food are allowed to lie by you whilst you eat, dogs who come when called are allowed to free run often and dogs that are polite and friendly are allowed to join you in social settings. Training should be ongoing even with an adult dog with bad behaviour ignored and good behaviour rewarded. Here's our top five tips:-

1. Teaching your dog basic commands (sit wait down stay leave drop etc) can help with their self control and strengthen the communication between you. Dogs learn visual clues quicker than verbal so try introducing hand signals - your dog will have to watch you for indications.

2. Playing games at home is also a great way to bond. Hiding toys and asking him to find, playing tug of war or teaching toy names and asking your dog to pass you them. Remember not to over do it though, your pup also needs to learn to entertain himself. Walks together should be quality time. When taking your puppy/dog out for a walk turn off your phone and pay attention to what he's doing and what is around you. Practise recall, obviously your dog will come at home but outside there is so many distractions. If your feeling worried then give yourself some confidence by using a long line, call to you often and reward. If your pup trots next to you or returns without being called reward!

He'll love receiving a spontaneous treat. Play games together like hide and seek, obviously ensuring you can still keep an eye on the whereabouts of your puppy/dog, or just simply throw a toy for him to retrieve . Take treats and reward good behaviour.

3. Knowing your puppy's/dog's likes and dislikes will help build trust and means you can provide him with what he really likes and be the source of everything he thinks is wonderful. Knowing what he dislikes means you can avoid them and he will trust you to keep him safe. Learn to read his body language, remove him from situations that scare or make him feel anxious this will strengthen his trust in you.

4. Introducing a feeding pattern means that you become the source of food rather than free feeding (where food is left in the bowl) and, to your dog, the bowl is the source. Show your dog you love him by providng healthy, well balanced food. Feeding time can be a great moment to enforce good behaviour and teach self control, making him wait and provide eye contact before allowing him to eat is a good way to enforce communication between you.

5. Grooming.

There is a good amount of research that shows that contact reduces stress levels in both humans and our dogs.

If your puppy/dog is wary, start slowly and keep short, building up the time spent. Start when your puppy/dog is lying down relaxed. Again look for clues as to likes and dislikes. Some dogs might dislike their heads or their feet being touched, avoid these areas to gain trust. Your aim is to have your dog to wanting more.


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