TV vet Dr Katrina Warren, one of the country's most recognised and loved veterinarians, has teamed up with professional dog trainer Kelly Gill and the Wonderdogs - Willow, Jordie, Jinx and Flynn.
Wonderdogs teaches 20 fun tricks ranging from easy to advanced, and every trick is accompanied by straightforward step-by-step instructions and photographs. You'll find everything your dog wants to learn: from sitting, staying and fetching to dancing, spinning and spelling. Plus, there is a puppy guide to help set up your puppy for life.
By learning the secrets to successfully training your pet, you'll strengthen the bond you both share. With love, patience and a few minutes a day you'll have your very own Wonderdog.
Dr. Katrina Warren is a qualified veterinarian, author, event MC and dog trainer who has appeared across all media platforms. She is the resident veterinarian on the Today Show and has hosted a number of popular TV shows. Katrina loves all animals but has a huge passion for Border Collies. Her first bestselling book Wonderdog starred Toby the border collie who was known and loved Australia-wide.
Kelly Gill is a renowned dog trainer, border collie breeder and veterinary nurse who is based in the Hunter Valley. Her own dogs have won numerous Obedience & Agility titles including two Obedience championship titles and regularly appear in stage, TV and film productions.
Wonderdogs Tricks and Training
Harper Collins Australia
Authors: Katrina Warren and Kelly Gill
Question: What types of tricks does Wonderdog teach readers?
Dr. Katrina Warren: We've set Wonderdog's up to include basic tricks for people who have dogs that haven't had a lot of obedience training, we have tricks for puppies and some more complicated tricks. The book features tricks for dogs of all ages and breeds including shaking paws (which is one of the easiest) and then we have fun activities such as counting, spelling, dancing, hiding your face, crossing your paws and all types of things, really!
Question: Typically how long will it take each dog to pick up a new trick, similar to those featured in Wonderdog?
Dr. Katrina Warren: Shaking of the paw is very easy, you could teach a puppy to shake paws and you can perfect that in two to three days if you have an enthusiastic dog and that's why puppies are fantastic in terms of teaching tricks. We say it takes five to ten minutes, two or three times a day for two or three days to master the easier tricks.
Question: What is the most important thing when teaching your dog a trick or command?
Dr. Katrina Warren: There are a couple of important things:
You need to motivate your dog: always use treats and always use treats that your dog wants to work for, don't use everyday dry food, use something that is really tasty like little pieces of cheese or chicken.
Never push your pet too far, in one session: always end on a happy note and quit while your head; it's a little bit like children, you don't want to end when they've lost concentration, you want to finish while they are concentrating and enjoying themselves. Make it a positive, fun and short session.
Question: Tigger features in Wonderdogs. Can cats learn tricks too?
Dr. Katrina Warren: Tigger is a great cat, he was actually due to be euthanized the next day, from the pound and Kelly Gill rescued him and now he comes out with the Wonderdogs!
Cats can learn tricks but they're a little trickier and it depends on the individual cat. If you have an outgoing cat who loves food and playing games then it's quite easy. I've trained my cat to sit, beg and also taught what's called targeting. I have trained my cat to touch his nose onto a fairy wand and then I can move that fairy wand around and make him jump up and touch the television by putting the fairy wand near the television or touch the couch because he will jump up to touch the fairy wand when it is on the couch - it's a very cute trick!
Question: How did the joint project with Kelly Gill come about?
Dr. Katrina Warren: I have worked with Kelly Gill for many years now, she breeds beautiful Border Collies and she is a professional dog trainer. Kelly and I have very much the same training philosophies and missions when it comes to dogs, it is all very positive and we both really enjoy helping other people enhance the relationship they share with their pets. Because Kelly Gill and I are on the same page, for me it was a fantastic opportunity to work with a professional trainer who has a team of beautiful dogs. Kelly's dogs are amazing; she has about seven, at any one time, as different dogs will work with us depending on what the job is.
Question: Have you always wanted to be a vet; what inspired your career choice?
Dr. Katrina Warren: Yes! I can't remember a time when I didn't want to be a vet, I always wanted to work with animals and I can't remember a time when animals weren't my passion. I am lucky in that I don't work in a clinic; I have worked in the media for my entire career.
Interview by Brooke Hunter