What’s in my Pocket? – Dog Training Treats

Many dog owners ask me what treats I have in my pocket. after exclaiming that their dogs won’t touch their treats for training.

Well I’ll run you through the main three I have in my pockets for bribing, rewarding and distracting!

I try to use only high quality and ethical treats. I my mind if you feed your dog well, like us they will thrive. Training doesn’t mean you have to feed your dog crap, adding sugar and additives to their diet, which can cause digestive upset or erratic behaviour for some dogs.

1. Pooch and Mutt ” Calm & Relaxed” Dog Treats. 

treats- cr

These treats are wheat free, and natural. They include chamomile, which is well known for its relaxing properties in people, and now dogs. It also has L-tryptophan which aids the formation of serotonin in dogs. I use these treats, not only because dogs love them but they are essential in my mind to help dogs de-stress when we are training, as training can put dogs closer to their stress threshold than usual. They are especially useful when working with behaviour modification for aggression, fear or anxiety. They can help with training to change a dogs behaviour. While they aren’t a cure for all, any little help we can offer is used to help.

Buy: http://www.poochandmutt.com/

2. Beautiful Joe’s Ethical Dog Treats

These treats are pure dried Ox liver, farmed here in the UK, and then dried here too. No cheap imported imitations will be accepted. These are irritable to dog’s nationwide. A great reward for recall to get the dogs to come in like a rocket. Fabulous for training dogs on threshold as a good reward they want to work for, instead of their boring kibble.
Although if most dogs eat too much they can get the runs, it is great used in moderation.
The best thing about it is that every packet you buy, a packet goes to a rescue dog! Adding the feel good factor.

Buy: http://beautifuljoes.com/

3. Fish4Dogs Dog Food

Superior Adult Complete Small-Bite

Fish is irresistible to most dogs, its usually reserved for a treat as dog food is mainly chicken, lamb or beef based. Fish also SMELLS great to dogs, and for even no foody dog’s they provide a good distraction. The smell sets their nose going, overriding what is in their sites in some circumstances. I also use this as a treat that can be used as the bulk of the treats for rewarding as its not high fat, its potato rather than rice or wheat, along with the fish so doesn’t convert to energy fast. It can be used in higher volumes than the other treats, and as its not a treat it’s self it can be used without much concern for digestive upset. I use it with all my own dogs, and dog’s I train with and I haven’t had any complaints yet!

Buy: http://www.fish4dogs.com/

You don’t need to use fancy treats for dog training, for a foody dog you can even use their own biscuit for training, just take some out of their normal daily ration to avoid them getting a lot extra food, and putting on weight.

You can also make your own treats, their are loads of recipes out there to make them. Which ever you use, think about the adding of sugar or loads of wheat based ingredients as they can effect the dogs behaviour.

Always remember treats shouldn’t be the only thing used for training. Your voice, body language and toys should also be used, so the dog is well rounded and happy to work with you as an owner, not a treat dispenser.

Why GOOD Dog Training Advice, Isn’t Free Advice.

I have countless clients come to me after “Trying everything”, it quite often goes like this…. They have a dog that jumping up in the home, and generally is out of control while guests are there. The owner is now at its whit’s end, threatening the dog with re-homing if it doesn’t sort its behaviour out (As if the dog has a clue it’s actually doing something wrong?). They have tried shouting, smacking, treats, pet correctors, water bottles and bottles of rocks! EVERYTHING they tell me, and then in the same breath go on to tell me that I’m now their last hope for this dog (Thanks for that pressure).

Dog training is just that, TRAINING! Dogs are that not born knowing they should not steal the roast dinner off the table, or jump up at every guest. Training is needed to teach a dog what they get rewarded for, i.e. sitting on their bed while you eat, and what gets them told off i.e. stealing food.

You can get all the free advice in the world, from Aunt Sue, John down the street, even Vet’s and Pet Shop Employee’s (Who I can tell you now are some of the worst offenders for offering out free “Advice” on dog training and behaviour, which is really not helpful). This free advice will cost you in the long run though, as your dog gets more confused with your every changing behaviour towards them, mixed messaged and down right just being horrible.

Training sometimes needs tools such as corrective interrupters like Pet Corrector, but this MUST ALWAYS BE COUPLED WITH A REWARD once the dog is doing what you want them to do.

You can try everything on this planet, but if the dog only ever gets told off, how is it supposed to know when it is right? Use some Clever Training and think about what you are doing to your dog.

The biggest cost it has is on the relationship between you and your dog, they can no longer trust you to be consistant in your behaviour, they don’t know when their doing right, so quite often the dog will act out more than before to get your attention. It isn’t the right way to get attention but negative attention is still attention to a dog, especially to one who has been starved of reward attention.

It’s a Behaviourist’s worst nightmare to hear people say “I’ve tried everything” as you know it is going to be hard to get the dog and owner to engage as a pair again, and find a method that works to sort out the behaviour issues. It will also take more sessions and more of everyone’s time to change the behaviour that has now appeared from all the constant changing, as the dog isn’t looking for a reward in some cases, and is content with being screamed at. Not a nice life for a dog, and it can be difficult to get a dog to re-engage.

A loss of a dog can be the cost of free “Helpful” advice. Someone people have re-homed dogs for simple training issues, such as jumping at guests. I don’t begrudge anyone re-homing a dog as it is a hard choice, but doing it for behaviour issues without getting in professional help first is lacking care. If you truly care about a dog you shouldn’t be listing off the things you have tried before re-homing the dog, but instead saying about how you worked with a professional but the dog is no longer getting the quality of life it deserves, or even that the professional has suggested a different environment for the dog to be happier.

Get all the free advice you want, ask people and try it. But when you pay for a Dog Trainer or Behaviourist, you get someone who will work with you one to one, teach you about your dogs problems, and most likely highlight yours as well. They will sort out the problem using one or two training  methods, and I can almost 100% guarantee it will work within the first method as long as you listened to the trainer, if it doesn’t then they will come back to help. Not everything works first time. I have offered people second consults if the first training methods haven’t worked, and we have re-evaluated. Most training issues take one to three or four sessions to iron out, as you are changing a behaviour completely. Its hard for many dogs, and owners to grasp, so it is not going to happen over night.

I never give you free advice without seeing the dog first, what might work based on what the owner thinks is wrong, can be very different to what is actually taking place. Dog’s are complicated, almost as much as humans are. Suggesting an approach for one type of behaviour change, that is actually another under the surface can send dogs backwards in their training, create a aggression or learned helplessness. I have to see the dog and owner together, take in the environment, previous training and situation they are now in. If I suggested things without consideration I would be a dangerous trainer.

Dog Training takes: Time, Effort, Commitment, Patience and the ability to Admit Your Own Faults. Good dogs aren’t just a select few elite, all dogs are good when trained right, but soon go “Bad” if let to do their own thing, trained incorrectly or just not appreciated for what their role is i.e. working line breed in a low energy home. Don’t look for quick fixes or ask for advice off those without the knowledge or training, but instead learn to work with your dog.

So waste hundreds on gadgets, gizmos and training aids. Or spend a little on some good advice and training from a professional. I know which one my training clients now wish they had picked.

Kathryn

Clever Fox Canine Training and Security

“A Clever Approach to Dog Training and Behaviour”

Puppy Parties, Puppy Classes and Puppy Training

So you’ve got a new puppy, your excited about all the new interactions you will be having soon! You have singed up to the Puppy Parties at the local vets office, and put your name down for a 6 week Puppy Training course in the local village hall, or called a Dog Trainer to help. But which is best?

I will note my take on each, and let you decide.

You do all these things, you think your ahead of the game and your puppy will be ready for anything. Instead of getting that feeling, you have a puppy who is worried about things outside on walks, whom doesn’t play nice and bullies other dogs, who doesn’t listen to anything you say outside of the class. Now the puppy is going on 9 months, and your struggling to control them in the house at all. Your considering re-homing the puppy as its nothing like you thought it would be? Considering asking advice online? Using extreme correction to try and gain control? Or calling in a dog behavioursit?

Puppy Parties and Puppy Training Classes are brilliant for many dog owners if ran correctly, by educated people with knowledge of bringing up their own puppies and the knowledge of the new science in training.It teaches them good manners with both people and dogs, and to be focused and attentive.

On the flip side if your entering a Puppy Party with loads of puppies terrorising each other, what is it actually teaching your puppy? Your teaching them to bully other dogs, or be fearful of other dogs. The memories they get from 8 to 16 weeks stick with puppies the most. If they get terrified at a puppy party ran by a vet nurse with out any dog training and dog behaviour what are they teaching you and your puppy? In my mind, very little. But they are setting you and your puppy up for a lifetime of issues. Going to a class ran by a competent dog behaviourist and paying a little more is well worth the cost, rather than attending one free class where you and your puppy don’t get the help needed.

The best example I have is if your child was being terrorised by a child 4 times its size, but the same age would you step in, stopping them being thrown on the ground, bitten and dragged about. They are clearly showing distress and all you are saying it “They have to learn to play”. THIS IS WRONG. How can you let this happen to a little Terrier puppy with a Labrador puppy? This is not teaching them anything good, but to fearful of other dogs that might beat them up, or learn its ok to bully other puppies. It also teaches puppies they can just run up to other dogs and do what the hell they like. It is not educated and safe.

If ran correctly, with the organiser letting the puppies play but those that are the same size and temperament. Stopping any bullying behaviour with time outs, and distractions. It also created good memories of the vets office, meaning it is a lot easier for dog, owner and the vet when visits are needed.

Puppy Classes are brilliant at offering owners time in the week where they work with their dog one and one, in a supportive environment, with like minded people. If ran correctly the puppies learn to work around distractions, listen to their owner and it gives owners confidence to carry on training their dogs. As well as offering owners to advance their dog skills with further classes.

It can be a place dog owners can strive to better their dog handling, but it can also become a place of worry for both owner and puppy. Puppies can be worried about the hall environment, it can be loud and distracting, as well as all the dogs already in there setting up some more nervous dogs to be worried about groups of dogs and people. Owners can start to judge the progress of their puppy against everyone else, and get disheartened about not progressing as far as other puppies the same age. Hall’s are not realistic environments unless you are going to be showing your puppy, training a real environment like the home, park or shop is more realistic for you and your puppy.

The biggest thing I have against classes is that dogs often learn to only work in the village hall, instead of the real world where they reside. Dog’s are very good at being context specific if you don’t teach them to work everywhere. So a dog that excels in he safe environment of the class room, might run off or refuse to sit when on a walk. It is very frustrating for dog owners, and I think more classes should be run outdoors. Or more emphasis on owners doing home work with their dogs at home, and showing evidence of it. Dog’s only learn with repetition, but class teachers often get so stuck doing things a single way, they can’t be flexible to finding other ways for different puppies. Classes not focusing on sits, but on socialisation and each dog as an individual are better suited for puppies, who are all unique.

One to ones with a dog trainer and well mannered dog can set puppies up for a lifetime of good interactions and manners. It allows the owner time with the trainer asking about dog behaviour. The dog trainer can help owners identify fear, or stress behaviour as well as happy. This one on one training can be a real boost for new owners who want the training help, without the pressure of class environment. Meeting a well mannered older dog can help puppies understand the rules of dog life, and have confidence about interactions. Many people are also more likely to get in touch with the same trainer for help in the future, when they need it order to keep their dog on the right path, than struggle alone. But like the others their are down sides.

A single dog trainer cannot have as many dogs as a puppy class or party, and even puppies can be frightened by well mannered older dogs if they are much larger than them. The progress of the puppy also depends on the owner putting in the hard work, going to a weekly appointment encourages people to keep working hard. Working with a dog trainer once or twice has little intensive for less driven people to work hard on their puppies interactions in a good way, rather than by chance.Dog Trainers can also be idiots when it comes to puppies, they can hand out bad advice as well as good, unfortunately one bad bit of advice can last a life time.

The biggest thing from all of this is not to attend something for a few hours a week,  or only work with your puppy when the dog trainer is there. But instead learn how to teach your puppy, your instructor for any of these puppy start ups should be teaching you how to not only solve the behaviour troubles you are having now, but also teach you how to teach them for the future. Giving you information on the next stages of life and how to avoid behaviour issues.

Puppy training can set dogs up for life, but training doesn’t stop at 9 months, 12 months or even 18 months old. It is a life time thing, teaching dogs to cope with new changes or learn new tricks. Training young can allow owners to predict behaviour, but it cannot stop dogs getting scared or attacked, which can lead to unwanted behaviour. No amount of puppy training can undo some changes, and this is when you need to look forward for training, not backwards in order to help your dog cope, and learn better reactions to this event or situation.

Cost can be an issue for some dog owners, but please don’t skimp on your puppies start because of cost. Puppy Parties are usually free provided by the Vets in order to get you to stay with their practice, and buy their products such as their own brand food, or wormer. Puppy Classes can be anything from £5 to £15 per class depending on the trainer, area. One on One Training with a Dog Trainer can be from £30 up to £50 or more depending on the trainer. I charge £40 for the first session, then £20 per hour for any sessions after, this also includes unlimited phone calls for advice and help. A Behaviour Consult for adult dog with aggression or fear issues is £60 and then you tend to need about 5-6 more sessions to sort it out, so which is cheaper in the long run?

How ever you choose to start your puppy off, don’t think one session training with a trainer or a 6 week course, means you don’t need to work with your dog for the rest of its life. Dogs are a 10-15 year commitment and training goes on forever with them.

I only offer One to One Training with puppies, using my own trained dogs to give puppies good interactions. I also guide the owners through the whole dogs life, working with the owner every step of the way, from toilet training up to introducing another dog to the now adult dog. Literally every step of the way. I am here to give the owners peace of mind they are not alone with their puppy, and their is always someone at the end of the phone. I have followed countless puppies from small bungles of fur into adulthood. It is a lovely role to have and I know some owners would have given up with the support and guidance. I also offer a puppy class focusing on good manners with other dogs and puppies, learning in a real environment by running it in a coffee shop. I help each puppy through the course with you the owners by their side learning with them.

Whether you use me as a trainer, or attend classes, or puppy parties. Ask questions, learn as much as you can from those who know. Don’t just allow yourself to be dictated at, learn more through your puppy and most of all enjoy that time learning together.

DSC_0434

Start your puppy off correctly and reap the rewards later on in life. 

 

April: National Pet Month Top 10 Tips

With April closing, and May beginning, I thought it would be good to put all my top tips into one blog post.

It’s not going to be anything fancy. A reference place for anyone to find all my top tips for dog ownership and welfare.

These are all just small details, or advice about maintaining or improving the welfare of your dog. They are not rule to live by or things I think suit every dog. Just ideas to hopefully give you, the dog owner, more ideas to do with your dog.

TOP TIP #1 for responsible dog ownership.

Get your dog used to being touched all over, teaching them to see it as part of normal routine daily and nothing unusual. Many dogs get stressed enough at the vets just from being there, you can make it easier for them by teaching them it’s normal to be touched. From early on make sure you can touch all over, check in their eyes, nose, mouth and ears. Do it when your training, do it when your cuddling, and especially when your grooming them. Grooming also be included in at least a monthly routine for dogs, even short coated. More frequently for long, curly or wire coated. You might think it’s a waste of time at the time, but in the long run it will help maintain the welfare of your dog. Making it less stressful for visits to vets and groomers, and a dog that is relaxed is happy. Making it easier to apply lotions, ear and eye drops. It is also our jobs as dog owners to care for them, this means seeking appropriate advice if you do spot something different on your dog, and you can only notice change if you know what’s normal. Training it is so easy, you don’t need a trainer, just a toy, a treat or rest time, just add checking them over into normal play and cuddles. Easy. Your dog will thank you for it, and you could very well save their life. Photos are of me just playing with my white boy, adding in teeth and eye checks, along with grooming into our one on one time.

TOP TIP #2 for responsible dog ownership.
Mental Stimulation over Physical Activity
Don’t be tempted to just run your dog ragged to tire them out, their brain needs as much work out as their body. More so for some breeds.

Think outside the box for activities, such as not just throwing a ball but hiding it for them to find.
Filling an empty plastic bottle with tasty treats and letting the dog learn to knock them out.
Ice cubes! Freezing stock and gravy with food in the middle for them to work towards, this can also include filling a Kong Toy with some tasty food and freezing it.
Filling a muffin tray with balls and hiding dinner underneath them, making the dog work to get them out.
Scatter feeding their dinner on the garden, making them use their nose to find their food.
Hiding toys in a ball pit or in boxes, letting them destroy the boxes to get to the toys.
Training the dog something entirely new such as a down stay, drop on recall, collect their toys into their bed/basket, or searching for family members.

There are activity toys on the market, but you needn’t break the bank as long as you think outside the box. Mental stimulation provides a better workout than physical exercise for the same time input. It also builds the bond between dog and owner.

 

TOP TIP #3 for responsible dog ownership.
Are you ready for an emergency?
When ever you travel, with or without your dog things can go wrong. Be a responsible driver and not only drive in alignment with the law, but prepare for the worst. An Accident.
I’ve got this very document in my van for when ever I drive. It has the key information for anyone whom should find me in an accident. It allows the emergency services easy access to contact details for next of kin for myself, and my dogs.
This is something you should have even if you don’t have dogs. The biggest difference for the dogs is the addition of the chip numbers so you can inform the local dog warden, and chip companies should the dogs get free and flee the scene. Much quicker than digging through old paperwork.
For each individual add in allergies you have, or medical details.
Add in where you would like to be taken for treatment, or if you are an organ donor.
While you might not like to think about the worst, you should prepare for it, for yourself and your dog.

TOP TIP #4 for responsible dog ownership.
Question your dog food!

Dog food is easy and convenient. Open the packet and pour, Right? Sure for some brands, that might be right. For other brands you might need to educate yourself a little.

So here’s a quick run through of what to look for in your packet of dog food. (This is a very basic run through, I am not a nutritionist. Do your own research, or ask a nutritionist if you want to know more).

1. The first ingredient should be MEAT. Not cereal, rice, wheat or potato. Ingredients run highest lowest, even if the percentage isn’t on the bag. This brand I use for my Iran dogs when I’m away working. It’s much higher than most brands, with the average probably being about 20-30% depending on the brand. The meat can be as exotic or mundane as you like, chicken to kangaroo! Make sure it’s dried or fresh meat, not ‘Meat and animal derivatives’ that’s the not so good stuff!

2. Rice, Cereal, Wheat or Potato are usually the next ingredient. Dogs aren’t really able to digest this so well and get very little nutrients out of it, but a lot of sugar. So the more of these the more your dog can have sugar highs and lows, aberrant behaviour or skin issues as the dogs body tries to reject it! Less or non at all where possible. But they make dog food kibble like.

3. Avoid colourants. If the kibble is red, green, yellow, or basically any colour than brown it’s good colourants in. Colourants mean E numbers, and E numbers mean mad behaviours! You know what happens to kids filled with skittles…. Same happens to dogs.

4. High protein doesn’t always mean mad dogs. Protein used to always be blamed for mad dog behaviour. While it is what gives the dog energy in basic terms, it isn’t the be all and end all of the food. Puppies need lots growing up to help grow right, adults need less and it needs to be based on their life style. But a high content doesn’t mean mad dogs, it’s the quality. If it’s based on a high meat content, then it’s good protein. If it’s based on a high plant content it’s not as easy to process and can lead to mad dog behaviour.

In my personal opinion the best food for dogs is raw meaty bones, meat, and organ. The Raw Diet. It’s natural, you know what’s in it so their is no crap! It’s easy to do once you’ve started, and you’ll dog will thank you. Their is loads of help out there. Just ask me where to start, or get googling! Companies such as Honey’s Real Dog Food Natural Instinct, Nutriment, and Nature Diet are all there to help you every step of the way.

The food label used in this image is Platinum Dog Food, it’s the closest to raw I can get for traveling about. Other brands I recommend are Fish4Dogs, Lily’s Kitchen, Pooch and Mutt, Barking Heads, and Nature Diet.

Don’t be fooled by the pretty dog pictures on a packet,or think because it’s approved by vets it’s the best. Educate yourself so your not blinded by the crap! I could go on all day about dog nutrition, but I won’t. Instead I encourage you the dog owners, to educate yourself for your dogs welfare

TOP TIP #5 for responsible dog ownership.
When a cuddle just won’t do.

Stress! All dog’s and people get stressed. Sometimes at the small things, and sometimes at the big changes. People and dog’s react differently depending on their experiences and personality.

While for some dogs training can help them cope, for others they need a little help. Help that can’t be provided through training.

Dog’s live in our world, not the other way around. They don’t speak fluent English (Knowing what “Walkies” means does make them fluent), but are expected to understand. Keeping routines and training on point can help those who are little more stressy cope with the changes, but for some constantly not being in control can effect their behaviour.

We can help them cope with our behaviour, such as cuddling, changing routines, and starting small changes early before a big one. Changes that can upset dogs can be house moves, new dog, new baby, new job, pretty much anything.

When training alone can’t help the dog, I turn to complementary therapies to help the dog calm from the inside. I don’t use chemicals, or drugs. But instead natural calming products, that I have used myself and that work.

1. Adaptil
A synthetic version of the pheromone a bitch produces when she has a little of pups to keep them, herself and other dogs quiet. Works really well to keep dogs calm.
http://www.adaptil.com/uk
2. Pet Remedy
A Valerian compound that naturally stops the neurotransmitters in the brain from firing. Stopping the dogs getting so stressed. It works on people as well! So very good helping the whole family.
http://www.petremedy.co.uk/
3. Rescue Remedy
A natural mix of essences from nature that help during stress or emergencies. Helping to calm and focus.
http://www.bachflower.com/rescue-remedy-information/

These are all to aid with training, they are not quick fixes but to aid with training and changes. I sell both Adaptil and Pet Remedy as I really think they work to help dogs, and their owners with change. So ask me about them during consults, I sell below RRP where possible.

Changes happen, but there is no shame in helping your dog cope. Making them and you happier.

 

TOP TIP #6 for responsible dog ownership.
Tasty Enrichment.

If you’re a biscuit feeder, then your dog will get the same meal every day. Boring ay?

Start enriching their lives with some tasty added extras, as a treat or reward.

You don’t need to go out and buy fancy sugary treats, when you will have most of these things in the house already.

1. Natural Yogurt. Great to hide pills, and supplements. It’s tasty, with no added sugar and dog’s go mad for it! Mine adore it off the spoon or on their food. Some also contain great probiotics, for digestion and health. (Some dogs can be lactose intolerant so be away of not feeding a huge amount).

2. Eggs. Scrambled for some dogs as a warm meal after lots of stress or illness. Raw with shell on their food, if possible. They are filled with Calcium and Protein for the dogs.

3. Carrots. While they don’t hold a huge amount of nutrition for a dog, they are great teeth cleaners and take some dog’s ages to chew down. Great boredom buster.

4. Fish. Skins off the salmon your cooking, a tin of sardines now and then. Lots will upset the tummy or as an occasional treat it’s great. Fab for eye, coat and skin health.

5. Seasonal Fruits. Come Autumn when the berries are ripe on the bushes my lot will go picking by themselves. With the power of frozen, they can have fruit all year round. A sweat natural treat, as a healthy alternative to sugary treats.

Improve your dog’s welfare by adding in extras, it engages their senses and gives them something to look forward too. They are also great for adding into activity toys and hiding pills in.

It also makes you feel like your treating them, without adding on the extra pounds!

 

TOP TIP #7 for responsible dog ownership.
Doggy Body Language.

This Top Tip is more brief than the others. Basically have a good read of the poster below, take some time to learn what your dog is trying to tell you. Many dogs are trying to speak to use when their scared, stressed, excited or angry and we are missing all the signals.

We need to learn to speak dog better, as we teach dogs to speak human.

Dog body language isn’t as cut and dry as the poster makes out, but it is a start.

 

TOP TIP #8 for responsible dog ownership.
Respect Other Dogs.

The rule when on a walk with your dog off lead is that if you see another dog on lead, then you put yours on. You do not allow your dog to run up to them, possibly scaring them, or causing a fight. It is not good manners, and its down right dangerous.

Unless your dog has a 100% recall then don’t let it off, to bounce other dogs. The other dog might be nervous, in pain, in season or in training. If your dog was in the same position would you be all that pleased if your dog was bombarded? No not really.

Think about the other dog before allowing your dog to run off, its so easy to achieve a recall away from other dogs back to you. Pop the dog back on lead and then talk to the owner if it is ok for the dogs to interact.

On the flip side if your dog is off lead, and their dog is off lead also it is generally ok for your dog to go in and interact with them. Just use some common sense, if the owner is on their phone not watching or they have no control of their dog, move on past. Make your life easier.

Dog’s don’t need friends, they need you, a home, food, water and training. Dog interactions are a privilege not a right.

Their is an organisation trying to promote and educate owners to add Yellow Ribbons to their leads if their dogs need space. It is a growing movement and should be talked about more!

Find out more: http://www.yellowdoguk.co.uk/

I also wrote a Blog post about this before, based on my own experiences:https://cleverfoxcanine.wordpress.com/…/aggressive-dogs-th…/

Use your common sense when out and about. If your dog is friendly that is great, but imagine what it is like for those that aren’t.

 

TOP TIP #9 for responsible dog ownership.

Noise Phobias.

Many dogs freak out at noises we understand, we know its a train, fireworks or even a thunder storm. We cannot explain that to our dogs, but instead teach them not to be worried by them.

Many dogs have panic when encountering a noise they do not understand. This can lead to them running off, harming themselves and owners with panic. It’s also not a nice feeling knowing your dog is upset and their is not an awful lot you can do to help, cuddling can help, as well as carrying on as normal to help the dog learn you see it as nothing scary, but since we don’t speak dog it can be difficult.

Thankfully their are ways to help your dog adjust to these sounds. Starting off with puppies is easier, but it can be done with every dog.

Its a process called Desensitisation, which basically means getting the dog used to sounds, so it no longer reacts.

You can get App’s and CD’s but I use trusty old YouTube for videos of sounds. Basically play the sounds very low, barely a whisper while your dog eats, plays and is settled at night.

You need to keep the routine as normal as possible, if you start doing things extra with the sound the dog will see it as a cue for change and upset some dogs. We play them when distracted so it becomes background noise to the dog.

Building up the volume to almost as loud as they would be in real life, over a period of time. This time frame might be several weeks or even months. Never rush this, only turn the volume up over time and when the dog is relaxed with the previous volume.

This can help all dogs, even those without fears that you know of now. Rescues can benefit from this before the noisy season starts in Autumn/Winter so you don’t have the stressy nights.

This is not a fix, but just an idea to help all dogs owners.

 

TOP TIP #10 for responsible dog ownership. (We finally got there!)

Cherish Your Dog.

Dog’s aren’t here forever unfortunately; they live shorter lives than we do. It is a sad truth, so we should enjoy every moment with them until then.

I am lucky enough to work with my dogs as my job, and it means I have a bond with them that will last their lifetime.

Dogs are not ornaments or show pieces, they are parts of the family, or partners in crime.

As such I think more people need to take time to spend with their dog, not just sitting on the sofa watching TV after a long day at work, but instead taking time to do things your dog likes, such as training time, walking in new places or meeting new dogs. While people might not thing dogs crave such things, and the science doesn’t prove it, but tell me when you haven’t seen a social dog happy after learning a new trick or going out with their owner somewhere new such as a dog show, even joining a dog training club. Dog’s nee praise and love, training them to do something new and praising them is the highest reward for them. Enjoy your time together.

Think about devoting as little as an hour a week to one on one time with your dog, I don’t mean going on a walking on lead or sitting on the sofa cuddling. Instead inputting your time to teach them something new, or going out on a doggy group walk. Time to spend with them.

It doesn’t have to be hours and hours, just enough time for your dog to know you do love them and appreciate them. Maybe were thinking too much of dogs as a species to have that sort of intelligence, but I think they do. Anyone that knows their dog, knows when they are feeling, happy, sad or upset.