Dog­fa­ther

Wilmslow Express - - NEWS -

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

This week he asks if you are a pas­sen­ger in your dog’s life...

I was vis­it­ing friends yes­ter­day when the post­man rang the door­bell.

Sud­denly their four-year-old Bor­der col­lie Glenn flew at the win­dow bark­ing, growl­ing and snap­ping.

‘That’s what he does’, said my friend like I hadn’t no­ticed. ‘And what do you do?’ ‘What can I do?’ she replied as if the Royal Tank Reg­i­ment had just rolled across her lounge.

I ex­plained it was her sub­mis­sive mind-set that told Glenn he was free to do as he pleased.

In any pack all dogs must follow the rules.

It’s not phys­i­cal at­tack that keeps new mem­bers in check but the com­mand­ing body lan­guage and de­ter­mi­na­tion of the leader.

Like that teacher you knew not to cross, or the boy who could fight ev­ery­one in school but didn’t have to.

It’s an at­ti­tude.

Dogs are flaw­less read­ers of body lan­guage.

When you are ner­vous or un­sure your dog knows im­me­di­ately and no pack an­i­mal will follow a weak leader.

To demon­strate the point I took Glenn for a short walk in­sist­ing he walk re­spect­fully be­side me and not pull in front.

I spoke lit­tle, re­ly­ing on my body lan­guage and at­ti­tude to let him know I ex­pected com­pli­ance.

We re­turned to the house and I sat Glenn sev­eral paces from the win­dow and asked a friend to ring the door­bell.

The mo­ment Glenn looked like mov­ing I hissed like a snake look­ing him di­rectly in the eye.

There was no way I was al­low­ing him to reach that win­dow and he knew it.

By the fourth and fifth ring Glenn sub­mit­ted to the idea and re­laxed.

My friend re­alised her sub­mis­sive ac­cep­tance had fu­elled her dog’s wild be­hav­iour.

I told her to be the driver in Glenn’s life and not a pas­sen­ger.

Read more train­ing tips on Vic’s web­site: www.vicbar­low.com.

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