Nova Scotia dog trainer offers 5 tips to raise a happy rescue

A rescue dog specialist from Tatamagouche, N.S. has a few tips to help owners raise a cheerful canine.

Rhonda Langille is a certified master dog trainer and canine behaviour specialist.

Jesse has learned to be a happy dog. (CBC)

A rescue dog specialist from Tatamagouche, N.S., has a few tips to help owners raise a cheerful canine.

Rhonda Langille is a certified master dog trainer and canine behaviour specialist who says she has worked to rehabilitate rescue dogs and train service dogs for 45 years.
Rhonda Langille, who works out of Tatamagouche, N.S., travels the Maritimes rehabilitating rescue dogs and training service dogs. (CBC)

She travels around the Maritimes working with dogs and has just published a book, Teach Your Rescue Dog to Come with a Wagging Tail and Happy Heart Every Time!

The proceeds will go to Homeward Bound City Pound in Dartmouth and Hope for Wildlife in Seaforth.

Owners of aggressive dogs should work with a dog trainer, she said.

But for all others, here are five tips that will almost always do the trick. 

1. Patience and positivity

Two dogs wait patiently inside Langille's home. (CBC)

2. Show your dog love, love and — more love

But remember, the dog needs to respect you.

As the Beatles song goes, all you need need is love. (CBC)

3. Follow through

When you've asked the dog to do something, follow through until it happens using gentle methods.

Rhonda Langille working with Keri Snow (left) and her service dog Chimo. (Colleen Jones/CBC)

4. Use the focus command 

Make sure you make eye contact with the dog and keep him focussed on you. 

Chimo makes eye contact with her owner (and wears her service vest everywhere). (Colleen Jones/CBC)

5.  Teach your dog that you two are buddies

John Leight with Gypsy. His service dog, who has been by his side for two and a half years, was trained by Langille. Leight has PTSD after tours of Pakistan and Afghanistan as part of the Canadian Forces. (Colleen Jones/CBC)

About the Author

Colleen Jones


World champion curler Colleen Jones has been reporting with CBC News for nearly three decades. Follow her on Twitter @cbccolleenjones.


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