It takes only a matter of minutes for you to lose your loving companion when left in the oven that could be your car! The sun is out and it is beautiful, but the sun beating down on a parked vehicle with a dog trapped inside is likely to end in a horrendous death. Depending upon the outside temperature it could take a matter of minutes before the inside of the vehicle is so hot that a dog will die an agonising and painful death.
“Even on a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can quickly soar to as high as 120 degrees. Shock sets in as the dog’s internal temperature rises, and death can occur in just 15 minutes. It’s a gruesome, terrifying way to die—dogs struggle to escape the vehicle, often salivating heavily, losing control of their bladder and bowels, and clawing the car windows so violently that their paws become bloodied.” (PETA, 2013)
Now that the summer has arrived it is fitting that we remind ourselves of how dangerous the sun can be to our faithful companions. There is no sense in taking chances, a window left open sufficiently to allow some air circulation will not save your dog if the temperature soars, dogs can still die with the window open. Each summer people take risks believing that their dog will be safe only for the unthinkable to happen. The RSPCA report that they receive over 6000 calls a year concerning distressed dogs left in cars.
In 2011 the Dogs Today magazine launched a “Don’t Cook Your Dog” campaign urging dog owners to join. The Way of the Dog would like to take the opportunity to remind people of this campaign but more importantly to remind people of the need to protect their dogs from the effects of the sun. A dog can start to suffer in as little as two minutes when trapped in a hot car; this can lead to damaged organs, brain damage, and death.
Protect your dog from the sun and do not leave it in the car on any occasion, there is no safe time limit, the only safe place is outside the car.
Attached are some interesting articles that relate to dogs being left to die in cars. There is also a poster attached that you can download and publicise courtesy of Dog’s Today magazine.
In this blog we will focus on one-to-one training versus group training. Both possess strengths and weaknesses; however at The Way of the Dog we feel that they are both very different approaches to training. Many new dog owners enrol in group training from the outset because they are led to believe that this is the best and only way to socialise their dog, this is not the case and we will discuss socialisation in a separate blog.
We hold the view that one-to-one training supports a new dog owner to learn in private and at their own pace allowing them to become accustomed to unfamiliar training methods before moving into a group dynamic at the appropriate stage of training. It supports uninterrupted training free from distraction and the desire to interact with other dogs, therefore enhancing the possibility of progression for both dog and handler.
Whilst group training can be very beneficial in teaching your dog how to behave when in the presence of other dogs, at The Way of the Dog we do not consider that it is the best way to commence your training. Socialisation with other dogs is key to a dog’s successful development and whilst a group session can support this it is essential that this is managed carefully. Many dogs are distracted in the group environment which is obvious considering the fact that the owner is unlikely to have much control at this stage. When taking part in training of any kind for the first time many dog owners feel embarrassed, disorientated, hopeless, and uncoordinated. When in a group environment these feelings are often intensified and may lead to group training becoming non-productive and in some cases damaging.
If you want to get the best from a group class we recommend that you take part in a class that has a ratio of 6 dogs, 6 handlers, and a fully qualified dog training instructor. This approach supports a healthy and manageable student to instructor relationship and will allow you to get the very best from the session. You should expect during a 60 minute lesson; a proportion of individual attention, enough space to work in, and the ability to speak to and hear comments from the instructor. It should be a stress free environment where dogs are carefully managed and prevented from being confrontational with other dogs. In certain situations confrontation may be difficult to avoid, however it should be a rarity rather than the class norm. Anything other than that described above then you should really consider the value and the quality of the training that you are receiving.
So the choice is yours to make, should it be one-to-one training or should it be group training? What you should perhaps ask yourself before making a choice is; “What do I want to achieve from my training?” “Will my chosen route allow me to achieve this?”
What is Socialisation?
In a previous blog we discussed ‘How do you choose a trainer’ giving you things to consider when searching for a potential candidate to work with you and your dog. Like many of today’s skills and services there are those that are enthusiasts, amateurs, or professionals, capable of offering different levels of service and proficiency. To support you in identifying who-is-who The Way of the Dog will run a series of blogs to help you make informed choices about enlisting the services of reputable dog trainers.
One of the most important decisions to be made when taking ownership of a new puppy, or when re-homing a dog, is how, when, and where you will begin the dogs training. Scientific evidence supports the fact that initial dog training should begin early and certainly during the first 6 months of a dog’s life as this will help shape the future long term behaviour of the dog. Unfortunately, a large proportion of dog owners leave it to chance and often far beyond the 6 month period when the dog has become difficult before they seek assistance. It is no coincidence many young dogs, who receive no formal training during the early months, are later abandoned, handed over to dog rescues, or are passed from home-to-home, during the period 6 months to 2 years.
Training a dog that is older than 6 months should not be a problem for a competent and qualified dog trainer. It just means that it is likely to be more difficult, possibly more expensive, and certainly more time consuming for the dog owner during the initial stages of training.
So what should we consider before enlisting the services of a dog trainer? During the coming weeks we will discuss specific aspects that may help you decide how to choose the right trainer for your needs. Here are a few topics that we will discuss:
- ‘One-to-one training versus group training.’
- ‘What constitutes a qualified dog training instructor?’
- ‘Should training be conducted indoors or outdoors?’
- ‘How much should dog training cost, price versus quality?’
If there are specific questions that you would like to raise relating to the sourcing of dog training please feel free to leave a comment and The Way of the Dog will consider including in future blogs.