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Calling your Dog

Dog Trainer Basil Theofanides teaches dog owners how to get their dogs to come back to them when called.

“Okay guys welcome to our exercise in how to get our dogs to come back when they are called. It’s the most important exercise isn’t it? Hands up those who have had this problem. Your dogs out in the park, running around you go ‘come on mate over here’, well Rover says ‘I’m having too much fun’ and of course what happens is you start running after your dog and what’s he done? Has he kept going? Ignored you? Why? Why do you think that’s happened?”

“I’ll tell you why, because usually you’re getting angry with him and you’re saying this and I see it all the time in parks, people calling their dogs running after them but they are doing this "Rover, come on, come here, come here!" of course Rover's looking over his shoulder saying ‘I’m not coming back to that!” and that’s the reason because really the dog feels so threatened by it.”

“Never call your dog to tell him off. Never say "come here you mongrel I’m going to give it you" because the poor mongrel is not going to come to you after that. So it’s important that whenever you call the dog it’s got to be a happy experience for the dog and the dog has to always feel welcome. Never call him to tell him off or give him a bad experience in any way, shape or form. Alright so that’s the first important thing.”

“When your dog responds to the word "come!" it has to be given in a happy, friendly voice and every response you get from your dog you’ve got to praise so you don’t just go "Rover come!" and wait for him to get there and go "You’re a good dog” that’s boring. You’ve got to say to your dog "come" and as soon as he starts walking towards you - good boy, who’s a good boy!" then you’re going to get the right response. Then he’s going to feel welcome and he’s always going to come back to you. So let's just practice our voice first. I want you to say your dogs name and "come!"

"So you got the response here and now we're going to try it in actual practice.”

"So we’ve got him on my left side, treats there in my right hand have a look, bring the treat to the dogs nose, face your dog – ‘Basil come, good boy, come boy, come,’ he’s a good boy, pat him. He hasn’t really taken the treat but what he’s done is he’s responded with minimal amount of guidance because I’ve used a happy voice but I’ve also crouched down which gives him added encouragement so that’s an invitation for him to follow you.”

“Let me give you all a treat its always good to have a variety of treats to see what’s going to work for your dog. Place the treat in your hand like that. Now bring your food to your dogs nose and step in front of your dog now say your dogs name, put the food between your knees and say ‘come’, praise praise praise. Stop there and give them the treat and pat them as well and you’ve got to keep using your voice, tell them they are good dogs. Excellent now come back to where we started. Now you can do other stuff at home as well that’s going to help you such as calling your dog in the backyard when he finds you, give him his reward or give him his favourite toy because the favourite toy is just the same as giving him that treat reward so it becomes a happy fun thing.

Great work guys, well done, we will see you at the next session!”

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.