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Training and educating your dog need to start from the moment a pup opens its eyes and continue throughout its life to ensure that it becomes an amenable and happy companion. After all, your dog is always learning, not just in formal sessions. Dogs, of all our domesticated animals, have an uncanny ability to read human body language and often an apparent need to be with us and please us. Just consider how your dog reacts when you congratulate him hugely for doing something well! They need us as we need them, but they also thrive on security and routine and feel their most comfortable when they know their place in their family.

Dogs vary in the dominance of their characters just as people do. However, whatever sort of character your dog has, there is no doubt that it will be happier and more settled if you, as its owner, give it consistent, balanced and clear rules by which to live, which revolve around you being in charge at all times.

Throughout my career I meet people who love their dogs but fail to see that the way they are treating them can cause problems in their behaviour. I do not, of course, attribute all behaviour problems to owners but believe that with the right guidance and frame of mind, owners can more often than not achieve great positive changes in their relationships with their dogs and with a calm and assertive approach from the start, many behaviour problems can be avoided altogether.

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