Kind and Gentle Methods

Training Jack the Wheaten Terrier.

After a lifetime of taking on rescue dogs of different shapes and sizes, I decided that for once in my life I’d go for a pedigree and a trip to Discover Dogs at Crufts introduced me to the Soft-Coated Irish Wheaten Terrier. Despite friends trying to persuade me that a (couch-potato )Greyhound was a more suitable dog for my stage in life, I put my name on the SCWT Terrier Club puppy list and Jack (otherwise known as Ellora Imagination Runs Wild!) joined me in early 2007.

I’d never owned a Terrier before and Jack lived up to his Kennel Club registered name from the moment I picked him up. Boisterous and lively, he was in to every sort of mischief from the moment he decided to investigate his new territory but he is also one of the most good-natured; loving and non-aggressive dogs I’d ever had the pleasure of owning.

It was pretty clear from the start that he would need firm training and after a couple of trials at local clubs, I stumbled across the Karma Dog Training School which we’ve attended ever since. At first, it was a struggle as Jack , being a very sociable dog, only really went along with it all for the  opportunity to meet ‘attractive bitches’ but we persevered and didn’t get thrown out of classes for being too unruly!!

The trainers, Claudine and Jane, are very patient and lots of one-to-one instruction

And hard work is beginning to pay dividends as Jack is definitely more focussed on the training routines and understands what is expected of him. For instance, he is now able to SIT/STAY for at least 1 minute – off the lead and with other dogs around to distract him. Six months ago, this would have been a completely impossible task.

But perhaps most importantly, I have been trained to get the best out of my dog with firm, but kind, handling. Again, six months ago, I would have completely lost the plot the moment my dog put a foot wrong.

Now, we’re just starting to venture out into local Beginners Obedience Shows and although we still have a way to go in reaching high standards of obedience, I think we are both getting some satisfaction out of all the hard work.

By Lizzie


July 2008