Training your dog
Pent-up (nervous) energy can
result in anxiety behaviours such as destructive chewing, barking,
aggression toward animals or people, jumping or hurling themselves
at doors or people, running in circles, and many other unwelcome
behaviours. Such behaviours can be controlled.
Intertwined in the genes of each dog
breed is a 'role' - or several 'roles': some herd; some guard; some
retrieve; some pull; they all carry!
Many canine professionals are of the
opinion that, used correctly, back-packs can be superb training
aids, making dogs more attentive and willing to accept discipline.
This improvement is often most marked in high-energy dogs.
For some dogs, the feeling of being
'enclosed' in the backpack will have an immediately calming effect
and therefore don't require a period of familiarisation with the
You, however, are probably not going
to be that lucky!
To train your dog in wearing a
back-pack, begin with short walks using an empty back-pack. Over
time, gradually add weight to the back-pack. Ensure that the weight
is evenly distributed on both sides - if the weight distribution
isn't balanced, the pack will gradually slide to one side, as it
does so making your dog increasingly uncomfortable - and
Make sure you're not overloading the
backpack with weight - watch your dog for signs of discomfort or
fatigue. If you're using the back-pack as part of a training
programme for a puppy take particular care and use the lightest of
weights. Puppies backs are delicate things!
For many dogs, adding weight to the
back-pack creates a sense of purpose which results in improved
behaviour. As Cesar Millan, one of the most high-profile canine
professionals, in his Sky TV series 'The Dog Whisperer' said,
having loaded the back-pack with jars of pickles: "That dog
is going to take those pickles somewhere!".
After a couple of days your dog will
have grown familiar with wearing the Bak-Pak - many owners
report a continuing improvement in behaviour as their dogs become
increasingly comfortable with their back-packs.
The majority of dogs would benefit
from being walked for several hours every day. Unfortunately, modern
lifestyles rarely make available that amount of time. Cesar Millan
goes on to say: "If you have a high-level-energy dog, it's
not going to be happy with a one- hour walk. Those types of dogs are
going to require more than one hour of physical challenge in the
outside world. There is a way we can intensify one hour. A dog can
carry a backpack, so this way the one-hour walk becomes the
equivalent of two, or even three, hours".
That's the theory; now then, the