Angus dog training initiative launched

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AN INITIATIVE launched jointly in Angus on Sunday by Carnoustie Canine Capers and the Scottish Canine Consultative Council is designed to help pet owners care for their dogs and train them properly.

In last week’s Guide & Gazette a letter to the editor from Nicola Martin of the PDSA headed ‘Pets neglected’ detailed the findings of the PDSA’s animal well-being report and stated that millions of pets’ needs are being neglected.

On Sunday at a meeting in Holyrood Church hall, Carnoustie, George Cochrane, convener of the Scottish Canine Consultative Council, and colleague Roy Campbell outlined the Acorn Project, a 12-week dog management programme which would counter many of the concerns expressed by Ms Martin.

A spokesperson for Carnoustie Canine Capers said that the meeting was to find out who would be interested in joining a steering group to take forward Mr Cochrane’s proposals, who would be interested in coming forward to be trained as trainers, and how many would be prepared to sign up as trainees.

The scheme is open to pet owners throughout Angus.

Initially there would be an induction procedure at which the course would be mapped out. This would be followed by early awareness instruction, communication and the canine/human interaction impacting on control training.

Subjects also to be covered include disciplined feeding and hygiene; temperament and control; an introduction to dog fouling issues; canine psychology and community safety; meeting people and other dogs and avoiding confrontation; the content of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code; domestic life with the dog, the order of things around neighbours and potential ASBO circumstances; accessing motor vehicles and public transport and the safe carriage of dogs; impacting on road safety and town living; legal knowledge; canine first aid; leading to a practical training assessment and a West of Scotland Community Dog Training Association certificate.

Mr Cochrane, who is the founder of the concept which is based on his experiences in West Dunbartonshire, hopes that Angus Council will endorse and support the scheme.

He explained: “We have a dedicated centre in Alexandria which is recognised by Learn Direct Scotland and Scottish National Heritage, both of which are agencies of the Scottish Government.

“Our basic ethos is responsible dog ownership and the management of training dogs up in the community.”

A spokesperson for Carnoustie Canine Capers commented: “Through this type of training dog owners or prospective dog owners of puppies or rescued dogs in particular can become fully aware of preventative care and how to ensure their pets’ long term physical and mental well-being which were referred to in the letter.”

Individuals who would like to become trainers will be trained in the early spring of next year followed by the first training course for trainees.

Registering your interest or further information can be obtained from Carnoustie Canine Capers on carnoustiecaninecapers@gmail.com or via the website on www.carnoustiecaninecapers.weebly.com, via Facebook or by calling 01241 854049.