We’ve visited Elisa Pellizzari, responsible for the We Dog It dog training and education centre, in the outskirts of Vicenza. Here, deep in the countryside, Elisa welcomes anyone who wishes to learn to understand his or her dog and communicate with him in the correct manner. We asked her for some practical advice on how to educate our puppies.
Elisa, what kind of person knocks on your door requesting your services?
Many dog owners come see me here. For instance, those that need to solve a conflict or behavioural problems, or those that don’t know how to communicate with their dog, but also those that simply want to spend time in the company of their friends, be them furry or not. So, more than just teaching, I try to help those that come here to understand the behaviour of their dog. I work with them to build a solid relationship of reciprocal comprehension.
Give us a couple of useful tips for those who want to try to train their dog by themselves.
A good leash is a great way to start. There are several types available in the market. If your dog has no particular behaviour problems and you want to try to train him by yourself, a three-length leash such as Ferplast’s Daytona Matic GA is more than sufficient. It’s very convenient because of its Matic automatic carabiner, with a magnetic mechanism that makes hooking and unhooking it from the collar or chest harness a very easy and quick operation. It’s made of sturdy nylon and guarantees excellent resistance no matter how strongly your dog pulls at it. And its padded handle makes it very soft and comfortable to grasp.
When and how should I use the three different lengths of the leash?
Thanks to its rings, you can adjust the leash in three different lengths. The advantage of this system, when compared with ordinary stretchy leashes, is that in this case the length is established according to the different environmental conditions you find yourself in, and not by your dog’s movements. The leash is an excellent training tool and should never be seen as a way to force your dog to stay put – quite the opposite, it’s something we use to give our dog the freedom to move away from the family environment, the possibility to build a relationship of trust with his owner, all the while protecting him from the dangers around him.
When should I use its maximum length?
The maximum length of this leash is 2 metres, which is perfect for the countryside, where we are now, when no particular dangers or other animals are around. It allows for very relaxing walks, as your dog is safely connected to you, but offers a wide range of movement so your dog can sniff and move around as he wishes, enjoying a sensation of freedom.
What about the medium length?
If your dog doesn’t have any particular behaviour issues and doesn’t pull the leash, you can keep it at medium length in all situations in which there are other animals around, such as during a walk in the park. Your dog will be free to move about, but bringing him close to you when necessary is very easy.
How should I use the leash in an urban environment?
Regardless of your dog’s character, when walking in the city it’s a good idea to keep him as close to you as possible, especially when there are strangers or other dogs around – this will make your dog feel safe and protect him from danger. Be alert to your surroundings at all times and keep all of his movements under control, as crowds and noise are stressful for any dog. Always keep in mind that our dogs see us as guides: the closer we are to them, the safer they’ll feel.
Many thanks to Elisa for her interview. We’ll come back to her to talk about dog training on this blog, but if you want to get to know her better, visit http://www.wedogit.it.