Spice up your daily walks with these fun games, by Michal McCracken

Taking walks with your four-legged friends is one of the greatest pleasures of being a dog owner. Whether the two of you are exploring your neighbourhood, visiting the local park or venturing further out, walks with your dog can be more than just exercise. It’s a chance to play games, reinforce training and provide opportunities for the two of you to bond. 

Dogs love nothing more than to get out and about to run off their excess energy, meet other dogs and check out canine messages left by others. Try adding a few of the following games and your dog will love you for it.

As always, the best approach is to train and practise with your dog in an environment with...

For a successful relationship between dog, family and society, a puppy must obey the rules of the house. These 10 Commandments should be pinned to the wall of the puppy’s kennel from day one. 

Place your teeth on human skin or human belongings
It’s normal for puppies to learn how to inhibit their bite through rough and tumble play with their siblings and later with their mother and other group mates. However, encouraging a puppy to see humans as this sort of playmate is not a good idea. Never allow a puppy to put their teeth on skin. Teach them to redirect their play towards inanimate toys or chews and make sure your puppy is clear about the rules of interacting with you. If your puppy mouths or bites your hand, use a firm 'No' and...

Speaking dog
Without a voice to speak with, dogs rely mostly on body language to communicate with one another – and with humans. 

Do you think you know your dog is happy because it wags its tail or that it wants kisses or a hug because it licks your face? 

It’s not necessarily so, dog behaviourists say. These assumptions are human interpretations of what dogs are saying when in fact doggy talk is trickier. Being able to properly communicate with your pet requires a full understanding of its body language.

“Because we live in relative harmony with dogs, we tend to think they understand us and behave like us,” Karen Shell, from CommuniCanine, says. “For example, bending over to hug a child is acceptable for people but bending...

For generations, dogs have insisted on chasing things that they shouldn’t, whether it be the postman, birds or the family cat. Why do they do this and what can we do about it? 

Your dog is not actually being naughty when it chases things – it is doing what comes instinctively. Dogs are natural hunters and, without proper training, almost any dog will chase its ‘prey’.

So, how can you change this behaviour? Firstly, every time you say ‘no’ to your dog, ask yourself if your dog knows what is expected. For example, if I tell my dog to ‘sit and stay’ and he gets up, I can say ‘no’ because I told him what to do. However, if I had not told him to stay and he got up, he would have no idea why I told him off. It’s the same with chasing....

Not just a walk in the park
Spice up your daily walks with these fun games, by Michal McCracken

Taking walks with your four-legged friends is one of the greatest pleasures of being a dog owner. Whether the two of you are exploring your neighbourhood, visiting the local park or venturing further out, walks with your dog can be more than just exercise. It’s a chance to play games, reinforce training and provide opportunities for the two of you to bond. 

Dogs love nothing more than to get out and about to run off their excess energy, meet other dogs and check out canine messages left by others. Try adding a few of the following games and your dog will love you for it.

As always, the best approach is to train and practise with...