Tell your dogs who’s boss
It’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks, dog trainer Samantha Kingston says.
Coming from a background in animal control, the Orewa resident started dog training to try and prevent disobedient pets being unnecessarily surrendered to the pound.
Specialising in separation anxiety and behaviour in canines, Kingston believes no dog is beyond teaching - but it has to start with the owners.
‘‘What they’ve got at the end of their lead is not another human it’s a dog, and dogs can do stupid things,’’ she said.
Kingston said a dog’s bad behaviour is often consequence of the owner not asserting their dominance over their pet.
‘‘[Dogs] love being part of the family, but they have to know where their place is, and the way they learn that is how they are responded to,’’ Kingston said.
Owners can get it ‘‘drastically wrong’’ by trying to be nice to the dog at all times, she said, but it should come down to timing. If a dog is able to dictate its walking route, when the owner shows it attention, and when it gets fed, it can begin to believe it’s in charge of the family pack.
This can lead to problems when the family goes out for the day, leaving the dog to anxiously wonder where its pack has disappeared to, Kingston said. Every dog has the capacity to be wellbehaved, she said.
Samantha Kingston is a dog trainer from Orewa.