The notion that, when used correctly, choke chains, prong collars and shock collars are good options, is common. We only need to take a look around social media to see these arguments raging on a daily basis. Aren’t we all just animal lovers trying to do the best for our pets? On the whole, yes, … Continue reading Are shock, choke or prong collars ever a good option?
Putting yourself out there is difficult. No matter how well-meaning or uncontroversial you think it is, if you post on social media, you open yourself to the possibility of being vilified. Can you think of a single successful person who isn’t ridiculed or insulted by someone? Politicians, actors, musicians, scientists. You just need to spend … Continue reading The other end of the comment
What's the point of an animals life? In the bigger sense we could conjure up several different answers. Perhaps the point of life is to pass on genetic material to the next generation; perhaps some might think there are religious reasons, or maybe we’ve been looking for reasons for 6 million years where there are … Continue reading Dogs Need Choice
Whenever I post about allowing dogs to sniff, one of the concerns I hear is that sniffing will prevent the dog from walking nicely with the handler. It's not unreasonable to want the dog to be able to walk with us; however, it may create a conflict of interests between what the human wants from … Continue reading Sniffing walks and loose leash walking are not mutually exclusive
At first glance a dog’s neck may seem muscular and strong; easily capable of having a leash and collar attached for walking. After all, it’s what we’ve used for the past umpteen years and it’s able to hold the weight of a heavy head, projecting forward rather than sitting directly above the body as the … Continue reading The reason we should never pull on a dog’s neck?
You’ve probably heard it a hundred times – ‘dogs do what works’. I’m going to tweak this just a little and say ‘dogs do what makes sense to them’. If they get a treat for walking to a particular spot (perhaps a doorway) then, of course, it makes sense to walk towards the doorway; it’s … Continue reading The Curse of the Poisoned Cue
A big concept in training dogs is to find a way of getting the dog to perform a behaviour, then reinforcing that behaviour so they are more likely to perform it again. Once we can predict the behaviour will occur, we add our cue word and Bob's your uncle. However, this often leaves us trying … Continue reading Don’t worry about where you want to be – Be where you are.
The following is a free subchapter of my book 'Dog Training & Behaviour: A guide for everyone'; in the hope that it will help as many people and their dogs as possible. Fear of fireworks and thunderstorms is probably the most common fear-based problem I hear about. A very common misconception has persisted in which … Continue reading Fear of Fireworks
It's easy to add 2 and 2 together, and come up with 4. When we are talking about adding numbers together context doesn't come into it. But behaviour isn't a number. Behaviour always depends on context. In the enrichment group I run, I see many people concerned that allowing a dog to rip open a … Continue reading Behaviour isn’t a number
Recently I read, on social media, that we should not allow our young dogs to play with other dogs. The suggestion was that it causes reactivity or that dogs will injure people as they attempt to play with other dogs. There was also a suggestion that reactivity has increased in line with the practice of … Continue reading Is socialisation causing reactivity?