Is your dog the worst behaved in the UK?

PUBLISHED: 10:52 29 July 2016 | UPDATED: 10:52 29 July 2016

Walking with a dog on a lead

Walking with a dog on a lead

Archant

A national search for worst behaved dog reaches Exmouth; the winning pooch will receive free training.

With an estimated nine million dogs in the UK (a quarter of households own a dog), it’s inevitable that not all of them will be well behaved all of the time, and some of them will be driving their owners to distraction.

Rovyon Dog Training is searching nationwide for the Britain’s Worst Behaved Dog, with the winning pooch getting some much needed intensive training, courtesy of the dog training company that has now been working with dogs for over 50 years.

Royvon has launched its search for Britain’s Worst Behaved Dog to highlight the problems that owners face and to show how a small investment of time and money in training will lead to a better relationship between owner and dog.

More than 600 dogs a year are trained by Royvon Dog Training and this is rising steadily year on year. The need for training varies from anxiety and aggression around people and other dogs, to general obedience, recall and pulling on a lead.

Darren James, managing director, Royvon Dog Training and Dog Hotels, said:

“All dog parents should invest some time in training their pet as this sets out how the dog will behave in different situations throughout their life. It’s important to socialise a dog and to encourage good behaviour but as we “humanise” dogs more we overlook when they do something wrong, and in some cases, this could lead to series problems later.

“Whether it’s a big or small problem, no matter how quirky, if your dog is driving you crazy we want to hear from you. We are looking forward to finding the UK’s Worst Behaved Dog and working with the parent and dog to stop bad habits.”

To enter the Royvon’s Worst Behaved Dog Competition and win the opportunity to have your dog trained visit http://naughtydog.royvon.co.uk/Britains_Worst_Behaved_Dog/ complete the entry form with details of why yours is Britain’s Worst Behaved Dog and send a short video (no more than 2MB).

The entries will be judged by Darren James, MD of Royvon Dog Training and actress Ashley Jensen, who starred in Ugly Betty and whose dog Lloyd, a golden retriever, is currently in training with Rovyon. Ashley’s dog Barney, who sadly died recently, was also trained on a residential training course and stayed regularly with Royvon.

Examples of behavioural modification training can be seen on Royvon’s Facebook page or on their website www.royvon.co.uk. Rocco is a German Shepherd, whose owner Jayne Hindby signed him up on Royvon’s complete behaviour modification programme as he was showing signs of aggression particularly towards other dogs. His training before and after are shown in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgQDK04Cx18

Behavioural Problems

These are some of the top behavioural problems a dog parent might encounter.

1. Barking – when the doorbell rings or at sudden noises, when left alone or meeting strangers.

2. Chewing furniture and objects.

3. Bad recall, not responding when called.

4. Mouthing and biting.

5. General disobedience, refusing to respond to simple commands.

6. Begging (at meal times).

7. Urinating in the house.

8. Stealing food and scavenging.

9. Jumping up (at people).

10. Aggression towards people and other dogs.

Dog facts

• According to Euromonitor, Britain’s were estimated to spend $7 billion (£4.6 billion) on their pets in 2015 but only a small portion of that was on training. The majority was spent on pet food, ($5.5 billion) and another $1.5bn on non-edible gifts for their pets such as grooming treatments, holidays, day care, clothes and toys.

• The 2015 PDSA PAW report stated that 60 per cent of dogs, around 5.5m never attended training in the first 6 months of their life.

• During 2014/15 there were 7,227 admissions to hospital in England for dog attacks in the UK. There were 449 admissions in Wales

• Merseyside was the area where you were most likely to be admitted to hospital with a dog bite in England, and Swansea and Bridgend in Wales

Royvon Training Tips

Royvon is searching for Britain’s Worst Behaved Dog, enter their competition at (insert URL) to win a chance to have your dog trained by Royvon. Take a look at some of Royvon’s success stories on their Facebook page where they regularly upload examples of their training programme.

Here are some of Royvon’s top training tips.

Training Tips

1. Start training your dog as soon as they come to live with you, whether they are a puppy or rescue dog. Their training should continue through their adolescent years (between eight and 18 months) although dogs can be trained at any age.

2. Never shout or hit out, use water or shake your dog. Use praise and treats to encourage good behaviour it works far more effectively.

3. Make time for training and follow this with rest or play, spending time on training for around half an hour.

4. Continue your training both inside and outside, so during their walks and exercise, again mix training with play, ensure you have lots of treats available when out with your dog.

5. Work on any issues first such as stopping biting or chewing and then train in general obedience; sit, stay and recall.

Tips for individual behaviours

1. Biting and mouthing

If your dog is mouthing (grabbing at a person with their mouth but not hurting) or biting pull away your hand and say no and then turn or walk away. Find something for your dog to bite instead. Do this each time the dog bites and be consistent. Always make sure there are plenty of toys around to use as an alternative.

2. House Training

House training needs lots of patience and a consistent approach. Bear in mind pups do need to go to the toilet regularly, sometimes every half hour when young. They tend to go to the same place too. Do not punish a dog during toilet training. The key is to take your dog outside regularly, particularly after he/she drinks or eats or when they wake up. Look out for the signs of sniffing the ground and circling. Give praise and rewards when they do go to the toilet outside. Eventually the puppy will begin to move to the door when they need the toilet.

3. Recall

Always praise and/or reward the dog when they come after you have called. You must show that coming back does not always mean ‘end of fun’ so treats work well for recall. To practice this when out walking call your dog and then put him on the lead, then take the lead off. Offer rewards and motivate them to come when called so that your dog associates coming back when called with more fun, treats and praise. Try different calls for example use a whistle. Be consistent with your training, practice in your garden as well as whilst out walking.

4. Guarding and chewing objects

It is a natural instinct for a dog to guard and sometimes to chew items they find. So teaching your dog to let something go is important. You need to be able to easily take something away from your dog without them snapping or shying away. Your aim is to show that the item you are taking away will be replaced. When a puppy picks something up praise them and take it using a phrase such as “give” and then give them a reward. When playing with a toy you need to teach the dog to give you the toy when you want it when playing, so that sharing the toy becomes fun. If you are consistent with your training, with lots of the rewards, you will find your dog will bring you all objects they find and give them to you.

5. Barking

Dogs will bark for a variety of reasons from wanting to play to going out or warning off intruders. It is their form of communication so if you shout at them for barking they see it as you barking too, so avoid raising your voice to get them to stop. If your dog barks at passer by then remove the dog from the area where they are seeing those people/other dogs so, for example if it is the garden take them inside or if inside close the curtains. Try ignoring the barking then your dog will see they are not getting a reaction. When your dog stops barking reward them. You need to teach your dog to be quiet when you give it the command so give the command to bark then offer a treat when the barking stops praise and give the treat. Once the dog barks on the command use the same method to get them to be quiet on demand, then when the doorbell rings or they hear a load noise they will react to the command to keep quiet.

6. Aggression

To avoid traits of aggression in your dog you need to show that any aggressive behaviour is unacceptable from the start. Aggression is a sign of defence for a dog when they feel fear, perhaps in a new situation. Socialisation with both other dogs and people is extremely important as well as your dog experiencing various situations such as the door bell ringing, fireworks and thunder. Socialisation must begin as soon as possible, spending lots of time with other dogs is important, perhaps whilst out walking give them an opportunity to play and meet other dogs, or take walks with friends who have dogs. In older dogs help from a behaviourist may be required to solve any aggression problems.

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