Do you remember that teacher who shouted at you for everything or the one who praised you for nothing? Different ends of the same stick that did nothing for your confidence or education.

That’s the way it works with dogs.

Constant nagging or praising just leaves them confused. For many dogs silence is a more useful tool, at least it’s less distracting.

It’s extremely important to read your dog and tailor your training accordingly.

A sluggish, timid dog may need lots of petting and praise while a dominant dog definitely will not.

I often see excited dogs that are just beginning to settle sent into the stratosphere by owners fussing and stroking.

Clearly, these dogs need quiet calm handling. If you want to say ‘good boy’ just whisper.

Some dogs (like my little Lab Tally) take a lot to wind up while others need very little.

You have to judge what works best for your dog.

Young Syd was a rocket. Any stimulation sent him into orbit chatting and stroking him while training was completely counter-productive. He could only learn with minimum distraction. He grew into a well-schooled sociable dog but could so easily have gone off the rails.

Excitement and aggression are bedfellows. As the excitement level rises dogs not only lose the ability to listen to their handlers they can no longer listen to themselves.

That’s when acts of aggression occur.

If you want help with your dog’s behaviour I shall be at Alderley Edge National Trust Park Macclesfield Road SK10 4RH on Saturday, May 6 from 10am to 3pm with my Dog Behaviour Clinic.

The following day Sunday, May 7 I will be at the Dog Show at Teggs Nose Country Park Visitor Centre fro 10am to 3pm.

At both venues I will work one-on-one with your dog to resolve any behaviour issues for a £10 donation to a local animal charity.

Just text me on 07590 560012 for a fixed appointment or just turn up on the day and I will see you ASAP.