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Foster’s day out

05 Mar 2014 | by Natasha Nundy | Posted in: Events

Recently I participated in workshop conducted by the renowned canine behaviourist and trainer Shirin Merchant and I would say to all the pet owners that boy was that an eye opener. I have been keeping dogs for almost 30 years now but it seems that I have not been doing justice to these little angels who just make the world a better place for us, especially my husband and me.  This was an eye opener for me someone who considers that her pets are happy in their surrounding and enjoys life.  After the Think Dog! workshop though I have come to the realisation that what I think is best for my pet may not be good enough for him.

The Think Dog! was two day workshop conducted in Saket, New Delhi. The first day was without dogs, a one on one session with Shirin Merchant, where she introduced the art of dog training to novice people like us.  You can also say that it was beginner’s class to the fascinating world of dog training.

The basic aim of the event was to ensure that we not only have a well-trained dog but to ensure that we have a happy dog. After all they make our lives happy and contended. I for one cannot imagine how monotonous life will be if it is not because of Chivas, Regal and Foster (my three handsome dogs) in my life. They make my life worthwhile; meeting them is something that I look forward to when coming back from a hard day at work. This workshop got me thinking that I am not doing my enough to appreciate their presence in my life.

So this last weekend was dedicated to making their lives happier and merrier. After all they have deserved it. The best thing that I liked about the session is that Shirin was averse to the usage of choke collars or any other collars of the same genre. Her training method was simple yet fruitful. The basic idea is to teach your pet with a smile and they will respond willingly.

The second day of the workshop was practical classes for our pooches. Something that I was eagerly looking forward to, if you are also a pet parent then you will understand what it is to bring your child in front of the others pet parents. You want him to behave the best and there is a moment of self-gloating as well when someone says something nice about them. I took my three year old Beagle for the event. I possibly could not accommodate three dogs in one car and as it was a long drive, my husband and I chose Foster to take with us after all he was the smallest and the most untrained of the lot.

think dog natashaYes, he is one of the most stubborn dogs at my home, the one that work on his own whims and fancies. The lesser mortals such as us have to give in to his tantrums. So, when I thought about it after our first session with Shirin in which says that it is the dogs that have trained us and not the other way around? I was convinced that he has managed to do it; after all he gets me to do what he wants.

The three hours of that afternoon has changed my entire perspective. I want to give my best to my pet, who is more of a child to me than a dog. Shirin helped me to understand his needs better. Thanks to Shirin I have started to train him at home in some of the basic commands and he is improving and it has not been a week that he started. If you also feel that you have a problem child in your hand and someone who just cannot be trained then you are in for a surprise. Let me share some of the easiest tricks that was shared with me from the best to make your life a little better and ensure happiness for your pet.

Ever wondered that why your pet does not come to you when you call him or her? Take a moment I am sure that most you would say that he is stubborn or he is not on the mood. The best statement yet is that he cannot be trained. Have any of us ever considered that we might not be calling him in the correct way that maybe he is not able to understand that what is expected from him?

If you have a pet who does not come to you when called just try this and then let me know whether it yielded any result or not. Next time you want to call your pet just sit on your knees on the ground and give your pet a big smile and call him with all the happiness and the energy you can muster. You will be surprised the most lazy or stubborn dog will be wagging his tail and coming to greet you. Happiness and smile is infectious and you will be surprised what it does for your pet.  Read more on Dog Training According to Dog Types

Another eye opener was making him walk on a leash. I for one always thought that Foster will need learn to walk in fact I had given up hopes of me taking him for a long walk ever.. So consider my surprise when my little kiddo won a prize in for a relay race!! All with an hour and half of training, it is true there are some chicken and liver treats in my refrigerator to prove the same. The trick was simple, every time he would go a little ahead of my eye level I had to tug him just a little to make him go off balance and then loosen the leash again.

The most important lesson that I learned was that I did not appreciate my dog enough. I would not tell him and congratulate him if there was a job well  done. I cannot thank Shirin enough for this on telling me that appreciation and affection can take us a long way. Whether it is humans or pets, this is the most integral part of life.

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