After hosting an exclusive morning at his Cotswold Farm Park in Gloucestershire and giving our subscribers an insight into his new book A Farmer and his Dog, Countryfile star Adam Henson, shared his expert top tips on training your own dog.
1. Think of a short name for your dog, preferably one syllable. Ensure the name won’t be confused with other dogs you may own, or other words you may use in your commands.
2. Show your dog lots of love so that it wants to be with you and trusts you, but don’t spoil it.
3. A dog needs good quality food, I use Forthglade, clean water at all times and a bed or kennel that it recognises as its own and which is always kept clean and dry.
4. Remember to praise “good dog” in a pleased tone and a “no” in a stern voice if it does something wrong. A dog needs to know the boundaries, but the rules must be consistent.
5. Getting your dog to come when called – the recall – is quite difficult but is achieved by building a strong bond and getting points 1 and 2 right.
6. Choose commands using the same principle as choosing the name, i.e. clear, distinctive and short. Don’t say “will you lie down now”, simply say “sit”.
7. The stop is essential to keep control of your dog. If you can stop your dog then you can keep it safe and develop other commands. Dogs are incredibly clever and can learn dozens of commands.