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Dog Training Myths

Dog Trainer Basil Theofanides delves into the Top 7 Dog Training Myths, which impact dogs of all different shapes, sizes and breeds along with their owners

"When I talk about myths and misconceptions about training your dog you’ve probably heard a lot things from people, your friends, family well I’m hear to set the record straight. It’s not surprising there are some very confused dogs and owners out there. Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, each with their own distinct personalities and of course so do the owners. Throw urban myths into the mix and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Let's tackle some of them"

MYTH 1: Let the kids pick their new pup

Allowing children to pick out a puppy is not ideal. They could choose a noisy, shy or dominating dog. Let the breeder guide you towards the right choice of dog for your family.

MYTH 2: The right pup will pick you

Do not pick the first puppy that comes to you. When choosing a dog, you should observe the dog's behaviour over a period of time, perhaps even come back on a couple of different occasions. You can then pick the pup that suits you best.

MYTH 3: Puppies are too young to train

Puppies can be trained from as early as 8 weeks old. Most dogs can be trained at any age though you should be aware of any health issues in older dogs that could impact training.

MYTH 4: After accidents rub their nose in it

Occasionally puppies will accidentally do their business indoors. Never scold or hit your dog over these mistakes, instead take your pup outside to their regular bathroom area.

MYTH 5: Use your knee to stop jumping

Dogs can be injured if you stop them jumping on you with a knee to the chest. The best approach is to decrease your pup's excitement by simply ignoring your dog for 5-10 minutes whenever you come home. After one week of consistent practice there should be a significant decrease in doggie jumping.

MYTH 6: Punish your dog for digging holes

Do not scold your dog for digging holes in the yard. It is better to use the holes to bury their excrement, which will ensure the dog does not frequent the same spot in a hurry.

MYTH 7: Always train with treats

Dogs can become overweight if over reliant on dog treats for good behaviour. Instead use a doggie toy, which is as good as a treat.

How do I toilet train my cat

I rescued an adult female, desexed cat six months ago. Apparently she’s always been an outside cat. I have another cat who is mostly indoors and I would only let outside during the day if I was home. Luna didn’t like being indoors and wasn’t using the litter tray properly. I had her confined in the bathroom for a few days to get use to it and she would go next to it, rarely in it. She will sometimes use a tray otherwise will urinate or poop on the floor. I am at wits end. I have two trays, I’ve changed the type of litter, put dirt in the tray, picked up the poop and put it in the tray to show her that where it goes. I’ve used spray in the tray to attract her to want to use the tray. I bought felliway diffuser which is meant to calm cats and have also used the rescue remedy drops in her food. I’ve recently moved house where there is a cat enclosure so she can go in and out when ever she pleases but still goes in the kitchen (as I now close the bathroom door when she started going to the toilet in there), but tonight I noticed she’s been going in the spare room if anything is left on the floor which is carpeted. So I’ve now cleared that whole room to prevent her from going to the toilet. She is still going in the kitchen. I’ve tried cleaning the area and eliminating her scent by using water and vinegar then once dry use bi carb soda and hydrogen peroxide and it has made no difference. She’s been tested for a bladder infection which came up negative. I love animals. I have another cat which she now gets along with and two dogs which she is still getting use to. I don’t know what else to do and I don’t want to give her up but feel like I will have no choice.