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What is Reactivity in Dogs?

‘He’s reactive’ or ‘I have a reactive dog’ is quite commonly heard nowadays, and is a bit of a catch-all label that gets put on dogs who respond in a certain way. So, what is reactivity really, and what is a ‘reactive dog’? A dog who is reactive is generally one who overreacts in certain situations, or to certain things (science calls these stimuli) in their environment, and this overreaction can vary in intensity, how long it goes on for (duration), or volume. What triggers reactivity in dogs? Common triggers… Continued

Why Focus on Life Skills vs Obedience in Dog Training?

Life skills training isn’t just a flashy buzzword; it’s the most up-to-date way of training dogs, where we focus on skills for life vs the traditional obedience commands of yesteryear. The life skills approach emphasizes training dogs to be well-behaved and well-adjusted in everyday environments, rather than just focusing on obedience commands in a controlled training setting. Life skills training focuses on teaching skills to dogs that are relevant to their day-to-day lives. It has been so long since dogs were domesticated, and even relatively modern life is very different… Continued

Puppy Not Listening to You? Here’s Why and What to Do!

  “I love it when my pet doesn’t listen to me,” said no one ever. So what happens when your calls fall on deaf ears (when your dog isn’t actually deaf)? What else might be going on if you feel your puppy isn’t listening or responding to you?  There are many reasons why your pet is failing to respond to you. We’re going to get into it here, and help you with tried and tested strategies that will help your pet listen to you. Why is My Puppy Not Listening… Continued

Help Your Pet Enjoy (not just tolerate) Brushing and Nail Trims!

You can help your pet enjoy basic care, such as brushing and nail trims, at home. Here are our tips so that some common husbandry procedures can be pleasurable for everyone involved. Cooperative care and basic home pet care activities that help to keep pets healthy like grooming, bathing and nail clips have come a long way from the days of just ‘getting on with it.’ We now give our pets much more control and choice over these procedures so that they find them enjoyable. Brushing Your Pet Brushing your… Continued

Why is Play So Important for Your Relationship with Your Dog?

Isn’t playing with your dog just the best? Playing with your dog is something that can be done anytime, anywhere. We can use play as a great way of bonding with our dogs, and also use it as a motivator for training.  Bonding with Your Dog Through Play Here are our thoughts on why play is so good for strengthening the relationship between you and your dog:  It gives your dog a workout. Play is a great way to exercise with your dog, help them burn off some energy and… Continued

What You Need to Know About Puppy Socialization

Socialization is a hot topic, but what does it mean exactly? Is it about your pet being able to play and being social? Well kinda, but not just that. Dogs and cats have a critical socialization period; in puppies this is a period of 3-12 weeks of age, and in kittens their key socialization period is up to 7 weeks of age. During these periods our pets are most receptive to new experiences, and the things they are exposed to -or not- can have far reaching consequences. That’s not to… Continued

Trigger Stacking in Pets Explained

The holidays, a busy time of year, are quickly approaching! This time of year can be stressful for everyone, including our pets. Your home may undergo many changes, including decorating and adding a tree that may be so tempting for cats to climb or dogs to chew on! Not only that, but we’ll also have a lot of visitors and people coming and going, which can all contribute to trigger stacking, but what exactly is trigger stacking? When a series of minor incidents pile up to the point where your… Continued

Why Does My Pet Do That?

  Have you ever asked yourself, “Why does my pet do that?” The reasons why pets do what they do and behave the way they do will always have a function, whether we understand it or not! Reasons, Emotions and Needs Behind Pets’ Behaviors  Behavior is a complex subject, and when we examine our pet’s behavior, there are many factors to consider, such as: Physical health – pain, disease, hormones, age, and general health Genetic – species, breed, breeding lines, hereditary Temperament – personality, breed type History – socialization, early… Continued

The ‘Touch’ Cue: Its Many Uses and How to Train It

Targeting is a behavior in which a dog uses a particular area of their body to target something. This is often your dog’s nose to your hand, but it has many other applications such as a chin target, a back foot target, a shoulder target, or for your dog to go to a specific location such as a mat, their bed or a station.    Targeting is beneficial because it directs the dog to where you want them to go or what you want them to do with their body… Continued

Teaching Puppies and Dogs to Love Their Harnesses

    Introducing your puppy to a harness for the first time can be daunting for you both. For many puppies, the first time they wear a harness is often the first time they go for a walk- but it shouldn’t be! Outside has lots of new sights, sounds and smells they may never have experienced. This coupled with a strange piece of equipment they’ve never worn before and your puppy’s first walks can turn out to be a disaster. If you’ve rehomed a new dog, or purchased a new… Continued

Looking at Dog Training with Fresh Eyes

You have your treats ready. Maybe you have a clicker and a treat pouch too and you’re ready to train your dog. Yippee! Setting up structured training sessions where you do your homework from puppy or dog training classes is common, isn’t it? But what happens outside of these sessions? Do you ever think to yourself, “I’m not training now.”? Well, we have news for you! While we might not think we’re actively training, our dogs are always learning. They’re either learning that things they do get them rewards from… Continued

‘Excessive‘ Barking – Are There Any ‘Quick Fixes’ That are Humane?

“Oh, I LOVE it when my dog shouts at the mail carrier and won’t be quiet when I ask him to,” said no one ever! Don’t we all love a quick fix? If only there was a quick way to make our dogs be quiet…well, one that’s humane that is.   You see, there are many ‘quick fixes’ in dog training and some of them make your eyes water and are really not very nice for your dog. We love our dogs, don’t we? So there’s no need to go… Continued

Separation Anxiety in Puppies and Dogs

Is your dog struggling to be left on their own? Do you wish you knew how to help them feel better when you’re not there?   Prevention of Separation Anxiety in Puppies   Puppies are not designed to be on their own. Every inch of them wants to be with a carer for their survival. Once we understand that bit, it helps us move on with their alone training.   Here are our top tips to help prevent Separation Anxiety in puppies:   Don’t leave your puppy to cry it… Continued

Six Tips to Keep At-Home Dog Training Fun and Consistent

Keeping up the consistency of training your dog at home, when you don’t have a dog trainer looking over your shoulder or need to be top of the class can be hard! Let’s be honest, there is a lot of other stuff we do at home, and sometimes training our dogs takes a back seat, to you… know ALL THAT OTHER life stuff! But training relies on keeping things consistent and interesting; there aren’t any shortcuts, honestly. Dogs learn through repetition and being rewarded for things we want them to… Continued

Top Tips to Help Your New Dog or Puppy Settle In

Bringing a new puppy or dog into your home can be one of the most wonderful times for you and your family. It can also sometimes feel pretty overwhelming! There’s so much to think about, isn’t there? We thought we’d help you out and provide some top tips on settling in that new furry member of the family, so your new dog days can be just like the fairytale books tell you! Get a routine Puppies and dogs thrive on a routine. It gives a new dog confidence to know… Continued