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Training tips for your wedding day...

I often have couples' sadly telling me they couldn't have their dog with them on the day because they'd jump up at everyone or bark through the ceremony. But your dogs would want to be with you on one of the best days of your life!

Here are some tips to help you...

Teach a sit and wait

This is pretty much the most important thing you can ever teach your dog, and applies to all walks of life. Start off feeding them in a sitting position, give them the treats one after the other. Once they stay with their bum on the ground then give them a treat every two seconds. Build up from there. You should then add in distractions (eg. move your leg as if to step back), if they stay seated when you do that its on to stepping away from them. You can start with a tiny step backwards, come back and reward. Build this up. Eventually you want to be able to walk all the way round your dog without them moving their bums off the floor. Remember baby steps! And release them from the position using an 'okay' or 'break'.

Teach them to 'self-settle'

Also a really important one for general day-to-day life. Start by using a blanket or bed (something you can take with you to the pub etc) and reward them for lying down on it. Making sure to drop the treat between their front legs so they don't get up. Reward frequently at first for lying down on it. When they actively lie on that bed and stay there in a settled and calm manner, reward less and at random. Try this out and about. If you are stood talking to someone and they lie down besides you, reward between the feet. Use the bed at the pub, rewarding frequently at first and then occasionally. In theory if they are settled they should then happily go to this blanket and sleep whilst out and about. Basically calmly and quietly reward them for being relaxed.

Teach them to greet people sensibly

This is more a case of rewarding them when they have all four feet on the floor or aren't mugging you for attention. Blank them when they jump and the second they have all four feet on the floor reward them with attention or a treat. You will have to involve other people here, ask them to do the same. They get the attention when they are calm. Alternatively if they are too giddy or bigger and likely to cause chaos by jumping, you could use the sit and wait (they only get the attention when they are sat nicely).

So there you go, a couple of little tips to help you. Remember teaching a sit and wait or self settle will help you with barking and excitable behaviours. If you are struggling we can arrange a one to one training session! Check out our upcoming workshop going over these things and a few other bits, I will release the date this week.

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