Choosing the right dog for you and your family, Part 1:


Belinda Bolte 1-2-1 Personal Puppy and Dog Training
If you are considering getting a dog to be part of your family, then consider a few questions before making your final decision:

  • Do we have time to bring a puppy/dog into our lives?
  • Are we able to adequately provide for our puppy/dog’s basic needs such as Food/Shelter/Vaccinations/Fenced Garden/General well-being?
  • What breed of puppy/dog will suit my family the best?
  • Remember there are a number of initial costs, the price of the puppy or rescue dog [Donation to the rescue organisation], vaccinations, food, spaying or neutering and of course puppy school fees.

Over the next few additions we will take a look at each of the seven groups of dogs, as classified by KUSA Kennel Union of South Africa.
Dogs are divided into groups – Gundogs, Hounds, Herders, Toys, Terriers, Working dogs, and Utility.

Gundogs: Labrador/Retriever/Spaniels/Pointers/Weimeraner

Perfect for a sporty family who love to exercise or are keen to get involved in various dog sports, possibly even field trials, working tests or agility. Gundogs were bred to assist the hunter in finding his quarry.  Some were bred to flush out or retrieve game, while others were bred to track game, keep it at bay and alert the hunter to its location.  Although they are still used in a hunting capacity today Gundogs make suitable companions.  They are naturally intelligent and their easy going nature and willingness to please makes them a popular choice.

Hounds: Rhodesian ridgeback, Greyhound, Beagle, Dachshund and Bloodhound.

Hounds were bred as hunting dogs, both for sport and to put food on the table.  Their excellent olfactory sense for tracking or their unique body shapes that are built for speed, enable them to pursue and secure their prey. Scent hounds like the Beagle and Blood Hound, use their noses to find their quarry, while sight hounds like the Afghan and the Whippet use their sense of sight, speed and agility to track and locate their targets

Hounds make peaceable and affectionate family pets that thrive on love and companionship.  They need a good amount of exercise and would enjoy participating in active dog sports, but will also be content to rest quietly at home.  You will need to work a little harder in training but as long as you keep it positive and reward based you will succeed.

Tip for the week: Lure-reward training is a positive training method whereby the dog is “lured” into a position using food or a toy and then rewarded in that position.  The dog is always rewarded for doing the correct behaviour.  Once the dog has got the behaviour, it is important to start fading the lure, but give yourself and your puppy/dog some time before you attempt fading the reward.  Each dog learns at a different pace and levels so take your time.
Once your dog has mastered the exercise and is successful on 10 occasions in a row [over a few days] then it is very important to start rewarding on an intermittent basis so the dog will work for the anticipation of the reward even if it is not forthcoming each time.  Intermittent reinforcement makes the behaviour stronger.

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