Karen Davies is a Kennel Club Accredited Instructor & Trainer. She runs her own dog training academy, Target DTA in Redcar, and we’re very grateful that she also volunteers as an assessor for Wag & Company. Here’s her top tips for a volunteer’s first visit.
Karen has created this newsletter’s training tip focusing on a volunteers first visit with their dog.
“So, it’s your first visit … are you prepared? Are you equipped? Do you know what to expect?
Don’t forget, nobody knows it’s your first visit so relax, be confident but most of all soak up the happiness and appreciation you’ll receive from people missing the pets they used to have.
Take a small pot of treats so you can safely allow people to treat your dog, maybe you’ve taught your dog a trick to enable your dog to show off its personality – who could resist a paw or a sit and beg?
Obviously, your dog needs to be exercised before your visit, but just in case, don’t forget to pack some poo bags!
Make sure this is a positive experience for your dog too – keep an eye on his body language. If it’s reluctant to go forward and socialise, don’t make him, this is going to be a regular thing for both of you so you need to make sure it’s a positive experience for your dog.
If he appears a little upset or agitated, make your excuses and back away, promising to re-visit at a later date. Once your dog is familiar with the surroundings, he will be only too happy to then explore different rooms.
It’s a really wonderful thing you’re doing – enjoy!”