How to Train Your Bracco – Introduction:
Training Your Bracco
The breed is growing rapidly in the UK and over the last few months I have been supporting several people who are experiencing problems with their Bracchi.
These are people who have purchased puppies as family pets and have been led to believe they make ideal pets. They have just wanted a dog that they can take to the park with the kids or walk in the countryside with, not realising what they have.
Don’t get me wrong, they do make great pets, but people need to understand they were bred first and foremost as hunting dogs and the instinct to hunt is deeply ingrained in their morphology, they are definitely led by their noses.
While I agree dogs need exercise to keep them fit, they also need good training to keep them safe. In my opinion, a good stop and recall are the most important commands you can teach a puppy and that is regardless of whether you want a working dog or family pet.
If you teach and proof the stop it can get you out of all sorts of situations and even be a life saver. Whether it being your dog pestering other dogs or people in the park, chasing live stock or just running off, where it can get on to the road, or railways or get lost and picked up by someone who then steals it. There all sorts of reasons to teach STOP.
Training should start from day one, yes, I know puppy looks cute and goofy, but lessons learnt at 8 weeks will last a life time. It doesn’t need to be regimented it can be through play. Puppies brains are like sponges and they learn fast. It also helps to build the bond between you and your puppy.
Sit, recall and stay are all games that can be taught easily at home in the kitchen
If you take puppy out and let it off the lead, don’t just let it do what it wants, work with its natural instincts and teach it to hunt on your terms, again this will build up the bond between you. If you let it do what it wants eventually when it gets it big girl/boy pants on it will go off self-employed and you will end up with problems and either have to go to a trainer or sadly sometimes the dogs end up being rehomed.
I always say, you have spent a lot of money on purchasing your puppy, spend a bit more and time on good training right from the start, what you put in in the first 18 months or so will last the lifetime of the dog. Please don’t leave your training until you get a problem, it makes it so much harder to correct, sometimes you can’t, and the dog ends up spending its life on a lead or as I said rehomed, heart-breaking for all concerned.
Sue Parr, Working Secretary.