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What is the best way to train my adopted greyhound?

Helping your dog to become a good canine companion is one of the most important responsibilities for every dog owner. This leads to happy and safe interactions at home, with friends, with strangers and with other dogs. The first concept to understand is that training should only be done using reward-based methods, i.e. no punishment or corrections. This means no check chains or aversive methods including water spray bottles, noisy rattlers or even using a firm voice to say ‘No’.

Old school training is based on dominance theory which relies upon owners controlling their dog through domination so that they are the pack leader (see ‘Debunking dominance in dogs’ by the Australian Veterinary Association). New science has shown that this approach is not good for dogs and is not necessary as reward-based training is a better, more humane option. For more information on the new science of dog learning visit: https://www.rspcasa.org.au/the-issues/lead-by-example

Greyhounds are very gentle and sensitive dogs with many having had unpleasant experiences in the past. Therefore, the only recommended training is reward based. Check with your potential dog trainer if they only use reward-based methods. Most trainers will permit new students to attend a class which will give you an opportunity to see what methods and equipment are used to help you decide which trainer to use.

Dogs learn quickly if they are rewarded for good behaviour and you will be amazed at how this approach can also be used to stop undesirable behaviours such as jumping up

The following videos are really helpful in helping you to teach your dog to ‘come’ and ‘not to jump up’. Please note that generally greyhounds don’t find it easy to ‘sit’ but find it more comfortable to ‘stand’ and you may find that this is their preferred position other than laying down.

For more information, please read the following article ‘A word on punishment’ which highlights the risks associated with using punishment in training. Also, read How do I best communicate with my greyhound?

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Updated on May 1, 2019
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