Sunday, February 01, 2009


Pam and I have both experienced having dogs in the home. Eventually they can be very rewarding pets but it does take a lot of effort to train them to your way of thinking.

Our eldest daughter and her boyfriend decided to adopt a stray from the nearby dog's home. They visited the place and talked to them about what was involved. Jemma and Jamie then went and chose the dog they'd like - a Staffordshire bull terrier.

The centre was very good. One of the organisers visited Jemma's house to check if it was suitable and spent a lot of time discussing the issues that she would face looking after a rescue dog.

Yesterday Jemma was very excited anticipating the new arrival. All seemed fine and the dog happily went for a walk with them. It was also calm in the car which was good.

Once they got home, the dog had a good look around at its new surroundings and then relieved himself on the dining room curtains. Oh dear, not the best of starts.

Like most dogs, Bailey was content to be with them during the evening and lay happily on his cushion whilst they watched TV. The problem came when it was bed time. Bailey was obviously not happy to be parted from his new friends and just cried and barked when they left him in the kitchen.

In the end, they resorted to letting him sleep upstairs in the bedroom.

I know that some dog owners are happy for their pets to sleep in the same room as them just like some parents will allow their children to share their bed. In our opinion, neither is a good idea. However, in the early hours of the morning, you don't necessarily do what is right.

As we have said to Jemma, if you allow bad habits to persist they will be hard to break. Dogs are very quick to learn what they can and cannot get away with. Most books about dog training say that you MUST be the master not the other way round. You reward good behaviour and show your disapproval of unacceptable traits.

We'd be pleased to receive any useful advice you might have for Jemma especially if it allows her to have a decent night's sleep.

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