Most owners who bring their dogs to my classes are very conscientious in their training.

The amount of effort they put in is always evident in the dog’s improving behaviour. It’s a joy to watch.

Some dogs however fail to make the progress expected while others can actually go backwards.

There are two reasons for this, the first being that exercises  taught in class are not followed through at home.

There are 168 hours in a week and I only see these dogs for a couple of those.

So it’s not what’s happening in class that’s inhibiting the dog’s progress it’s what going on in the other 166 hours.

There is no point teaching your dog to walk to heel in class then allowing him to run around anywhere when you take him home. The other far worse factor is when families disagree on rules and boundaries.

There is no point mum insisting the dog stays off the furniture if the kids encourage him on to it.

Dads and teenage boys who love to play tug ‘o’ war and wrestle with the family dog are a nightmare.

Rough games are totally unsuitable for pet dogs as they teach aggression. When the dog finally bites he’s regarded as ‘dangerous’ and often euthanised.

It’s really important for the whole family to agree on house rules which need to be simple and consistently applied.

You don’t need many to create  a calm manageable dog.

The House Rules for our dogs are: Don’t go upstairs, don’t go on the furniture, no stealing food (if it’s on the floor it’s theirs), stop barking on command, no rough games and no jumping up. That’s about it.

Add to that a balanced regime of training and constructive exercise our dogs are pretty easy to manage.

The important part is to keep it simple and be totally consistent so the dog understands what’s required. Together you and your dog are a team and must give each other mutual respect.

You can email Vic at or text 07590 560012.

By The Dogfather