Category Archives: Dog doc – reader’s questions

6 Tips to Deal With Problem Puppy Behaviour

Damage Limitation: 6 ways to help you manage your puppy

This week I have been asked for advice from a few people having to deal with all the usual puppy issues. I thought it would be helpful to share some of my experiences and thoughts with you.

Puppies are so annoying and challenging! They just don’t do what we think they will. We imagine our life with a wonderful dog and it just doesn’t seem like that straight away. I have written about this a few times, including in the post about getting the perfect dog. One of the biggest problems is that we don’t ‘speak dog‘ and irritatingly, they don’t speak human! I saw a post about an app that claimed to help you speak dog (it was rubbish).

Problem puppy
Gorgeous Rusty

Seriously though, there are ways of understanding our dogs and coping with their behaviours. Sometimes, it’s about managing that behaviour, rather than trying (and failing) to change it. Here are my top 6 annoying behaviours that you might find it easier to manage than to train away.

Barking at the doorbell

The doorbell rings, the dog barks. Fact. I was thinking this morning about how you might train this association out of your dog. You might be able to do this by sitting calmly with your dog, completely ignoring the doorbell. Acting as though nothing has happened.

Of course you can’t do that, because if the doorbell rings, you MUST answer it! So what happens when the bell rings? You react. You get up, you go out, you answer the door, you speak. In the past, someone would then enter the house. These are all actions that are exciting for your dog. So if you have to answer the door, your dog very quickly learns that they MUST bark!

Problem puppy behaviour
Luna is better than any doorbell

Our natural instinct in this situation is to shout at the dog to be quiet. SHUT UP! What the dog hears now is you joining in with the barking. That’s a brilliant game! He barks, you bark. How exciting!

ACTION: When the doorbell rings, calmly put the dog away in another room. Don’t speak to your dog, or touch it more than you have to. Shut the door and go and answer the front door. It’s not very exciting for the dog and nothing much happens. NB: You will NOT stop your dog barking. Don’t try. Just manage the situation.

Barking at squirrels, cats and birds from the window

This is almost exactly the same as the doorbell situation, with a pretty similar solution. Barking at squirrels, cats and birds is a dog’s job. It’s what they live for. So if you have a dog that can sit at a window and watch other animals in the garden, they will obviously bark at them. You should be saying “Good boy! Well done for barking and doing your dog job”. I’m guessing you don’t do that?

Problem puppy behaviour
It’s a CAT!

ACTION: Don’t let your dog sit at the window and bark, unless you like him doing it. Don’t shout at him (joining in). Just move him away from the window. Move your furniture around if you have to. Block off part of the window with frosting. Best of all, put your dog in a part of the house with no access to a view of the garden.

Then spend time with your dog, just chillin’. Watch TV together, or sit and work, with your dog lying calmly at your feet. Then take him for a nice walk, off lead, where he can chase those pesky squirrels and bark at all the birds!

Coming when called

Recall of your dog is the subject of whole training courses. I have written several posts about recall on this website (search ‘recall‘). But it’s a massive issue for everyone and the one thing that causes endless hassle. Because if your dog doesn’t come when you call it, you can’t let it off the lead. You can’t open the front door without worrying he will run off. You’re always on tenterhooks in case he runs onto a road.

ACTION: Let’s get straight to it. The easiest way to get your dog to come back to you is TO PRACTISE! I don’t mean when you are out on a walk and you get to the end of it and want to put him back on the lead. I mean every 5 minutes!

Ounce is nearly 4 years old and I STILL practise recalling her a few times every day on our walks. ‘Ounce come!’ and then give her a treat.

Start in the house. Call your dog “Dog come!” Use their name, with the word come. Be clear and exciting, positive and purposeful. Wait for them to come and then give a reward. This can be a tasty treat, or a toy and a game, or a fuss and a pat, or just a bit of lovely praise. “Well done! What a good boy.”

When you dog comes to you around the house, they are more likely to come when you are out. If you are interesting and rewarding, why wouldn’t they want to be with you?

Running up to other dogs

Following on from the challenge of recall, we have the problem of your dog running up to other dogs. This is often an unwanted behaviour, because the other dog may not be friendly. Again, I’m afraid the solution is PRACTISE RECALL! It really is that simple.

ACTION: You need to teach your dog to have good manners. Your dog needs to be able to say hello politely and to come away when needed. It takes time and patience, but it can be achieved.

dog greeting, problem puppy
Nice to meet you

I saw a lovely example of a young German Shepherd puppy, around four months old, doing exactly this. The owner engaged the pup with a toy before we were near. As we walked past, the owner had gone ahead, so the pup inevitably came jauntily up to my dogs. They weren’t impressed, but the pup was already learning that bouncing and jumping were not required. The owner then called the pup and off it went to its dad. Hurray! How lovely. Of course it will get worse before it’s perfect, as the dog hits adolescence, but hey, it’s a work in progress.

Barking at other dogs

Dogs bark at other dogs because they are either excited or scared. When dogs are off lead they rarely bark at other dogs, so that’s the easiest action to take. Again, a good recall is vital.

If your dog is on lead, you can start by deciding whether he is desperate to play with the other dogs, or worried that they might come near you. If they are worried, is that because you are worried?

problem puppy behaviour
What do you think dad?

ACTION: Ignore the other dog. It means nothing to you. It is of no interest. Your dog? Your dog is fantastic! You want to play with your dog! The more exciting, interesting and confident you are, the less your dog will take any notice of other dogs. Please DO NOT stand still, anxiously gripping your dog’s lead and worrying that the other dog might rush over to attack you and your dog? Honestly, most dogs have better things to do.

Dogs who live together mating (or trying to)

I’m including this last point because someone contacted me about this specific situation. I was really disappointed that a breeder had sold her brother and sister pups and not told her how to deal with this situation. I also felt the vet should have advised getting the male castrated at 6 months. Although we like to try and leave neutering a bit longer these days, some situations make it more important to get it done. We do NOT want accidental matings, particularly of brother and sister!

So can you train this behaviour out of your dogs? You could more easily hold back the sea. Of course you can keep them shut in different rooms, but you may well end up with howling, scratching dogs, off their food and generally being a complete wreck.

Sisters and brother together

ACTION: Send one of your dogs (usually the boy) to stay with family or friends. This is another case of ‘damage limitation’ and honestly, it is much better to have peace of mind than try and manage it.

The first week of a bitch’s season is usually not too bad. Once they stop bleeding as much, they are fertile and that’s when the fun starts. So be prepared and take the easy action to manage your problem puppies?

I hope you find this helpful. Good luck with your puppy!

Remember..

Please CONTACT ME if you want to know more about me and my dogs?  And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think.  If you want to know more, why not FOLLOW ME?  Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.

Enrichment Activities for your Dog – Guest Post by Karen Young

This post is taken from Karen Young’s website: Safe Hands Clinical Canine Massage

Is every day feeling like Groundhog Day?

Groundhog Day is an American custom held on the 2nd February every year. If the hibernating Groundhog comes out of its den to sunshine he will see his shadow. Legend states this will mean 6 more weeks of winter and so the Groundhog will return to his den and go back to sleep. If the day is cloudy with no shadows the Groundhog will stay out of his den and spring is just around the corner. I am definitely hoping for cloudy!

Of course, Groundhog Day is better known in the UK for the 1993 Andie MacDowell and Bill Murray film where every day is literally the same day, over and over again. With Covid restrictions, home learning and working and limited entertainment options I have a much better understanding of how Bill Murray’s character would have felt.

Resting dog
Life can be boring for our dogs

An opportunity for our dogs

But perhaps, this year has also given us an amazing opportunity to relate better to our pets and particularly our dogs. Most dogs live in a permanent state of Groundhog day. They are completely reliant on us and we usually set their daily routine at least during the week.

I realise that our dogs are no longer wolves, but if you compare the variety involved in a wolf packs day – socialising, playing, sleeping, hunting, patrolling, arguing, exploring and investigating throughout the day – with the average UK dog you may begin to see what I mean.

We have all been at home more over the last year and our dogs will have got used to our presence and our new routines. But as the metaphorical spring – with the roll out of vaccinations – is around the corner our routines are likely to change once more. This could mean our dogs will once again be left for extended periods of time and the days become even more regimented once more. There are likely to be some behavioural issues associated with separation anxiety, boredom and general stress for many of our dogs as they try to cope.

There are many blogs out there on helping your dog with separation anxiety so I won’t go into any detail here. But there are simple things you can do to help your dog break out of the routine and enhance your dogs quality of life.

Enriching your dog’s life can help your dog relax and cope

There are many things you can do to enrich your dogs life experiences, here are just a few:

Learning & Training

Most dogs love to learn, but many will only experience ‘training’ as puppies whilst we teach them the things we expect from them – toilet training, sitting, recall, stay, lead walking and oddly, give paw.

Canine Conditioniing
Karen’s dog Eva learning to pick up her feet

But dogs, like us, love to learn throughout their lives. Teaching new skills can be extremely rewarding – why not try to teach them to walk backwards, spin (both ways), shake on command, stretch, or take them to a fun agility class?

Your dogs ability to learn is often limited by your own imagination and you only need to watch dogs ‘dancing to music’ to see how much they can really do.

“Tidy Up” by Helen Greenley, Animal Behaviourist, Aberdeenshire

Feeding

For many dogs their dinners are the highlight of their day. But given that most dogs are fed in a bowl and the food is gone in seconds this highlight is very short lived. Feeding using interactive feeders will mean your dog is using their body and brain. Eating is slowed down making the whole process far more rewarding and also more natural.

Your dogs’ ancestors would hunt, catch, kill and eat their prey. Simulating some of this behaviour with scatter feeding, hiding food and feeding out of slow feeders such as Kong will all mimic their natural behaviours. Feeding raw bones, hairy ears and cartilage based food (such as tracheae, chicken feet and bird necks) can also take your dog longer to eat and will give them valuable nutrients. There are lots of excellent independent pet shops that will be able to advise you on this, my personal favourite is McGrumpy and Snuffles, in Aylesbury.

Little Mia, above, has some neck pain, so this fun food game is also really helpful for getting her to stretch her neck downwards.

Play and Exercise

Dog balancing on a fallen tree
Eva loves to get higher and walk on obstacles

All dogs need opportunities to express themselves and explore their world. This is one of the reasons dogs need to go out for walks, so why not look at ways you can enrich this experience for them.

Taking their favourite toys out on walks and hiding them for your dog to find can be super rewarding for your dog. If your dog is ball obsessed reconsider using a ball thrower – I have already produced a blog on why I don’t particularly like them. You can always use the ball as a reward for some impromptu training. Why not train a send away, reinforce the recall or a sit and stay?

Dog with legs crossed
Benji supervising my blog writing

Sniffing and exploring

Let your dog sniff and explore their area. I see too many dogs being marched around on walks with owners or dog walkers completely focussed on their phones. But walking the dog is a sociable activity for most dogs. If they were part of a dog pack they would often go off together to patrol or explore and they would communicate and interact with each other whilst on the move. If you are on your phone you are missing an excellent opportunity to really bond with, and deepen your relationship with your dog.

Dogs are incredible, intelligent, loving and loyal and deserve the very best from us. I would love to hear what you will be doing differently to enrich your dogs life.

The things your dog can learn are limited by your imagination.

Playing Dead

Remember..

Please CONTACT ME if you want to know more about me and my dogs?  And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think.  If you want to know more, why not FOLLOW ME?  Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.

Thank you to Karen for letting me share one of her excellent blog posts. There is a lot more information on her website: Safe Hands Clinical Canine Massage. If you would like me to share one of your blog posts, please get in touch?

Top Tips to Finding A Dog Trainer

How to find a dog trainer to suit you and your dog

As an Assured Breeder, registered with and inspected by the Kennel Club, I am required to provide advice to all my new puppy owners. This puppy pack includes a few basic training tips, such as ‘let your puppy off lead on the first walk!

dog trainer

The Puppy Pack also includes advice about finding a suitable trainer for you and your puppy to attend. Before this year, my advice related to going along to classes in person. Now we have to consider alternatives, but I am going to talk about both options.

A trained dog is a happy dog

House training aside, every puppy needs to be taught good manners and have constructive lessons in basic control and social interaction. This includes:

  • Responding to its name
  • Learning how to greet and behave politely around other people and dogs
  • To come back when called (see my posts on recall for details)
  • To walk nicely on the lead
  • To sit down and stay on command
  • To allow itself to be groomed and examined by you and your vet
dog trainer

Dog training classes

Most if not all owners can benefit from attending good training classes, and training in the company of other dogs is very useful, because of the realistic distractions it involves. Ideally, you should start your classes as soon as your puppy’s vaccinations are complete, but classes can be invaluable for older dogs too.

dalmatian

There are various different styles of dog training and it is naturally important that you find a class and training instructors with the right approach for you and your puppy. You can find training classes by using the Kennel Club’s Find a Club service. You can also ask your vet and other dog owners for recommendations, or see my recommendation below. Dog training can be lots of fun and very rewarding.

A trained dog is a happy dog, and a happy dog makes for a happy owner too.

Finding the best dog training club

Before enrolling with a dog training club it can be beneficial to go and visit several classes first (without your puppy) to make sure you have made the right choice. Things you may wish to consider include:

  • Do you like what you see – are the trainers friendly, are people happy and enjoying training their dogs?
  • Are the dogs happily focused on their human family?
  • Are the instructors giving lots of encouragement and information to all attendees?
  • Are the instructors maintaining a controlled, safe environment for all?
  • Are instructors treating everyone fairly and meeting the needs of the whole group?

Some of these points still apply to online classes, but let’s consider these in more detail.

dog training

Online or In-person?

Since before the pandemic, dog trainers have realised that some elements of dog training can be done online. During the first Lockdown, we all had to adapt and good trainers have been able to transfer the majority of their training to be done remotely.

A good online dog trainer, will provide a range of tuition methods:

  • Live video calls to a small group, covering the topic for that week’s lesson
  • Use of a ‘demo dog’ to show how to carry out the instructions and reward the dog
  • The opportunity to watch the recording of the class later, for revision or if the live class has been missed
  • The chance to post videos of your own training to a private group
  • A way of asking questions and receiving feedback

There are pros and cons to both types of classes, in my view.

It is easier to attend an online class, especially if you can watch a recording later on. No travelling or parking issues. Very useful if your dog is not yet good at travelling.

You might feel that an online class will make it harder to ‘show off’ your dog’s training and discuss the issues you are having. I believe this is not the case. It is much better to watch the trainer’s explanations and demonstrations without your puppy messing around/ barking at other dogs/ weeing on the floor. Honestly, it can be really hard to manage your puppy whilst sitting in a draughty hall. Much better to sit calmly at home, paying attention to the lesson. Then go away and practice, in your own time.

dog trainer

Once you’ve mastered the lesson, or if you are having problems with it, posting a video showing where you’re at is a great way for your trainer to see what is happening. What might seem confusing and tricky to you will soon be sorted by your trainer. I highly recommend Adam Delderfield at Delders Dogs for expert online training.

Group interaction is so useful

One of the nice things about going along to an in-person class is meeting other puppy owners. You can show off your baby! It is lovely comparing notes and hearing that they are going through all the crap (literally) that you are going through.

But this can be done easily through a private social media group. These days we are pretty adept at communicating in this way. My Sweetie Litter were the first to have their own WhatsApp group and they talk to each other most days, even after 18 months! We are currently discussing neutering and relationships with our vets 🙂

Practice makes perfect

Whomever you go to for training, just going, engaging and practising the lessons will make your dog better. Building your relationship with your dog is the key element of the training sessions and the value of this cannot be over-emphasised. Please go and please practise and please, please put in the effort to train your dog? Your dog will thank you 🙂

For specific help with behaviour issues, I very much recommend a specialist such as Dan Callaghan at MK Dog Behaviour and Training.

Recommended trainers

As mentioned above, I recommend online classes at Delders Dogs and specialist behaviour support from MK Dog Behaviour and Training.

I also recommend Nicole Vento from the The Calm Canine Academy. Please visit the website to find out more about their training methods and the services they offer. When you book training with any of these people, please mention me? Thanks!

Remember..

Please CONTACT ME if you want to know more about me and my dogs?  And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think.  If you want to know more, why not FOLLOW ME?  Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.

How to Say Hello

“Don’t worry, he’s friendly!”

This is the phrase most hated by dog owners the world over. I have seen many, many rants on social media over the years, with people furious that yet another dog has barged into their dog, causing a dust-up, resulting in injury, or worse, increasing the fear in their dog that the owner was working so hard to overcome.

dog greeting
nice to meet you – two polite dogs saying hello

Why is it not OK to let your dog rush up to other dogs? They just want to play, right? They don’t mean any harm, so it will be fine, won’t it? Your poor dog is desperate for some company and activity and dogs like each other, don’t they?

How would you feel?

Imagine walking along minding your own business. Enjoying the sunshine, listening to some music. Imagine a person running really fast towards you, then stopping two inches from your nose and saying “HELLO! Do you want to play with me?” How would you feel? Yes exactly. Well believe it or not, that’s how most dogs feel.

In fact in can be even worse for a dog. They might be old and infirm, well past their playing days. They might be recovering from an operation, or have an ongoing illness. Dogs can be quite shy and unsure, particularly if they don’t spend much time with other dogs. How would you know if a person felt like this? Would you still bounce into their face to say hello?

dog greeting
tell me about yourself – a calm introduction

It’s also much worse for dogs on the lead. If someone runs towards you looking scary, the natural response might be to run away from them. But if you are attached to a stupid great person, this is not an option. Aargh!

The final reason why a dog approaching another dog is NOT OK is that people become scared. And dogs know that. It is their job to protect their human. So when a dog doesn’t initially want to talk to another dog, their human tries to stop that happening again. But then the dog learns that ALL approaching dogs are scary, so tries to stop that happening. Poor dog.

What should you do?

Teach your dog some manners! You might think this will be difficult but it really doesn’t need to be! It’s exactly the same as your parents teaching you to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. You might remember them saying to you ‘Say please!’ or ‘what do you say?’

You can do that with your dog. When you see another dog, get the attention of your dog. You do NOT need to put them on the lead, but you will need lots of treats and/or a toy (paid ads). It is also essential that you are EXCITING! Be more interesting to your dog than anything else. This might be quite difficult to do, but I promise you, it will pay off.

Get your dog to ‘watch’ you. Say ‘watch’, repeat a few times. Then ‘click’ and reward. The click can just be you saying ‘yes!’ and then stuff some sausage into your dog. Then break off and play with them. I’ve talked about ‘playing with your dog‘ on this post, with a video of a game of tuggy. Have a great toy, (paid ad) and engage with your dog. You can then control their interaction with other dogs more easily.

Can you ever say hello to another dog?

Yes of course. But only when you dog is polite about it! Once you have built up your relationship with your dog and it has learnt some manners, together with a rock solid recall, you should be able to manage their greeting of other dogs. The photos show two beautifully behaved dogs enjoying some calm interaction. It is possible and it is achievable.

dog greeting
now we’re friends – perfect gentlemen

A polite dog greeting another dog is absolutely fine. Hello, how are you? Would you like to play? No? That’s fine, I can have fun with mum or dad instead. Yes? Great! Let’s play! Hurray! It’s lovely to see, isn’t it?

Don’t Panic!

It will go wrong. It’s bound to. Dogs, just like people have to learn and this takes time and practise. Please, please don’t think that because your dog has a ‘bad day’ or a bad experience, that they can’t be let off the lead again? That’s really unfair on your dog and lazy of you. Make the effort to continue practising and allow for some failure.

And if some horrible person starts shouting at you because your dog bounced up to their dog over-exuberantly, please don’t take it out on your dog. Please just apologise to the person and tell them that you are working on it with your dog, but if you don’t try, they’ll never learn?

Help is at hand

It is hard to teach these things and usually people need help. I recommend finding a reputable trainer. Here in Milton Keynes we are lucky to have Adam Delderfield, of Delders Dogs. Adam is now primarily an online trainer, but he gives lots of personal support.

I’m also very fortunate that my boy JB lives with Stella, who works alongside Adam. He’s such a polite dog!

Remember..

Please CONTACT ME if you want to know more about me and my dogs?  And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think.  If you want to know more, why not FOLLOW ME?  Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.

4 Ways to Get A Perfect Dog

How to make your dog perfect

perfect dog

If you have a dog already, you might think it is perfect. I do think that Ounce is pretty perfect. She’s certainly pretty! I love her sooo much, almost more than my sons and my husband (well I couldn’t love her more than them, could I?) Is she perfect though? Is anyone really perfect?

Before you get a dog, you have a picture in your mind of ‘life with a dog’. It includes long country walks, kicking up the leaves, with your dog trotting at your side. Is the dog running around off lead, but quickly returning to you when you call it? Or do you imagine a dog like Fenton?

Your ‘perfect dog’ picture might have you sitting on the sofa in front of a fire, with your dog’s head resting lovingly on your knee, while you stroke him. Is the dog farting? No, didn’t think so. Is your dog sitting ON you, so that you can’t really see the TV?

When you have children, they usually want a dog. They imagine a cuddly, fluffy puppy, who snuggles up to them and plays games with them. Perhaps it will be dressed up and pushed around. Or it will run around with them in the garden. Do they see it chewing up a favourite teddy? Or their shoe? Is it being sick on their bedroom carpet?

Here are my 4 key points to help you prepare for life with a dog:

1. Be realistic

Get real. A dog is not a toy. Nor is it a person. A puppy that is cuddly at four weeks does not stay that way. So by the time your puppy arrives home with you, it bites – a lot. The only way to stop this is to manage the behaviour, through distraction and plenty of downtime.

You will need a crate or cage (paid ad) to keep your puppy out of danger while you are not actively watching it. A dog run, or playpen, is ideal to help you manage your puppy. You can make sure they are safe, not chewing up the house, but they have room to run about and play. 

perfect dog

2. Be realistic

A friend with a puppy and a young dog shared a picture of both dogs covered in mud, having been digging in the garden. What a brilliant game for a dog! She did see the funny side of it, but also said “they know they are not supposed to do it”. Er, no. Dogs do NOT understand the difference between right and wrong.

A dog will dig. It will chew. It will destroy things. That is how they work. I was reminded of a little quiz I wrote a while ago about when you should punish your dog. When Busy was a pup she chewed a hole in my curtain. I moved the curtain. She chewed another one. I moved that one. She did it TWICE MORE! Why didn’t I learn the first time? Silly me.

3. Be realistic

Dogs need stimulation and exercise. If you leave a dog on its own at home all day, don’t expect it to be a model of perfection. I have written about separation anxiety and there are many sources of information and advice covering this topic.

Dogs do naturally want to be lying at your feet all day long. But they don’t have to do this. You need a lifestyle that is manageable for you and your dog. Being consistent is perhaps the best thing you can do, whether that is going out for 6 hours a day or just popping out now and again.

If you work away from the home, it is pretty straightforward to find a good dog walker. You need someone who understands dogs and is able to come regularly. A dog walker also has the advantage of walking a number of compatible dogs together, which ensures additional interaction and engagement.

4. Be realistic

Hopefully by now you have realised that getting a dog is NOT a perfect experience. It will only live up to expectations if your expectations are pretty low (and realistic!) You need to imagine the mess, the mud, the wees, the poos, the chewing and digging, the hair. Make sure you include plenty of disaster and a fair amount of heartache.

When I receive an enquiry from someone, I send them an Application Form. I ask them what their selection criteria are for their dog. They must tell me what kind of dog they want, so I can see if they are being realistic and specific about what they want. Do they know that they want a particular breed and why? Have they done some research about what makes their breed so special? Please read my breed blog for ideas on what makes dog breeds different? Or checkout the Kennel Club website, which has mases of information.

I ask people what is the best and worst thing about having a dog. My favourite answer is “getting distracted from chores because all you’d want to do is play with your dog”. Dogs definitely are a good reason not to get on – cuddles and play are always available! Of course the actual worst thing is when they are ill and dying – they’re not here for long and losing your dog will break your heart, I promise you that.

It is hard to imagine something we haven’t had and often the reality does not match our expectations. If you feel overwhelmed, there is plenty of help out there. It is essential to get support from a good dog trainer, such as Delders Dogs. I love that Adam focuses on building a community of people going through the same pain and sharing solutions to all the common problems.

It is hard, having a dog. Not just a puppy, any dog. There is a period of adjustment and sometimes it just doesn’t work out. Much better to admit defeat and find a better home for your dog, than to keep struggling and making you and your dog miserable. I’m not going to say that all problems can be dealt with, because some things are just too difficult to solve.

Is it worth it?

Yes. Yes. Yes. A million times yes. Having a dog will improve your life. For better and worse. For richer for poorer (definitely poorer). In sickness and health. Till death us do part. The joy of having a dog is hard to imagine, but once experienced, almost impossible to live without.

When people say to me “I wanted to wait until the time was right”, it makes me sad. There is no better time to get a dog than right now. Well not right now, because there is a pandemic and we’ve run out of puppies. Because dogs do make things better, especially in troubled times. Good luck with your dog!

Remember..

Please CONTACT ME if you want to know more about me and my dogs?  And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think.  If you want to know more, why not FOLLOW ME?  Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.

Equipment list for your new puppy

New puppy? Everything you need to get started

Bedding

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Most puppies love snuggling into a piece of ‘Vetbed’ or similar. This is a synthetic simulated sheepskin, which is hygienic, machine washable, totally non-allergic and relatively resistant to chewing. It can also help to prevent pressure sores on bigger dogs. Buy at least two pieces so you use one while washing and drying the other.

Crate

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Your puppy needs its own space and safe place.  The crate or cage keeps it safe and out of trouble when it is alone, rather like putting a baby in a cot or playpen.  It also helps to teach the puppy that it does need to rest and so do you.

When ordering a crate for your puppy, buy one big enough for it to lie in stretched out and standing up in when it is fully grown (medium). Make sure that the mesh is not too big as puppies may get their mouths caught.  Put some bedding inside and tie some toys in the far end of the crate so the puppy has to go in there to play with them. Gently place your puppy in there whenever it falls asleep. Leave occasional treats in the crate for the puppy to find, so the puppy learns to love going in there.

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A handy hint to ensure that your puppy is eager to enjoy the safety and calm of the crate is to feed him in there, with bowls like these. Then, quietly close the door. Puppies love to search and sniff for pieces of food, and once they have found and eaten everything, they often settle down and drift into sleep for an hour or so.

This gives you a chance to do other things without worrying about what the puppy is up to, and it is a good experience for the puppy to curl up and sleep in the cot by choice.  You can gradually increase the time the puppy stays in the crate and initially this should be whilst you are in the room with it.

More information about crates can be found on this separate post.

Runs

Ellie-Bo Heavy Duty Modular Puppy Exercise Play/ Whelping Pen, 158 x 158 x 100 cm, 8 Pieces

A dog run, or playpen, like this one is ideal to help you manage your puppy. You can make sure they are safe, not chewing up the house, but they have room to run about and play. You can put down paper, or puppy pads, so that they don’t have to toilet in their bed.

Collars

Dogs & Horses UK – purple rolled leather collar

Dogs & Horses make beautiful collars and leads.  They are hard-wearing and comfortable for you and your dogs.  I highly recommend them!

Choose a comfortable collar that is suitable for the size and age of puppy. Puppies grow rapidly and collars should be checked almost daily for condition and fit. These should not be so loose that they can slip over your puppy’s head or so tight that you cannot slip two fingers underneath. Some are connected by a plastic catch, remember they are not as strong as the traditional buckle.

Leads

Choose a lead that is suitable for the size of your puppy, not too long, too short or too heavy. A good rope lead is both strong and comfortable on your hands. Chain leads can hurt your hands, but may be useful if you have a puppy that likes to chew or carry its lead in its mouth. Nylon leads are strong, but can hurt your hands. Whatever type you choose, make sure you attach it to the ‘D ring’ of the collar and not onto the split ring that attaches the identity disc to the collar, as this is not strong enough to take the weight of your dog.  Particular attention should be paid to the catch/ clip which must be strong and not liable to break or straighten. You can also use a harness to help manage a pulling dog.

Please do not use an extendable lead – it will teach your puppy to pull against it all the time and stop him from having a good run around.  Before they are able to go out, practise the recall in the garden, with lots of treats.  Then when you do go out, let them off the lead straight away.  The outside world will be big and scary and they will want to come back to you, trust me!  Give plenty of praise and treats and keep on recalling and rewarding all through the walk.  Before your puppy is 3 months old you will have a good strong recall and no need of an extendable lead.

If you really feel that this is going to be too difficult, buy a Long Line.  This is like a piece of rope around twenty feet long.  You put the puppy on one end and stand on the other end.  Let him go off for a wander and then call him back after a few minutes.  If he doesn’t respond, give a gentle tug on the line to attract his notice, then call and reward.  Do NOT pull him back to you – he has to want to come back.  The line is for your security, that’s all.  Please DO NOT chase your dog, you will not teach him to come back to you that way!  He must want to come back to you on his own.

Identity Disc

You are required by law (The Control of Dogs Order 1992) to inscribe the name and address of the owner on the collar or on a plate or disc attached to it. You must comply with this, even if the dog is microchipped, and you can be fined up to £5,000 if you do not. You may also want to put your telephone numbers on the tag, but you do not need to put your dog’s name on it.  Engraved discs are better than barrel types, which often undo and lose their contents.  

Interesting toys

It is very important that your puppy has a range of toys to play with, otherwise it might chew on your things, instead of its own. Chew toys also provide mental stimulation, help to keep your dog’s teeth clean and allow it to exercise its jaws. Select toys for your puppy carefully – some may be too small and might choke your puppy whilst other items might splinter. You should also have toys that you can play with interactively, like balls on ropes and tuggies, so that you can have fun with your puppy.

Do not let your puppy play with sticks, golf or squash balls. All these things can easily get stuck in the throat and cause damage or even death. For this reason, it is important to bear in mind the size of your puppy and the size of the chew or toy you decide to purchase. If a chew becomes too small after a prolonged period of chewing, do not take the risk, throw the chew away. Remember, spending money on toys is preferable to having your house and furniture chewed!

Kong chews are invaluable for keeping your puppy entertained while you are away from them.  If you fill it with treats and freeze it, this will keep your pup busy for quite a while!  It is also good for when they are teething.

Food and water bowls

You will need separate bowls for water and food. Make sure fresh water is always available for your puppy.  Metal bowls are unbreakable, safe from chewing and easy to keep clean.

These are the best water bowls for the car, as they do not spill (although they can be a bit of a pain to fill up!)

 Prestige Road Refresher Non Spill Pet Water Bowl

Food

I feed my dogs Royal Canin.  I give them the Medium Starter first of all, moving onto Puppy when they are 8 weeks old.  I feed the adults a mix of Royal Canin Adult and Aging, depending on the amount of work (agility) they are doing.

There are many different types of dog food and many arguments for and against each type.  You can read my thoughts in this post. I feed Royal Canin because they eat it, I can order it online in large sacks and they look and behave well on it.

Car harness, travelling crate or dog guard

A dog should travel either behind a dog guard, secured with a car seat harness or, ideally, in a travel crate or fixed car crate. A crate gives a dog its own space and ensures both safety and comfort. If you have space for a crate then this provides a safe haven for your puppy in the car. There is nothing worse than seeing a dog squashed in a car with luggage piled up around it.

Accustom your puppy to car travel with short trips at first ideally when the puppy is tired so it will go to sleep. If the puppy is car sick try fixing the crate on the back seat as the car sways far more at the back which can cause travel sickness.

Microchipping

It is a legal requirement for all dogs to be microchipped and for this to be done by the breeder.  You will need to change the details of the registered owner with Petlog – details will be provided in your packs.

Poo Bags

You are required by law (Clean Neighbourhoods & Environment Act 2005) to clear up after your dog in public areas and dispose of the bag in an appropriate bin, so you will need a supply of poo bags, sandwich bags or nappy sacks to take with you whenever you are out with your puppy.

Grooming equipment

Border Collies do not require a great deal of grooming, believe it or not! Other breeds might need a full grooming kit, but Border Collies need a rake style brush to clear out the undercoat, nail clippers and a tangle teaser to ease through the matted bits that collect around their bottoms. See the post about grooming for more information.

Doggy toothpaste and toothbrush

Gum disease is far too common in middle-aged dogs and can lead to all sorts of health problems, so it pays to brush your puppy’s teeth. Use special canine toothpaste, which comes in tasty flavours and does not foam (unlike human toothpaste) with a special rubber thimble for dogs’ teeth.

Dog shampoo

Dogs only really need to be bathed when they have been swimming or have rolled in something smelly. Use a dog shampoo or a mild human shampoo and put a non-slip mat down if using the bath. Towel drying your puppy is important and will get it used to being dried when it comes home wet from a walk.  Ketchup is a great way to get rid of the smell of fox poo.  Rub it into the area, then shampoo out.  Works like magic!

2nd dog: why, when and how

Top tips on getting a second dog

When you have a great dog, whom you love to bits, it’s very natural to think that having a second one will be fantastic. Twice the love, twice the fun, twice the happy times, right? Usually, that’s true. However, I know people who keep their older dog muzzled in the house to make sure it doesn’t kill the younger ones. I know someone with stair gates all over their house to keep their dogs separated. There are people who find their lives ‘ruled’ by their dogs; they can’t go out for too long, or they can’t have visitors, or they don’t go on walks because it is too stressful.

second dog
Mother and daughter – always together

Why bother getting a second dog?

What are the advantages of adding a second dog to your family? As I’ve said above, it should mean, twice the love, fun and happy times. In reality, the number 1 reason is: to make your first dog’s life better. Your first dog should enjoy having another dog to lie around with. They should play together and run about together.

Why have one couch potato when you can have two?

If you regularly leave your dog, especially for long periods, then a second dog should make that much easier. The two dogs can stand and bark at everything together! Seriously, if you have a dog that barks or howls when left, you probably need to tackle that issue first. Having a second dog could easily just mean twice the noise! Yes, they will be happier, but your neighbours might not be..

Ask yourself: What is my dog’s current life like? Do they seem happy with just me (and the family) for company? Do we hang out together, most of the time? Or do they just prefer to go off on their own? Not all dogs are sociable – some prefer their own company. When you are out and about, does your dog desperately want to rush up to other dogs to play? Or are they happy pottering along with you? If other dogs come over, does your dog say hi? If they aren’t really that bothered, they probably won’t be that fussed about another dog in the house.

Playing happily

When is the right time to introduce a second dog?

This is a tricky one. Most people don’t really think about it, or only in relation to what they want. Some people love their first dog so much they can’t wait to get more. Other people struggle with the ‘puppy stage’ and it take them years to consider going through that again. Or they might feel that it’s better to get a rescue, older dog to add to their family.

Don’t forget – twice the dogs means twice the mud!

Consider what your dog wants? When I got my first dog, a re-homing from my mum, she was 8 years old. She’d been fourth in a pack of five and had got ‘lost in the crowd’. Rue adored being my dog and being with my sons who were babies at the time. She kept to herself and enjoyed coming along with us.

Then we got a puppy, Buzz, when Rue was 11. It was a mistake from day one. Rue hated the intrusion. She was old and set in her ways and was a bit stiff. He was a really sociable, outgoing dog, who loved to chat to others when he was out, unlike Rue. When Buzz was 8 years old, after a few years of him being on his own, we got Sunny.

second dog
Buzz (left) gazing adoringly at his Sunny.

Buzz was SO HAPPY! He absolutely loved her! Buzz spent the next seven years following her lead, enjoying being with her and engaging with whatever was going on. It really improved his life to have her. (She completely ignored him.)

Not too young, not too old

One more story: When Aura was just 18 months old, I got Busy. This was not planned, but hey ho, there she was, my fourth dog at the time. Again, Aura hated her! Eventually, they talked to each other, but they’ve never played together. Aura is a jealous, demanding dog – she’d love to be on her own with her owner – it would suit her far better.

second dog
Not really friends, exactly

I won’t home my puppies to someone with a dog aged much more than 8 years old. If you’ve got that far with just one, you should stick with it. Likewise, I would never choose a home with a dog younger than two. You need to have your first dog mature, well trained and established.

Dogs do get jealous in my opinion. They do feel resentment and they do have friends. Don’t expect it will be brilliant. It might not be. Pay attention to what your dog wants, please?

Second dog
A happy family

How to introduce a second dog?

Just a brief guide to bringing that second dog into your home. It’s exactly like when you have a second child. Don’t expect it to be easy, or quick. Take it slowly and pay attention to your older dog.

When the Lovely Litter went off to their homes, three went to families with older dogs. All three puppies were initially ignored by the older dog. The owners made sure that they were never left alone together. Allow for the fact that a new dog, whether a puppy or a bit older, will be annoying. So manage their time together? Watch them playing, or just being around each other.

second dog
These two are NOT friends

Top tip from a dog training friend I heard this week: take turns giving them treats. Say their name, give a treat. Then the other one’s name, give a treat. They understand turn-taking. Give attention to both, starting with the older one. Feed the older one first.

Above all, make sure you spend plenty of time with both dogs individually. This is vital to ensure you bond with the younger dog and train it effectively. You won’t get as much focus or engagement from either dog when they are together. If you can, try to ensure you have some special time with your older dog each week. They will really appreciate it.

Finally..

Should the second dog be related to the first? I don’t think it makes that much difference, to be honest. They will either get on, or they won’t. You can manage that and make it happen.

second dog
Happy days

Sometimes though, the personalities clash and they just don’t get on. If they are not improving each others’ lives after a few months, it’s probably worth re-homing the younger dog. Of course you need to give it time and make the effort to train both dogs, but maybe a different home is a better solution. Good luck!

Ask for help?

You are very welcome to CONTACT ME to ask for my advice.  I can help you with a variety of issues and problems around getting a dog and suggestions for tackling training issues.  Go to the What Dog? page for more information on my service.

Please let me know if you have found this post helpful?

Remember..

Please CONTACT ME if you want to know more about me and my dogs?  And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think.  If you want to know more, why not FOLLOW ME?  Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.

Rescue or Rehome?

rescue or rehome
Beautiful dogs in the wrong place

Doing the right thing

It is very fashionable these days to have a ‘rescue’ dog, isn’t it? Celebrities do it, so it must be the right thing to do, mustn’t it? Rescuing sounds heroic – we are taking a dog that’s had a terrible time and giving it a much better life, aren’t we great!

It’s not quite that simple. I’ve already talked about whether you should get a dog from a rescue or a breeder and covered a number of points. Now I want to focus specifically on the difference between going to a rescue centre vs finding a dog the ‘old-fashioned’ way, through word of mouth. In other words, taking on a dog straight from the unsuitable home it has been in.

Why re-home a dog?

There are lots of reasons why a dog might not be suitable for the home it is in. Circumstances change. Many people take on a dog believing that they are in a position to cope with it, only to find that their job changes, or they have to move house, or their relationship status changes.

Often though, people simply don’t appreciate how challenging it can be to have a dog in your home. What looks cute and fluffy as a puppy turns out to be a weeing, pooing, chewing nightmare! Parents often decide they simply don’t have time to cope with a dog as well as their children.

rescue or rehome
It’s not his fault

Where to start rehoming a dog?

If you are feeling overwhelmed with your dog, please start by talking about it to a few people? You might be surprised that other people have similar problems with their dog. Sometimes talking it through can help you see things differently and keep things in perspective.

If people agree that for whatever reason, your dog is not in the best place, it is worth asking around to see if someone can offer a better home. This has happened to people I know a few times. I have been able to ask my contacts in the dog world, who have passed the message on.

Of course you still want to ‘vet’ anyone who offers to re-home your dog. I remember the first time I did this, I was quite anxious about meeting the person who was interested in the dog. I didn’t need to worry, they were one of the nicest people I’ve ever met! They took the dog and gave him an AMAZING home! It was everything I wanted for him. They were young enough to take him for long walks, had other dogs to keep him company and were experienced enough to cope with his quirks.

A better home makes a better dog

More recently, I helped move on a super dog with no faults, who just didn’t really fit into the home he was in. Once again, through contacts and messages, a more suitable home was found. When I asked how things were going, I received this response:

He’s doing really well. They’re so proud of him, meeting grandchildren, family members, other dogs etc. They can’t believe how well he walks on lead. They adore him, which makes me so happy.”

Isn’t that lovely? As much as the dog was previously loved, the owner knew it wasn’t the best fit for him. He’s happy now.

Rescue centres – pros and cons

A few months ago there was a super series, called ‘The Dog House‘ about Wood Green Animal Rescue. It really clearly showed all the ins and outs of rehoming: the trauma of bringing the dog in and leaving it (including the dog being upset). Then the people coming in being vetted and helped to realise that what they thought they wanted might not be the best fit for them. You saw the dogs having to make a good first impression and how challenging that was for some of them.

What was most upsetting about the series, was how many of the dogs shown were taken home by the people, only to be returned, sometimes after as long as a month. Heartbreakingly, many dogs who end up in a rescue go backwards and forwards into a number of homes. How much better to go straight from one home to another, forever?

rescue or rehome

Remember..

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Grooming your dog: Tops tips for a beautiful dog

Grooming: how do you keep your dog in tip top condition?

Following on from my post about the Spanish Water Dog I thought I would re-visit the issue of grooming for a dog.  Ask yourself: how lazy am I?  Then ask yourself: how rich am I?  I think these are the two key questions when considering what dog will suit you.  This is particularly important when thinking about the care your dog will need relating to its grooming requirements.grooming

Long or short coat?

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that dogs with short coats require less care than dogs with long coats.  Common sense tells us that a Labrador will not need as much grooming as a Border Collie, for example.  Or will it?  Labradors have what is know as a ‘shedding coat’ which comes out all the time, scattering fine, short hairs throughout the house, sticking to every surface and getting into food.

As a result, short-haired dogs still need grooming.  Regular brushing will stop the hair being scattered everywhere.  You will also find that short-haired dogs tend to smell more, because dirt becomes trapped in the hair, prompting the need for more regular baths.  Dogs like the Spanish Water Dog, Spaniels and Labradors also love the water, so will find puddles and ponds to jump into at every available opportunity.

Moulting coats

Border Collies have a ‘moulting coat’, which comes out in armfuls once or twice a year.  Over a three week period, you will have ‘tumbleweeds’ around the house and may have to vacuum behind the sofas.  After that, not much hair comes out.  If you brush during those three weeks you can definitely reduce the impact, although you will be astonished with just how much hair comes from one dog!

Other care required for a Border Collie, (as with most dogs) will include:

  • Nail trimming – their nails must be clipped or trimmed
  • cutting out tats – sometimes Border Collies get hair clumped into tats, which have to be cut out. This is partly because they don’t need brushing on a daily basis.  Their hair is silky and usually sorts itself out, but sometimes the fine hair on the belly and round the back legs needs tidying up.

grooming

Hypoallergenic or ‘non-moulting’ coat

This sounds ideal doesn’t it?  A soft, cuddly coat, that doesn’t shed or moult – perfect! Or is it?  Well, in my view, there are a number of issues with this type of coat:

  • it will still come out, just not as much as with shedding or moulting breeds
  • you aren’t guaranteed this type of coat if you have a crossbreed, or so-called designer dog – it will depend on how the mix of breeds comes out in your individual dog
  • dogs with these coats need regular care.  As with collies, their hair will form tats and because it is curly, this is going to happen all over their bodies, on a regular basis.  They will therefore need daily brushing, and/or frequent trips to the grooming parlour.

grooming

NB: Dogs do like to be muddy!  You won’t keep them clean and that’s as it should be.  They need to be outside, running around, smelling smells and exploring.  If you try and cover up their ‘dog smell’ with your silly perfumes and shampoos, they will just go and roll in some more mud.

Using a Grooming Service

I picked up a leaflet for one of these services recently, having never really looked into it before.  Wow, these things cost A LOT of money!  For example:

  • Pug:  Bath, brush and blow dry every 4-6 weeks and Express groom every 6-8 weeks.  Total annual cost: £528
  • Cockapoo:  Bath, brush and blow dry every 4-6 weeks and Full groom every 6-8 weeks.  Total annual cost: £594
  • Newfoundland: Full groom every 6-8 weeks, including de-shedding or hand stripping as required.  Total annual cost: £816

By way of contrast: 

Border Collie:  Stand in a bucket when muddy, clip nails if not worn out by running around, cut out some tats, brush when moulting.  Total annual cost £0.  Lol.

Grooming tools

Of course there are many grooming tools to choose from to enable you to do the expensive stuff yourself.   This deshedding tool looks great and it comes in different colours!

There are also nail clippers to keep their toes trim.  People worry about doing their dog’s nails because if you catch the quick, they bleed profusely.  But the dogs aren’t especially bothered if this happens, and it’s much better to risk that than to have nails that are far too long, as this can be crippling for your dog.

Microchipping

Just a minor point here about microchipping, as the ‘grooming service’ I looked at offers to do this.  From 6th April 2016, all dogs are required by law to be microchipped.  As a breeder, I know that I am legally required to have my puppies microchipped by the time they are 8 weeks old.  I get this done by the vet.  I have to register the pups in my name and then the new owners have to transfer ownership to them.

So, if you are getting a puppy, check before you get it that it has been chipped?  You should therefore be able to trace its ownership back to the breeder.  If you are getting a rescue dog, it should now be chipped before you get it and that chip should be registered to the previous owner.  If not, why not?  There’s not much point having a legal requirement to microchip dogs if this doesn’t allow us to trace ownership of them.

Fundraising for Canine Concern

I am offering my Dentbros Dogs Calendar 2019 for sale within the UK.  You pay £8 +£1.40 p&p and all profit goes to the charity.  Please CONTACT ME to order one?  BUY NOW!

Remember..

Please CONTACT ME if you want to know more about me and my dogs?  And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think.  If you want to know more, why not FOLLOW ME?  Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.

NB: If you read my posts in an email, you may be missing out on the lovely pictures!  Please click through to my website to see the post in all its glory?

Ask for help?

You are very welcome to contact me to ask for my advice.  I can help you with a variety of issues and problems around getting a dog and suggestions for tackling training issues.  Go to the What Dog? page for more information on my new service.

Please let me know if you have found this post helpful?

 

Fireworks and Dogs – how can we help our dogs?

Fireworks: What can I do to help my dog cope?

If you have ever had a dog who is terrified of loud bangs or fireworks, you will know how agonising it can be.   Symptoms include:

  • panting, drooling and whining
  • restlessness and fidgeting
  • anxiety and aggression
  • hiding or scrabbling at furniture.

I remember on the eve of the new Millennium, Buzz was left at home while we went to a neighbour’s to celebrate.  We came home to find he had destroyed a door, trying to escape.  Poor boy!

fireworksIt’s really hard to know what to do.  We want to reassure them, but they don’t really want to hear it.

Ignore it and it will go away

When I first went to training classes with Sunny, I remember being told very clearly “Don’t make a fuss if something scares your dog.  If you cuddle them and fuss them, you are drawing attention to their fear and ‘rewarding them’ for wanting your attention.  Just ignore them and they will realise there is nothing to be afraid of.”

I do understand where this advice is coming from.  If you are anxious about your dog being anxious, they will become more anxious, because they are feeding off your anxiety!  I see this most often when we are out walking and we walk past someone whose dog is ‘nervous of other dogs’.  They have the dog on the lead and are gripping hold of it.  Or they might even be clutching the dog to them – I’ll protect you!  Even if they are just holding the lead though, the owner’s anxiety is being transmitted down that lead to the dog.

It’s a vicious circle; the dog is afraid so you become afraid, so the dog thinks “there must be something to be afraid of” so becomes afraid.  This ‘transmission of emotion’ also happens with horses, as anyone who has been nervous about riding a horse will tell you!  Another example is when you are faced with a dog you don’t know and aren’t sure about – you know that they can ‘smell your fear’.  In fact it is true; dogs (and horses) can smell fear and will react accordingly.

Fireworks – training or ignoring?

Getting back to the fireworks then, how should we tackle it?  If we completely ignore it, we are not helping the dog to cope with it, we are just being mean!  What we need then, is a strategy to positively develop coping behaviour for the dog. There are a number of ways we can tackle this:

fireworks
Thundershirt

  • Provide alternative noise to counteract the bangs, such as a loud radio playing
  • Use a Desensitisation CD for dogs (paid ad)
  • Provide a safe place for the dog to go into, such as a dark corner with a comfy bed or blanket
  • Shut curtains and move the dog away from the bangs if possible
  • Put the dog into a Thundershirt (paid ad)
  • Give the dog medication, obtained from your vet, or buy some calming tablets (paid ad)

The Training Solution

Distraction is a crucial factor in persuading your dog that there is nothing to worry about.  It’s not about ignoring them when they are afraid, as about ignoring their fear – making light of it.  If you can clearly project to them that you are perfectly fine with whatever is going on, in fact you think it’s time to have a game, then the dog may be able to move past it with you.  You need to be convincing!  But if you can get their attention on you and persuade them to play fetch, or do tricks, or even just a bit of rough and tumble, then they are less likely to be thinking about ‘that scary thing’.  So go on, play with your dog?

This works if you are out and another dog goes past.  Thinking to yourself “that’s not an interesting dog, playing with you is much more fun” will help to encourage your dog to ignore other dogs.  They won’t feel the need to protect you.  This also works for bangs and loud noises.

fireworks
This is all a bit boring

Not just fireworks

It is useful to enable your dog to cope with loud bangs, not just for when the fireworks are around, but for all sorts of other things.  Thunderstorms are an obvious one, but also bird scarers, gunshots, hot air balloons, cars backfiring, starter pistols etc.  In fact if you want your dog to become a therapy dog volunteer, they will need to cope with someone dropping something loud beside them.

Eventually, we want a dog who is secure and confident enough to find loud bangs and flashes a bit boring.  Don’t think that you cannot cuddle your dog if they are scared, just make sure that you are not afraid of their fear!

Fundraising for Canine Concern

I am offering my Dentbros Dogs Calendar 2021 for sale within the UK.  You pay £10 + p&p and any profit goes to the charity.  Please CONTACT ME to order one?  BUY NOW!

Remember..

Please CONTACT ME if you want to know more about me and my dogs?  And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think.  If you want to know more, why not FOLLOW ME?  Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.

NB: If you read my posts in an email, you may be missing out on the lovely pictures!  Please click through to my website to see the post in all its glory?