DOG owners in the Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area have no need to worry if they have a problem with their family pet.

The Dogs Trust, at West Calder, just across the Queensferry Crossing, is there to offer help to any canine owner.

Emma Hamilton, who has worked with the Trust for 16 years, told Cowdenbeath Rotary Club that the organisation has been working for a better future for dogs, and the people who love them, for over 100 years, with the West Calder base set up 40 years ago.

Emma said: “For every dog, for every owner, we’re by their side through thick and thin, throughout their lives.

“The bond they have is special to us. It changes lives, making each day happier and more complete. It’s why we believe in the maxim ‘A dog is for Life.’

“Training your dog is not only fun for you both, but will help you build a lifelong bond. Discover training techniques, simple cues and extra tricks for them to learn too. We are there to help owners to understand their dog’s view of the world, and discover how to ensure that life with your dog is as positive and joyful as they are.”

Emma stressed that for a new dog owner, starting the relationship well is important.

“Getting focus and attention from your dog is the first step to training," she explained.

“Without working on their attention to you first, your dog will likely be distracted and more interested in other things, which won’t set them on the path to success.

“Most dogs are quite food motivated, and this works in your favour for training purposes. Your dog will love being rewarded with tasty treats for focusing on you.

“Use high value rewards, like boiled chicken, sausage, or cheese cut up into tiny pieces. This food is quite unusual and a special treat for the dog, so they will be very eager to learn and give you their attention."

She added that teaching a dog his or her name, is a key element, and went on: “If you can get your dog’s attention as soon as you need it, by using their name, you can help to keep them safe.

“A new owner should remember, it takes time to build focus, so patience is important. Being able to gain your dog’s attention at any time is an important life skill. It will give you both confidence, wherever you are and whatever adventures you might be having.”

Emma also said that the base at West Calder also had a number of dogs ready for re-homing and staff will guide people interested in adopting a dog.

“We want to find all our dogs a loving forever family," she said. “If you want to adopt from us, fill in our application form to tell us about you, your lifestyle and your home, so we can find you a great match.

“We’ll walk you through the journey of adopting from us and explain how we match dogs and people.”

Emma concluded by stressing how important fundraising is to ensure the Dog Trust’s centres, like the one at West Calder, flourishes to help dog owners and dogs.

She said: “We couldn’t be there for the dogs who need us, without the fundraising efforts and kind donations of our generous supporters.

“Whether it’s through a local bake sale or running a marathon, every penny raised helps the dogs in our care at West Calder, and all over Britain, the backing is fundamental.”

On Thursday, Emma was presented with a cheque for £100 by Rotary Club president John Gilfillan.