You Can Spoil Your Dog But Dont Ruin It

I grew up in the Australian bush with working dogs. They were chained to kennels and were let off for a gallop each day. Dad had them trained to herd the sheep - but I don't ever remember seeing how he trained them. I do know that I was amazed at what they could do. With a specific whistle and hand gesture, they would gallop way off to bring in the sheep, or stop dead in their tracks and lie down. They could keep the sheep moving into yards at shearing time or drenching.

They always seemed to be noisy barkers - but they did what they were told - and seemed to really enjoy it. The once I saw one of the dogs reprimanded ('taught a lesson' my Dad said) - I was so upset - because it involved my horse. Dad was going fencing and was leading the horse from the barn, past the dog kennels, when Winkie suddenly jumped out, barking like crazy. My horse reared in fright and the rein caught Dad's finger and snapped it back, breaking it.

To make sure Winkie never did that again, Dad measured out my horse's tail and tied a rope to Winkie and the other end to the mare's tail. Winkie went running in to snap and bark at her heels making her kick out, backwards towards him. He was expecting it and turned to run - only to find he couldn't get away. The mare couldn't quite reach him - but she was close.

The tug on her tail made her frightened and she kicked again and again. Winkie was desperately trying to keep the rope taught and stay away from her heels. Eventually Dad cut the rope and Winkie raced back into his kennel. I was crying and petting my horse. Dad was in pain from his finger and still had to try to do the fencing, even with a splint on his finger (which Mum rigged up). And Winkie never barked at a horse again! Well, Dad possibly would not believe in some of the training methods used today.

But he also broke in horses and I am sure would not believe in the horse whisperer (Monty Roberts) either, and the way he trains a horse. But he is amazing - I have actually seen what Monty can do and I was spellbound! Attitudes change and we are always finding better ways to do things. But the worst possible thing, I believe, is when you do not train your pets at all. And I can't say you should train your pets like you do your children - because some parents do not train their children either.

consequently the popularity of the Nanny TV series!.

Barbara Gabogrecan is a dog breeder and judge. If you would like a FREE e-book giving you lots of tips on dog training, with many case studies, please go to


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