Battersea Q&A: How to get your dog to mind their manners
(Q) It's the Battersea annual reunion in Battersea Park soon, and I'm taking my dog, Myrtle, to meet all her old friends. How can I make sure she minds her manners and enjoys the fun?
(A) Battersea canine welfare trainer Nathalie Ingham says: Most owners are realistic enough to know their unruly toddler or overconfident teenager might not be the most well-behaved pet. So a lot of excited dogs (and proud owners) in one confined space - especially on a warm autumn day - is a situation to be managed carefully by everyone taking part, otherwise it could be a recipe for disaster.
And, of course, you must also take care of Myrtle's welfare and well-being, as well as her behaviour around a lot of strange dogs and people. You have nice food and a cold drink, something to keep the sun off, and somewhere to sit quietly - does she?
Follow our common sense advice, and you're sure to enjoy your Battersea afternoon out:
- If your dog is unwell, or in season, please don't attend.
- Make sure your dog is wearing an ID tag (which is a legal requirement), and never leave your dog unattended.
- Keep your dog on the lead.
- Have water available for your dog at all times.
- Give your dog a break and take her for a calm walk away from the busy areas.
- Keep your dog focused on you by using treats.
- Reward all your dog's good behaviour with treats and praise, and ignore any unwanted behaviour.
- Increase your distance from anything your dog may react to or be unsure about.
- Don't worry about leaving if your dog is finding it all a bit much to cope with.
- Make sure you don't stay in the sun for too long, and keep your dog in the shade.
- Even if parked in the shade, cars get very hot very quickly so don't leave your dog in the car - even if it's only for a short period of time.