Talking to the Animals
Many dog owners would agree that it can be a daily struggle for your pooch to behave. One minute they’re laying down quietly at your feet and the next they’re barking and digging a hole in your backyard. For local dog trainer Paula Smith, it’s all in a day’s work.
Raised in the Blue Mountains and always having animals, Paula has been training dogs for four years. She provides private training sessions to people in their homes or local parks and teaches them basic obedience and help with behavioural challenges such as toileting, jumping and barking. She also offers dog walking, adventure walks where they go hiking, dog transport, assistance with companion dogs and therapy dogs.
Paula has a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named ‘Ladybelle’ who is also a therapy dog.
“I have lots of enquiries about toileting, boredom, digging, barking and jumping. Many people with smaller dogs that live inside the home have issues with socialisation. What I mean is they don’t get outdoors enough, mainly because people think the house and backyard is enough for a little dog to exercise. What the owners fail to realise is all dogs, no matter what size, have needs as a dog. That is to explore and be exposed to the world in a positive way. When dogs have bad experiences, it impacts them and they can become fearful, then the issues start to arise such as barking, leash reactivity, aggression or severe timidness” Paula explained.
She also said that it’s easier to teach a dog a new behaviour rather than changing a behaviour. For instance, if a dog jumps and won’t stay still while you’re trying to put on their leash, you teach the dog a new behaviour to put the leash on. That can be quite fast to teach a dog. Whereas, loose leash walking, barking and toileting tends to take a longer time as there are lots of small adjustments as the dog progresses before you reach the final behaviour, utilising positive training.
“I love working with people and seeing the end results of a person that can communicate and understand how to listen and work with their dog in a positive and kind way. When I have helped a person work with their dog to the point where they trust each other and enjoy life together, be it outdoors or in the home, it’s very rewarding” smiled Paula.
So, what’s the secret to having a happy dog? “As guardians of our dogs, we need to provide for them a life that is enriching and satisfies their needs as a dog. Dogs are inherently social. Include your dog in your life, be consistent, create good habits and reward them for good behaviour be it with your attention, toys or with treats” she ended.
For more information and to contact Paula, visit www.dandydogtraining.com.au.