Even though Nathan had dogs as a kid, and we used to have our two dogs in Brunei, we have never really had to train dogs. Nathan's childhood dogs lived on the farm, and our Brunei dogs were guard dogs living outside in the big yard, only going for walks in the jungle.
It's different with Oakley. We would like him to turn into a nice, well behaved dog that we can bring along, most places we go.
So, I have been very busy watching YouTube videos of dog training tips and tricks, but I also early on knew I wanted to take him to puppy classes. I booked us in for a training session with a well known dog trainer here in Abu Dhabi, just to get some basic tools to get started with, and get us all in the family on the same page on what to do.
Yesterday Nikki from 'Ppooch' came around for our initial training session, and the whole family took part. It was very insightful and a bit of an eye opener; already after 2 minutes she had pointed out a few things we have been doing "wrong"...! Knocked our confidence a bit, ha ha!
Nikki the dog trainer has been working with dogs all her life, for breeders, at boarding kennels and with obedience training. In Abu Dhabi she has been in charge of trapping, training and fostering of rescue dogs; as well as instructing classes for the public. She was full of useful knowledge.
She talked us through a bit of dog development, and also told us about what we could expect considering Oakley's personality. We obviously don't know 100% what genes he has, but looking at him he most probably have some saluki in there as well as some German Shepherd, and most definitely what is normally referred to here as "desert dog". Apparently they can for example become a bit fearful when they are out of the initial puppy stage, so that's something we need to work out, before he grows too old.
Here the kids are practising "Stop!" with Nikki, the trainer, who is pretending to be the dog..!
So, we obviously have a very long way to go with Oakley, but I'm looking forward to training him. I think it'll be a fun thing for us to do as a family, and for me to keep me busy with when everybody else is at work and at school.