Our resident top dog and national treasure, Peter Purves, shares words of wisdom and advice for all dog owners
Veteran broadcaster and the legendary voice of Crufts, Peter Purves, knows dogs. From Labradors to Lurchers, Great Danes to Golden Retrievers, our brand ambassador and national treasure will now share a monthly column that looks at the latest doggy developments driving the news agenda.
Hello from Peter
For as long as I can remember, my life has revolved around dogs. I’m delighted to share my thoughts and advice with you in 2021, a year in which I expect we will continue to rely on the companionship, love and care of our four-legged friends.
Over the years I’ve kept all kinds of dogs, big and small breeds. Currently, I have 5 smaller dogs - Teddy, a 13 year-old Dachshund, Bertie (4) a Wire Haired Dachshund and 3 Pekingese, Max(1), Lilly (10) and the latest member of the pack, Vivienne(7) who was recently adopted.
Peter’s Paws for Thought
Over all my years with dogs I have learnt a thing or two, and I’m happy to have the opportunity to share these with the nation’s dog owners. This month keeping our dogs active and engaged over the last stretch of lockdown is front and centre. Here are some paws for thought:
Make the most of your time
- You might find yourself with a little extra time right now. Regardless of whether you have one dog or a pack like me, set aside regular times in the day for your dogs and stick to it. Enjoy the time that you share together and learn from your dog.
Relieve the boredom
- Dogs are like humans, they get bored just like us. They need attention, love and time to play. Ensure that you stimulate your dog by mixing up their playtime and exercise routine. There are some exercise tips available within the guides section of the website and here is an article on how to teach dogs new tricks.
Repeat the tasks
- Dogs love repetition! They are happy if you repeat similar tasks and this also helps them to learn. Be consistent with brain games and rewards to build recognition. When you settle on an activity that you and your dog like, stick at it and make it ‘your thing’.
Behind the mask
- A big problem for dogs is seeing people wearing masks. Let your dog see you putting your mask on, and wear it around the house sometimes so they start to recognise that it’s still you in there.
- When I’m listening to someone, I read their lips and dogs are the same; they like to see people’s lips move. They like to see facial expressions and they understand the tone of voice. Be patient with your dog when issuing commands or instructions with a mask on.
Strength in numbers
- We’ve always kept multiple dogs. There’s a big advantage in keeping more than one, if you have the space, as they all entertain each other and they play with each other. My wife and I love to watch our 5 dogs bonding and playing together.
Let sleeping dogs lie
- The old saying rings true, when your dog is catching up on 40 winks or having a sleep, leave them be. Dogs don’t like to be disturbed and need their rest.
I look forward to sharing my stories and advice with you over the coming months.
Until then, take care everyone