THERE are hundreds of dog training books and DVDs (I’ve made a few myself) all with different opinions. For a dog owner seeking help it’s very confusing.
Attending a new dog class is like trying out a new restaurant. You don’t know how good it is until you have been.
Some are excellent and others so bad you’ll be worse off than if you never went at all. Unfortunately, you won’t know which one you have until you complete the course.
So what should owners do? The answer is a lot easier than you imagine.
Take a close look at homeless people and their dogs.
I’ve been observing them for 20 years and I have yet to meet a homeless person with an unruly dog.
I followed a homeless man in London’s Covent Garden walking his two dogs off lead all the way to Marble Arch across some of the busiest streets in the country. The dogs were totally focused on him and wherever he walked they followed.
I saw a homeless lady in Brighton ride across town on a battered old bike while her dog kept pace on the pavement stopping whenever she stopped.
So how do they do it? How come homeless people do things with their dogs most of us can only dream about?
It isn’t simply the amount of time they spend together, it’s having rules, boundaries and a leadership. Homeless people cannot afford unruly dogs, no shelter or town centre will allow it.
When they are on the move they walk with purpose. These dogs don’t have time to wander off.
Food appears when it appears so they learn to stick close to their owners.
These dogs share a deep bond with their owners based on discipline, leadership and care.
Most pet dogs have lots of care but very little else.
Homeless people cannot afford to have unruly dogs – no shelter or town centre will allow it