Lincs Training dog expert Helen V (MBIPDT) with Harriet.

COLUMN: Leadership and guidance

Many people believe that leadership and guidance is achieved by dominance over your dog; however I believe that this is a myth.

All dogs need to know their boundaries in your family’s life; you therefore need to build an infrastructure in your home so that your dog understands what is required of them, in order that the whole family can live in harmony. They also require this to give them confidence in you, so that they know that they can rely on you to look after them at all times and they can trust you to make the right decisions.

Your commands need to be clear and the whole family should use the same appropriate commands.

Your dog will need to be fed a good nutritional diet of the right quantity and at regular times. They require the right amount of exercise for the breed and age of the dog as different breeds need different amount of exercise, and don’t forget to play with your dog as this is the best form of bonding that you can do.

Your dog must accept that you will have visitors and they should not bark or jump up at them, they are there to visit you. Also when walking your dog they should be walking easily by your side and they should not pull, jump up or bark at any people or dogs passing by.

Once you understand the rules of life with your dog, life can be easy and rewarding for all concerned.

We all need to understand each other’s needs. You need to look at your lifestyle, if you feel at this moment in your life that you cannot give the time to commit to them – Do not get a dog!

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