My sister Lesley has this little dog Freddie, he is a Jack Russell cross Border Terrier, he is five this year. Being my sister Lesley has had to train her dog, strangely she didn’t learn through osmosis, she did need lessons :)! Freddie is a good little dog, with an excellent nature! However recently he had started to drive Lesley up the wall with barking in the garden! I went over to have a look, at five years old and having had a good amount of training it seemed to me that Freddie was now at a bit of a loose end! Not sure what to do with himself, even a trained dog needs direction and some constructive work to do, just as we do!
I left Lesley with the instruction to get Freddie working again, even a down stay is a job! Here is what she told me a few days later, I asked her to write it down for you.
“I took my dog Freddie to the vets yesterday. Now Freddie – a Jack Russell is not a lot of trouble and when we go to the vets he sits on my knee or wags his tail at others or makes friends with whoever is sitting next to us. After seeing the vet we came out of the consultation room only to take a step back as this huge German shepherd started barking and would like to have got to us – I wasn’t sure the woman could hold him. So instead of sitting down to wait for Freddie’s tablets we stood by the reception desk and I made Freddie lay down. He moved a couple of times but I just reminded him and he lay quietly – I didn’t want to aggravate that huge dog and have him coming at us.
It was at this point that I realised I don’t always give Freddie a job as Avril would say – because he isn’t any trouble for most of the time but I now realised that it’s important to reinforce the behaviour I want all the time – it’s good for Fred and it’s good for me. As a Child Behaviour Coach I am so good with my boundaries with children but that had slipped with Fred. Now I’m on the case!”
Lesley also told me that she is making a point of using a sit or down and stay when getting Freddie in and out of the car, what jobs do you give your dog?