Getting the Best out of Buster!

by Charlotte Board and Rachel Taunton // May 2018

Getting the Best out of Buster!

Working in a Rehoming Centre, we are lucky enough to meet lots of recently adopted dogs and their new owners in class. In December, we met little Buster and his new family. Having only taken him home a couple of weeks previously, they still had lots to learn about the clever Terrier Cross, and he still had lots of settling in to do too.

At home, his owners were surprised to find just how much energy he had, and how much exercise and stimulation he needed every day. At only six months old, Buster was incredibly lively and excitable, and was proving difficult to wear out!

Buster loved to explore new things – the ball pit was no exception!

Buster arrived for his first-class raring to go. Like most dogs, he found the training barn full of new dogs and people a very exciting environment. A large proportion of the first class is focused on teaching dogs to settle when their owners’ attention is off them. This was quite new to bouncy little Buster, and he initially found it quite hard to grasp! However by the end of class, with a little perseverance and patience, Buster was beginning to chill out when needed, and starting to focus on learning new skills. It was obvious how bright Buster was, and how quickly he caught on to things.

While Buster and his parents were learning lots in our classes, as a Dogs Trust dog he also received help from the training team in the centre. We recognised the importance of working together with the centre staff to ensure Buster’s pup parents were getting as much support as possible, and he was getting the best start to his new life. One thing that Buster’s owners were finding tricky was letting him off the lead, as he was very easily distracted and so eager to play with everyone. As good doggy parents, they were keen to give Buster the chance to romp with his friends, but needed to know he would come back! We set to work.

Buster got more confident as the classes progressed

In class, we focused on building a really strong recall from Buster, introducing new distractions each week. In between classes, the trainers worked with Buster’s owners on focus and attention out and about, while allowing them to practice his recall in their secure, enclosed fields. As a result of everyone’s efforts, not least his dedicated owners, we started to see definite improvements each week.

By the time the last class came around, Buster was a model student! He was relaxed and calm while moving around the other dogs, and had a lovely focus on his owners. We were even more delighted when we heard that he had been enjoying off lead time with his owners on their daily walks!

Even from across the barn Buster can find the camera!

Buster is just one example of how Dog School and Rehoming Centre staff work together to achieve the same goals, ensuring the transition between kennels and home life is as easy and positive as possible for both owners and dogs.

Do you have a rescue dog that could benefit from some basic training? Or maybe you and your dog have a few other skills you could brush up on while discovering fun new ways to bond with your furry friend? Either way, get in touch! We run classes for all ages, sizes and types of dogs, and would love to help you help your dog. You can call us on 07920658645, email us at SouthWalesDogSchool@dogstrust.org.uk and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @dogschoolsw.