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By Marizka Coetzer

Journalist


‘Foundation must be laid in order to use dogs in family system’, says expert

Training dogs is not only essential for the private security sector, but also in households with a pet as a measure of safety.


An expert dog instructor says people are raising their dogs incorrectly – and it could come back to bite them.

At the Braveheart Bio-Dog Academy, instructors train household dogs and owners to be “good boys”, for their own good.

Braveheart chief executive John Mortimer Greyvenstein said training dogs was not only essential for the private security sector, but also in households with a pet as a measure of safety.

“If a dog bit an intruder, it wasn’t considered out of control because the dog was trained to protect its territory.

When a dog jumped a wall to attack a person or another dog, it was out of control,” he explained. Greyvenstein said the dogs were trained in two phases.

Foundation

“We lay the foundation of obedient behaviour followed by formal training so that a family has a balanced dog and can control and use the dog with the family system,” he said.

He said training dogs would decrease attacks. “A puppy must get a foundation and socialisation training. We get the dogs to socialise with people and other animals, such as sheep and chickens,” he said. Greyvenstein said training dogs alleviated most of the problems that could develop later.

“We cannot do anything about a dog’s genetics, but people skip this phase and later have big problems because they struggle to control the dog,” he explained.

Greyvenstein said at about seven months old, dogs started formal training, along with the owner to learn how to control the dog. “The owner is also better equipped to stimulate good behaviour and upbringing,” he said.

Greyvenstein said the dog’s owner was responsible for behaviours such as aggression. “They don’t consider the genetic background where the dogs developed.

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Aggression

Some dogs should not be stimulated at all for aggression, whether towards people or animals. Aggression must be desensitised from the right age, otherwise, there is a possibility that these behavioral deviations will not occur,” he said.

Training administrator Chantal van der Linde said they also trained Jack Russells to work on ships.

“Jack Russells are small enough to get between the crates to look for narcotics and substances. They are better working dogs than your Malinois and German shepherds because it’s small dogs that go through small spaces and enjoy it,” she said.

Van der Linde said they had a Jack Russell named Penny who they used at schools for shows. “We would hide some children and let her look for them.

After she turned nine, she retired as a house pet. Penny is working on a ship now and enjoying it. We get photographs regularly,” she said. Sam Masedi, who has been working with dogs for over 20 years, works at Braveheart with his son, Pollen Mogale, training dogs.

“I enjoy working with dogs. I learned from my father,” Mogale said. He said he was happy working with dogs.

“It’s a nice job. When I am home, I miss the dogs because the dogs give you 100% love,” he said. He said he had his favourites but didn’t disclose which dogs.

ALSO READ: Bad breeding blamed for vicious pitbulls

– marizkac@citizen.co.za

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