Marley and Me
“Watch this film for entertainment but not as an example of how to interact with or train your pet”, is the advice from the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC). The film is excellent in exploring the depth of the human animal bond, which can be satisfying and enriching. However an owner is responsible for their pet’s physical and mental well-being under The Animal Welfare Act and responsible pet ownership is what every pet deserves.
In order to establish the best relationship possible with your dog, start with appropriate interaction from day one. Training is not simply a matter of organising formal lessons; your puppy’s classroom is the world they live in, and they will learn all kinds of new skills throughout their waking hours. Without guidance puppies will adopt bad as well as good behaviour. Therefore, rather than allocating set times each day for training, teach desirable skills and behaviour as and when the opportunities arise. By rewarding good behaviour, you will produce a well-mannered puppy.
Marley was not “The World’s Worst Dog”; he behaved in that way because he had not been taught otherwise. Modern dog trainers do not believe that dogs are trying to dominate us or trying to be the “alpha” or pack leader. Marley’s fear of thunderstorms is not uncommon and is treatable without the need for permanent sedation.
If you are struggling with a new puppy or existing pet seek professional help from an APBC member by asking your veterinary surgeon for a referral.
For further details:
Dr Carri Westgarth
0151 795 6011
NOTES FOR EDITORS
The APBC, founded in 1989, is the leading organisation in the field of companion animal behaviour and many of its members are at the cutting edge of the latest research into this rapidly growing discipline. The APBC organises a number of seminars and events throughout the year for both the veterinary and behaviour professions. Further information can be found at [email protected]