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  1. Training classes are such a useful tool for any dog owner and should be 
    utilised in order to get the most out of your dog and overcome any issues
    you are having with them. It is important that you choose an appropriate
    trainer or training school for your dog. We always recommend that you work
    with someone using positive reinforcement methods and who is fully
    qualified in their role, we would hate for your dog to learn bad habits
    or for their behaviour to deteriorate through bad advice. Puppy training Getting puppies off to the right start is very important! It is never to
    early to start training, the more we can teach them at this young age the
    better, as these skills are going to stick with them for the rest of their
    lives. The benefit of attending both socialisation and training classes
    comes in the form of expert knowledge and constant support with those
    troubling puppy behaviours. Every pup is different, even experienced dog
    owners will benefit from advice from a qualified trainer. Another huge benefit is learning around other dogs and people. The more
    people and dogs they see, places they visit and sounds they hear at this
    age the better. If your pup can learn their obedience and social skills
    in this sort of environment they will excel with less distracting
    surroundings. Behavioural training Taking your dog to see a behaviourist for some help and advice with those
    tricky behaviours is vitally important. The longer unwanted behaviours are
    practised the more embedded they become, so getting on top of them quickly
    is key. If your dog could just improve their recall, if they are becoming
    anxious around people or if they are extremely barky when they see another
    dog on a walk. No matter the behaviour, expert advice and a structured
    training plan are fundamental to achieving a well behaved and happy dog. There is no such thing as a dog that can't be trained. They are never too
    young, too old or the wrong breed. With a little time, commitment and
    patience you and your dog can learn absolutely anything.

    George Rooke - Head Behaviour Counsellor
     
  2. Mental stimulation is such a useful tool at the disposal of any dog owner, whether their furry 
    friend is young or old. This is something which is often overlooked by many dog owners but
    can really be the key to success if your pooch is becoming bored, frustrated or even anxious. Kongs! Kong toys are a fantastic place to start with mental stimulation. Kong as a brand offer a
    fantastic range of products that are designed to stimulate your dog's brain and be more than
    just another chew toy or tennis ball. Kong toys often involve the use of treats and a process
    of working hard to receive the goodies inside. A Kong is best stuffed with wet food or treats, the more smelly and tasty the better. Wet is
    best as using dry will be far to easy and only last a couple of minutes before the game is over.
    The longer we can keep our dogs interested in these toys the better, a Kong which lasts an
    hour is the equivalent stimulation of a 45 minute walk! DIY Mental Stimulation! You don't have to go out and buy numerous different toys and games to fulfil this brain
    stimulating need, instead, why not make your own. A few ideas include a empty plastic bottle
    filled with treats and holes in the side for your dog to try and get them out. This is a cheaper
    version of a treat ball, however I wouldn't leave them alone with a bottle, so just make sure
    you keep an eye on them with this one. Another simple idea are doggy ice lollies! You can
    easily make a frozen treat for your dog by putting numerous tasty bits in water and leaving
    them in the freezer for a couple of hours. Your dog will love working their way down to the
    good stuff through the ice. Top Tip! The biggest thing to remember when using mental stimulation is to keep it interesting and
    new! If these games are left down with all the other toys all the time then they will quickly
    lose their appeal, once your dog is finished with them, take them up and bring them out
    again later as a treat. Another handy way of keeping them interesting is by changing the
    treats you use inside your mental stimulation games. If you constantly use the same rewards,
    it is likely that your dog will get bored of them and be less inclined to work for them.

    George Rooke - Head Behaviour Counsellor