I have just showed trained five puppies. Three of them are 11 weeks,1 is 4 mths, and the other is 8mths. It took me less than 15 minutes.
Quite often, at dog shows, people will laugh and explain that there puppy has never been on a lead before. I do not think this is funny, rather it is a disgrace.
It is far kinder to the puppy to start lead training as as soon as possible and to socialise them also. My puppy start their training at eight weeks. It is rarely more than two days before they happily walk on the lead. The training lasts for no longer than 2 min. Nothing is uttered until the puppy actually walks and then I praise it to the hilt. It really is that simple.
In my breed it is much better for the coats if the dogs are bathed weekly and the grooming is done then. I was once told by somebody that they did not have the time to do that because of the amount of dogs that had. Although I did not say so, my immediate thought was well then you have too many dogs!
The dogs are not meant to live cooped up in cages like battery hens. They need to be free. Cages are useful for feeding dogs in and for sleeping them at night or putting them in when one is not there. However, one must never allow caging dogs to become the norm, meaning they must spend most of their time free. People often excuse the fact that they keep their dogs caged because ‘they only sleep anyway’. I often wonder if they would accept the same argument if they were locked in and 8 x 6 cell 23 hours a day!
Those of us who have physical problems have to learn to work around them. We also must make the dogs a priority. Other than ourselves, nothing should come before the dogs. If you have obligations that must come before the dogs then you need to consider whether you should be keeping dogs.
When training, telling the dog off, or being rough with them, may well get your dog to walk but it will not be happy. By heaping praise upon them for doing what you want them to do not only do they learn much faster but they are eager to do it. There is nothing sadder than a really good dog who shows like a pudding because it is not happy. It has associated the lead and the situation with being mistreated.
You do get dogs that no matter what just will not show and these dogs are much better in a pet home no matter how good they are. I did this with two champion quality males both of whom absolutely hated the show ring and had no presence at all even though they were outstanding examples of their breed. They live very happily as pets. I did not read them because I did not want that personality. One tends to get out what one puts in!
Dog showing should always be fun for the dogs. I know that the dogs that I show love to show themselves off. I cannot explain this. I do not know what it is within the dog that makes it strut in front of an audience. I am glad that they do though. I do think that my attitude to training them certainly helps to keep that attitude and to develop it. By heaping praise on them when they strut they soon learn to keep that part of them. I do believe that the show attitude is within the dog naturally and it is not in all dogs. However, if one does not nurture it, one can ruin the dog to the point that it will no longer have the attitude.
Loving kindness goes an awful long way. As with people, especially children, dogs develop and grow much better in a loving and kind atmosphere.
We are so fortunate that we are able to share our lives with these creatures and we owe it to ourselves and to them to always respect them and to always treat them with loving kindness.
Re-homing dogs that have finished their career, or who do not make it, or who for what ever reason no longer fits, is by far the kindest thing to do. They love the fact that they become the sole dog or only one of two, because they get all the attention. They much prefer this than being in a pack of half a dozen or so dogs.
I know people who will not re-home and they end up with far too many dogs and their older dogs just do not receive any attention. This is how sentimentality most often leads to cruelty. (With children also).