Today three of my five dogs were by mistake let out of their ‘daytime’ enclosure into the sitting room (with five lively dogs one needs some physical boundaries). The three offenders were the three youngest, German Shepherd Milly, Cocker Pickle (of course), and Labrador Zara. ‘Man’ had left the barrier open on his way through so it was time for a party.

I heard a lot of noise and shouting of GO BACK IN THERE and found three dogs chasing gleefully about, evading him, with the rug sliding about on the wooden floor.

Why do people make things so difficult? (Sorry, Man. Living with someone who thinks they know it all is enough to make you dig your heels in and do things your way).

I walked through the room cheerfully saying ‘Come With Me, Dogs’. I walked into their enclosure followed by three willing dogs. They received a small treat each from my pocket – thank you for cooperating. Job done.

‘Come’ works so much better than ‘Go’. At night time, getting an unwilling dog to ‘go’ outside can be much harder than asking him to ‘come’ out with you. I prefer to call a dog to her crate or bed – COME TO YOUR BED (reward) works a lot better than GO TO YOUR BED as many people like to do – inviting defiance; likewise ‘COME away from the front door’ in preference to ‘GO away’.

It’s that old contest between the ‘dominance’ approach (‘they will do as they are told because I must show them who is boss’), and the positive reward-based approach where the dogs are treated with respect. The pay-off of the latter is that the dogs will then treat us with respect and want to please us.

It’s a no-brainer.