Thursday, 29 August 2013

Dogs Trust Loughborough Back to School

It’s not just children who are getting ready to go back to school; the dogs at Dogs TrustLoughborough have started classes too!

In the class of Great Expectations we have 5 dogs: Yakult, Ralph, Tia, Sheeba and Ozzie.

The Gang!

Heather and Sheeba
They were put to the test in a fun training session lead by teacher and Training and Behaviour Advisor Heather.

Using positive reinforcement techniques, the dogs are taught important skills such as self control, patience and sit.  Using a tasty treat, the Canine Carer’s clicker train their dog which helps to exercise the dogs’ body and mind and ultimately makes them more rehomable.   

Important Lessons!

The dogs are taught to ask nicely for a treat, showing that pushy behaviours are not rewarded.  Poor Ralph took a little while to figure this one out!   

After learning sit, the handlers then add a short delay between the dog sitting and it receiving its reward.  This helps build on the dogs’ ability to be patient.  

Clever girls Sheeba and Tia mastered this very quickly.  Between each task the dogs are given regular breaks to relax and refresh before tackling the next challenge.  

Sheeba (and Lauren)

The dogs then undertook some groundwork training.  Using our specially made equipment, each dog manoeuvres through the track focusing on their handler who is encouraging them to stay within the lane.  We also use straw bales and agility jumps to get the dogs to step up and over items all of which can significantly improve their body awareness and coordination.

The small number of dogs in the class helps the dogs focus more and not be so distracted by having too many other dogs around them

Tia (and Sam)

The class ended with a play session.  Tia wasn’t too keen so after a few polite hellos, she headed back to her kennel to chill out while everyone else played chase!   GSD Sheeba was the fastest sprinter and quickly took the lead while everyone else tried their best to keep up with her.  After a few games of chase they all headed to the paddling pool for a refreshing drink.

 Phew, we now have some worn out dogs!  With another successful class over, all dogs are recalled by their handlers and return to their kennel having graduated with distinction!  
Dog training is a very important part of our work at the centre and can really help a dog struggling while in a kennel environment.  It also has significant impact on the rehomability of a dog as it enables new owners to see the potential in a dog.  The training has helped Yakult, Ralph and Ozzie find new homes yet Sheeba and Tia are still looking for someone to see the potential in them.

Sheeba (and Jemma)
Ozzie (and Lauren)

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