Dog Training & Socialising

Why is training so important for your dog?

Any dog, no matter what breed or age, will benefit from learning to obey basic commands. Training enables you to communicate with your dog the behaviours you enjoy and want to encourage; to teach him which behaviours, no matter how much he loves it, is not really acceptable or enjoyable for you and to be able to handle him better in situations that require control. Training encourages your dog to respect you and promotes a positive, caring and trusting relationship between yourself and your dog.

Training helps your dog to relax, builds his self-confidence and encourages you to get more involved with every aspect of his life, increasing your sense of responsibility towards your canine companion. Furthermore, training greatly facilitates in behaviour modification exercises to address problem behaviour.

A VERY IMPORTANT FACT TO CONSIDER: Training alone will not address all behavioural problems.

Please discuss your dog's problem behaviour with a qualified and reputable dog behaviourist to help you take the correct course of action from the start. If you don't consult with a reputable dog behaviourist and try the wrong remedy it can only make the problem behaviour worse or permanent. Also, the sooner you act the easier it is to remedy the problem.

Why is socialising so important for your dog?

Just like people dogs have an inherent need for social contact. Sadly many dog owners do not realise this and will leave their dog alone at home for up to 12 hours a day.

Most breeds are genetically predisposed to seek human company above that of other dogs and don't do well in a home where the people are rarely there. Some breeds that really suffer in isolation are the German Shepherd, Great Dane, Doberman Pinscher, Boerboel, etc.

Many canine behavioural problems come from social isolation. This can happen as early as when the puppy is still with its mother and litter mates at the breeder - some breeding facilities keep the puppies in sterile, two dimensional kennels with very little positive human contact. After the puppy is taken to its new home this isolation very often continues not only with limited human contact but also with no canine contact as many homes have only one dog.

In the critical first four months of a puppy's development it is very often not exposed (socialised) to as many different and unfamiliar stimuli as possible. Isolation inhibits brain development and the puppy's ability to learn. It also prevents the young dog from developing coping skills, acceptable social skills and manners.

NB! A dog's social needs do not stop when it reaches adolescence or even maturity. Puppy classes are not enough. A dog needs safe social interaction with other stable dogs and people for the rest of its life.

About the Training at Dog on the Couch

"It is simply not necessary to break an animal’s spirit in order to live together in harmony. The old methods of training dogs and other animals by controlling them through domination – in a misguided desire for “absolute obedience” – foster an attitude of human superiority and justified violence, rather than kinship and mutual respect. I believe it is harmful for all of us, especially for children, to observe and take part in such methods.” Paul Owens

Dog on the Couch strives to equip dog owners with the knowledge and skills to train, handle and understand their dogs better, which will ensure many fulfilling years together for dog and owner.

Training forms only one part in ensuring your dog becomes a well-mannered and balanced companion. Therefore, during the training courses we will discuss all your dog's basic behavioural needs, canine body language, children and dogs, what your role as leader really means, etc. You will also have the opportunity to seek advice regarding any specific behavioural problems you might experience with your dog.

About the Classes at Dog on the Couch

As a qualified dog behaviourist and trainer I will supervise all classes, including The Play Group. All the classes happen in a controlled and non-threatening environment and are presented in a fun and enjoyable way using only positive reinforcement and reward based methods. No punishment, unpleasant or fearful methods are used to get a dog's cooperation.

With the exception of The Play Group, classes are kept small ensuring that you and your dog get the individual attention that you may need.

If you are unsure about your dog's particular needs regarding training or solving problem behaviour you are welcome to phone or e-mail me to discuss your options.

All events, classes, courses and The Play Group take place at the Riviera Primary School in Riviera, Pretoria. Go to the Contact page for a map and directions.

No aggressive dogs are allowed at the Play Group or Activity Class.

All dogs’ inoculations must be up to date. 

Right of Admission Reserved.