THE DOG­FA­THER

Macclesfield Express - - EAST CHESHIRE HOSPICE -

●● DOG trainer Vic Bar­low, aka The Dog­fa­ther, runs train­ing ses­sions for pets and their own­ers.

This week he shares his love of dogs...

A mas­sive thanks to all those dogs who trusted me to deal with their prob­lems at our Wilm­slow Be­hav­iour Clinic.

With the help of my hard-work­ing team I man­aged to see 17 dogs in six hours.

It was a record for the an­i­mal char­ity we support and a great op­por­tu­nity to meet so many dog own­ers.

Some of the dogs had se­vere ag­gres­sion prob­lems while oth­ers suf­fered only from mi­nor is­sues.

Know­ing the source of the REAL prob­lem is the first step in re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

Dogs that are of­ten re­garded as play­ful are fre­quently dom­i­nant.

Dogs con­sid­ered to be ag­gres­sive may sim­ply be frightened.

Un­like work­ing dogs, pet dogs rarely get quiet pe­ri­ods in the company of peo­ple.

Some of the dogs I met at the clinic had never ex­pe­ri­enced the joy of walk­ing in re­laxed si­lence.

It’s very ther­a­peu­tic for all dogs. What many own­ers re­gard as play is of­ten stress.

A dog run­ning along a fence bark­ing ob­ses­sively at passers by is not hav­ing fun. He’s stressed. A quick wuff to let his owner know some­one is ap­proach­ing is fine but con­tin­u­ous bark­ing is not.

It isn’t healthy for a dog (or a per­son) to be con­stantly on high-alert.

Small dogs suf­fer from all kinds of be­hav­iour is­sues gen­er­ated from never be­ing treated as a dog.

Ner­vous, ag­gres­sive, dom­i­nant be­hav­iour can dis­ap­pear very quickly once th­ese dogs have rules, bound­aries and lim­i­ta­tions to­gether with con­struc­tive ex­er­cise.

Chi­huahua Gil­bert won our Dog of the Year trophy in 2014, shed­ding all his ner­vous in­hi­bi­tions to be­come a Ken­nel Club gold award win­ner. I love th­ese dogs. Th­ese are the guys who put me on the map.

So a huge thanks to Big Zak who taught me never to judge a dog by the suit he wears, lit­tle Gil­bert who came out of his self-im­posed prison to shine like a true star and Topaz who never lost faith.

To­gether we made a dif­fer­ence.

For more train­ing tips go to www.vicbar­low.com or text Vic on 07590 560 012.

●● Gil­bert the Chi­huahua who won the Dog of the Year award

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