Dog training

The Importance of Bonding in Dog Training

Jolly good…behaving badly

An advantage of APAA, the association for the protection of animals in the Algarve, is their Pop-Ups. A virtual cornucopia of goodies, thematic or not. Our host Jolly Bar Alvor always a success. Anita Wight, affectionately known as the “Pop-Up Queen”, said: “Setting up and preparing the stand is always fun! There’s always a lot to unpack, so anyone interested in helping out is welcome! Pop-ups are friendly, with refreshments close at hand. Why not check out the next one?

Jenny Clarke, President, APAA, and Anita Wight, Pop-Up Queen

One downside is having to rescue abused animals that have been abused or abandoned for one reason or another. “But that’s what we’re here for!” Jenny Clarke, President of APAA, is a realist. “The fact that we had to be here is a statement in itself.” Sad but true. Fortunately, APAA has a network, however small, of people who are on call to lend a hand. “Sometimes we need advice or practical help from ‘behavioral experts’. People who understand how dogs work and function in our homes and community,” Jenny adds.

Jag, Fig and Key ‘frontier games’

As a child raised in Africa, Gail Skinner is such a person, having been in the animal world for many years. “Dog training has evolved. The general consensus 50 or more years ago was to drag, shake, manhandle or yell at your dog. This way they were never taught or trained. This lack of understanding leads to behavioral, physical and psychological problems. With domination, cruelty creeps in. Training an animal to do something, which, to be honest, is not always natural for him, requires bonding. Our relationship with animals requires understanding and time.

Jag Focus Exercise
Jag Focus Exercise

Gail’s Border Collie ‘Key’ is a medical assistance dog. “Patience is key,” she smiles, “using whatever motivates your dog, a tasty treat or toy, as an incentive to work together.” Training, using a marking system, encourages the dog by praising and rewarding it. “Repetition, patience, reward.”

The alternative, as Gail points out, is dreadful. “Dogs chained, abandoned, even shot for lack of patience, a piece of grilled sausage, a toy… The complicity between master and dog is important. Watching a dog come to life, use its brain, solve a problem, learn new things is such a reward. For you two!” Obviously, with love and training, dog and owner will enjoy a long and happy friendship.

ABS: [email protected] | www.apaaportugal.com

Gail Skinner [email protected], www.awesome-dogs.com

Find us all on Facebook! Interested in hosting a poster? Or a Pop-Up? Volunteer?

Charity Shops:

  • Alvor, Dunas complex, Monday to Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Silves, Rua Elias Garcias 20, Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Lots of stuff to buy. We also need good quality items!