Don’t Take Dog Training Tips From Ben and Holly!

I shouldn’t have to say it, but DON’T take training advice from a preschoolers TV show.

If you have a preschooler, or your kids were born after 2012, you may have seen Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom. It’s from the makers of Peppa Pig and it leaves that irritating pig in the dirt, it’s way better in my opinion (however my mind have finally snapped…..)

If you’ve never seen it (lucky you!) it’s about Elves and Fairies living in the Little Kingdom. The Elves all live in the Great Elf Tree and the fairies live in the Little Castle. You have King and Queen Thistle, with Princess Holly and her twin sisters (which are surely based on those twins from the shining), with Nanny Plum providing the comic relief. Then you have all the Elves, with The Wise Old Elf in charge of the hard working elves who hate magic. Ben Elf is Holly’s best friend and they have lots of fun together even though they’re very different (do you see the moral of the story?!)

Bet you wish you watched it now! 

But what does that have to do with dog training, I hear you cry??

I’m getting to that bit.

It’s a favourite in this house, Thea loves it and to be honest, it has enough jokes aimed at the half crazed parents to keep me entertained too. 

One episode is called ‘Gaston Goes to School’. Gaston is the lady bird who barks like a dog, that Ben Elf rides. No, I’m not on drugs, it’s all true!

In the episode, King Thistle decides that Gaston needs properly training because he jumps up, chews King Thistles slippers and generally just doesn’t listen. Sound familiar? I bet we’ve all met dogs like that! 
So King Thistle, Ben and Holly go to Miss Jolly’s Training School to train Gaston. Miss Jolly is a Tally Ho type Elf who rides a snail called Trigger (honestly, stay with me, I’m getting to the point!) and is a bit of a dog whisp- err I mean insect/mollusc whisperer who shouts, corrects and bullies the little insects into doing as they’re told. 

Tut tut, Miss Jolly, tut tut. I’m guessing she’s a fan of that moron on the tv with the goatee. 

She bullies Gaston into not eating her shoes then declares ‘GASTON IS NOW TRAINED!!’

Is he?? When King Thistle takes him home, Gaston runs in the castle getting muddy footprints all over and eats the Queens slippers. 

Oh dear Gaston. 

What went wrong?? Well, firstly Miss Jolly did absolutely no training with him then declared that he didn’t need and more training/non-training!! What sort of message does that send to the next generation of dog handlers and owners?? 

Training is something that requires lifetime commitment and dedication. To train a dog requires you to guide him and show him what you want him to do, not just shout him down when he’s doing something wrong.

Luckily for Thea, she has me to tell her the right way to interact and train our collies. She will grow up knowing how to handle a dog safely and to train the kindest way. She’ll move on from Ben and Holly in the next few years and I’ll have her watching Steve Mann, Victoria Stillwell and Zak George to see how it’s done! 

And if she grows up to prefer cats, I may need a bit of time to adjust to that absolute betrayal 😉

Luckily for my clients, I ALWAYS train as I walk, little and often. I reinforce the basics plus introduce other things like focus, self control, tricks and more! I keep owners informed and updated on the things we do so that they can do the same at home. 

Why not check out my Adventure Walks and my Turbo Training Walks to see exactly what I do. 

There’s also a plethora of videos on my Facebook page to watch too. It’s probably a little more entertaining than Ben and Holly!

Thanks for reading folks (and please don’t send me complaints that you’re now addicted to watching those Elves and Fairies!!)

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