About This Blog

This blog was originally started as a thread on the forum pages of an animal rescue site. Now it's here!

The articles you find in here are purely for entertainment (yours and mine) and (with one or two exceptions) are all tongue-in-cheek chronicles of the World (my bit, anyway) as I see it.
No disrespect is intended towards anyone unless I make a mistake and make it too obvious.

I hope you enjoy my offerings. Feedback and comments of any kind are welcome.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Sym: Training

We began Sym’s training almost immediately.

We taught him how to deal with a multitude of cuddles, hugs and snogs and I taught him how to fall asleep upside down on my chest as I lay in the sofa ... something he never forgot or grew too old for.

Of course, there was a serious side to Sym’s early training regime, such as the ‘prevention of a pee-and-poo-stained-carpet’ program. Basically this involved observation, patience, quick reflexes and the ability to point a peeing puppy in the right direction (away from you) to avoid a soaking.

Within a week, in which many a stain was created and painstakingly removed, we had a puppy that would willingly use training pads to relieve himself. Pee’s and poo’s could then be wrapped up in the pad and safely disposed of with a minimum of fuss and no carpet scrubbing.

Having achieved that milestone, it was simply a case of reducing the number of puppy pads until there was only one left, then moving it nearer and nearer towards the backdoor and the garden.

Of course, during this time he would pee and poo outdoors, but only if we were with him.

We expected his training progress to be slow but Sym proved to be a willing and able student.

Sit, paw and stay were learned within a few a few short weeks of his arrival and we, in turn, learned that puppies prefer garlic sausages to regular puppy training treats. After receiving his second puppy inoculation, this discovery proved to be very useful in his further outdoor training.

Recall was so easy with garlic sausages!

Later in life his preferences would change and cheddar cheese would become the love-treat of his life.

He would do anything, and quite often everything, to get a cube of cheese.

In the park ... Hailey Park ... we played games; ran with him, hid from him, chased him and practiced his re-call to perfection ... almost.

In the park ... still Hailey Park ... we started to play the game he loved most: chasing tennis balls!

In the park ... yes, the Hailey one ... I found the peace and pleasure that comes with walking a dog.

And he discovered squirrels which he would fruitlessly chase through the copse, barking incessantly at tree trunks every time they managed to escape.

When you have a puppy in the house you learn things.

You learn, for instance, that everyone else knows how to train a puppy far better than you do!

Advice comes thick and fast and variety of training techniques are brought to your attention. And suddenly, as if by magic, every TV channel seems to be showing the latest Victoria Stilwell or Cesar Milan shows. And, whichever one’s training methods you choose, you will end up being in the wrong camp and being told off by someone ... Stilwell is wishy-washy; Milan’s techniques are cruel.

Anyway, we bought books! We bought lots of books. And we read them ... ignored them mostly, but we read them.

We decided to use common sense whilst training Sym and used the kindness and reward method.

As it turned out, and on reflection, whereas I thought we were using the Barbara Woodhouse method of training, we actually ended up using a combination of the Stilwell and Milan methods, or at least variations thereof.

Still ... my handsome boy turned out alright, didn’t he?


  1. Yes He did, a reflection of his wise caring people.

  2. THat was lovely. Well written and direct. I like that.

    Like children, everyone has ideas on how to raise them, but ultimately, it all comes down to the love between dog and master.



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