DogtownSA has recently set up a Training Trail for all the
special fur kids to learn how to be clever and well -behaved.
The concept behind the trail is to teach the dogs some basic manners while the staff and
volunteers are giving them their
daily walks. There are six basic
stations where the handler will stop with their dogs, read the instructions on the sign posts and
then, using lots of treats like pieces of polony or Vienna sausages, teach the fur
kids the basic commands as shown on the
Level 3 volunteers are taught during their workshop how to
implement these exercises and other pertinent
skills such as how to teach the dog not to pull whilst out walking. These skills can also be used by the
volunteers whilst interacting with their own dogs.
Apart from creating a more well mannered dog the interaction with
the handler stimulates the dog and helps him/her to become more socialized and confident.
The first dog to officially go on the walking trail was one
of our little puppies called Mary and she astonished us all at the
speed at which she learnt how to execute all the basic instructions. She also displayed a remarkable tenacity to
try and hoodwink the handler into giving her an extra treat or two!!!
What also spurs the” littlies” on is that the handlers get
so excited when they perform their tasks so well that they get even more treats and cuddles
and as we all know – the more we all show just how much we love our dogs the
more they want to please us.
Good manners makes the dogs more
adoptable and the learning is fun for both the handler and the dogs.
The walking trail is a good mechanism to teach the dogs as
they are learning basic manners without
being in a formal training class and it
is hoped that the number of “task stations” can be increased in the near
future, to include more advanced exercises.