THE DOGFATHER

Wilmslow Express - - EAST CHESHIRE RAMBLERS - If you need help with your dog go to www.vicbar­low.com or text me on 07590 560012.

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

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