Greyhounds And Dog Training – WHY?
The old joke exists – how do you train a dog without much sense and little intelligence ♥ BUT it is not just about training – it is socialisation and bonding and that just takes love and commitment.
Why does KGR require me to go to dog training?
We would love all of our KGR dogs to be ambassadors for the greyhound world – to be the best doggie citizens they can and to make their owners proud.
Life is so much easier when your dog knows how to behave in public – be that around people or other dogs. Dog training just makes life so much more enjoyable, for all the family.
We also want your dog to settle in your home and to stay there. We get very few dogs returned to us – but when we do – it is often because the owner simply did not understand their dog or their dog did not understand their owner.
Training will help you all have a bond and an understanding which is the basis for long and happy relationship.
A trained dog is a happier dog.
A trained owner is a happier owner.
Why do I need to go dog training?
We cannot stress enough, just how important dog training is. People would never ask the same question about children and schooling, because we all know children go to school to learn, to be better citizens and to interact with other children. It is the same for dogs at dog training classes (school).
Often dog problems are caused by the environment in which the dog lives, not their own behaviour. Environment covers lots of areas such as:
- Nervous or new owners
- Owners lacking in confidence
- Other pets or children in the home
- Living in a busy urban area
- Stress in the home
All of these areas can be addressed at training.
You will be amazed at just how much you can learn in just 6 weeks. The classes can change both you and your dog forever. You may feel as though you are just doing very basic things – but “behind the scenes” your bond is strengthening and your own behaviour is being gently modified.
Your confidence will grow, when you see how your dog reacts around other dogs – if he behaves in class, he can behave on a walk. Too many dogs are returned to rescues because the owner is not confident or they worry too much. This can then manifest into unwanted behaviour – either reacting to other dogs when out, or growling in the home.
Dog training classes can help with your confidence.
Are greyhounds not already trained, as part of the racing industry?
Yes – greyhounds are trained to behave in a way that benefits both the owner and the trainer. They have to behave at the track and around other dogs. However none of that training is relevant once they become family pets.
Greyhounds have spent their life locked away in a very institutionalised way and know very little of real life as a family pet. Most adapt very quickly, some don’t for various reasons and training helps them settle into regular life enormously.
Greyhounds are different to every other breed of dog. They have never known a home life before, they may not have seen other types of dog and they may never have been in a home. In other words they may have no idea how to behave as a pet dog. Lurchers will have experienced some degree of normality but may still only ever have lived in outdoor kennels.
When a dog knows what is expected of him – he is a much happier dog.
Does the law require me to go to dog training classes?
Dog training is not a legal requirement but it is a civic responsibility. The Control of Dogs Act requires you to be in control of your dog at all times in a public place. If you are not in control, you are liable and you are breaking the law. You put your dog, other dogs and yourself at risk.
The easy option is to have a well trained, well socialised and obedient dog. You are the owner and the human – it is your responsibility to ensure that your dog has the very best start to his pet life – you need to make the decisions.
This is also one of the reason why we recommend you use a harness and a double lead on your dog. You cannot test in advance for instinct – so when that small dog runs past at top speed – and your greyhounds instinct wakes up – you are in control.
What will my dog be able to do at the end of the course?
The course is about building a stronger relationship with your dog and ensuring he knows how to accept commands from you. It is a fun and gentle way to ensure your dog knows he is the dog and your are his owner.
You may just be doing some weaving in and out of cones and wonder what does this actually achieve? The answer is, it ensures that when you give your dog a command – he does what you ask him. This respect then follows through into daily life after training.
He should be able to do all basic commands and have some basic level of recall.
As with everything practice makes perfect. The more your practice at home – the better your dog will be.
He will have much more respect for you – the respect in class, is just sitting when told which doesn’t seem that important – but what you are actually doing is ensuring your dog actually does what you tell him.
Greyhounds do not like to think too much or make decisions. They are not lifes natural leaders. A happy greyhound is one with a confident owner who gives him stability.
Will training help with my dogs socialisation?
Absolutely – a lot of greyhounds are classed as reactive when in fact they are just plain scared. They have never met another type of dog before and in their head all dogs have long skinny legs so hey have no idea what little legs and hairy bodies are all about. Especially the ones who run about yappy and barking.
This is a controlled way for your dog to meet lots of other types of dogs.
Will training help me with my confidence?
Greyhounds can be emotional sponges and they pick up on everything you say and feel. If you are stressed – it changes their behaviour – if you panic – they think something is wrong. Once settled in your home, it is different – but when you don’t have that bond – if you worry – they worry. A lot greyhound problems are created through the environment they are in – not necessarily because of their own choice of behaviour.
Dogs just need owners who offer love, stability and rules. Greyhounds do not want to waste energy thinking for themselves – they want their owners to do it for them. A house with rules, so the dog knows what is expected of him – is a happy house with happy dogs.
Training? won’t it be boring – I want to have fun with my dog!
On the contrary, training a greyhound can be great fun – you just need low expectations of what your dog can do in the way of tricks. Then have plenty of treats and the best cuddles available for when things go right. You will repeat – praise when things go right, ignore when things go wrong.
You will meet lots of other nice doggie people and be able to swop notes and stories. Remember your dog will enjoy meeting all of the other dogs too.
Dog training or a dog behaviourist? Which is best?
Dog training is a fun class of around 10 dogs , usually in a church hall or open field and run by a qualified dog trainer. You will get to meet all sorts of other dogs, and see how other people have problems – so you feel as though you are not on your own. At training you will do the same thing over and over, so it is easy for the trainer to correct your behaviour and modify the way you react with your dog. It is this reinforced message that works and which follows on throughout everything you do with your dog.
Dog behavioural advice is usually a one to one session with a behaviourist. They will visit you and your dog at home and issue you with a written report. You will then be expected to implement the advice given to make changes and see improvements. Dog behavioural advice tends to be generic and the way your correct inappropriate behaviour is generic. It is very good advice – but it may not work with our special greyhounds.
You should always start with training classes for general training, human training and bonding with your dog. Most dogs do not need a behaviourist – they just the basic bonding with their owners.
Dog training will highlight any real problems which may need a one to one session. Although this should be rare with a greyhound or lurcher.
My dog is reactive with other dogs – how can I take him to dog training?
Absolutely. Most greyhounds are not reactive they are either scared of other dogs or scared of being on a lead around other dogs.
If your dog is scared of other dogs – being around lots of different breeds in a controlled environment helps:
Your dog will start to understand how nice other dogs are and calm down.
This then shows the owner that he is not reactive – if he behaves in a class full of dogs, it is more than likely he is just scared and not used to other dogs – rather than being reactive. This thought changes the owners mind set – they stop being SO nervous when other dogs approach – and because they are less nervous – the dog is less reactive.
When the owner reacts – the dog reacts. Dog training can often break that process.
There is a huge difference between a reactive dog and a dog who reacts because he has no idea what the is hairy, short legged thing approaching is – so he panics.
Does my greyhound need to wear a muzzle at training class?
We would always recommend your new dogs wear a muzzle for a minimum of 3 months. We explain why here
But at training – if your dog wears a muzzle, you will be so much more confident as you know you have protected your dog from any incidents.