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Wellness

Does Your Dog Get To Choose Enough?

If you’re a dog owner who likes rules, or you expect a dog to be seen and not heard, show respect to the humans as their pack leader or expect them to act like obedient robots, you would hate this home. 

It’s chaos in this house and the chaos is largely to do with the conduct of the dogs, with Holly (our puppy farm survivor and the smallest Yorkie) right in the middle inciting riots that she might in some way benefit from and she usually does. And there’s positive reinforc…

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Don't Touch The Dog!

You have probably seen the practice of offering a scared dog food from the hand, to associate that food with us as a pleasurable thing. It’s what we do, based on the idea of passing them some nice food to let them know we are friendly. It might even be another evolved habit from our ape ancestors. When a dog is really scared though, an outstretched hand – even with food in it, is enough to set their stress reaction off. The associated vocal encouragement and the fact we are watching to dog to …

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Helping A Scared Dog Through Skilled Engagement

It can be difficult living with a dog who struggles with the world. We can feel like we have already heard them bark a million times today and walks might feel like more work than relaxation or fun. We can change that though – by working on our relationship through engagement, which is quality trust building time with our dogs. Engagement is a vital part of your relationship with your dog and it’s something that works perfectly to build your bond, to keep your dog’s focus and add glu…

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Make Dinner Time More Interesting For Your Dog

Food games, are a great way to mix extra time and dinnertime for dogs.

Food games are easiest and most obvious to the dog learning to sniff for fun and relaxation. Foraging is such a natural behaviour that most dogs love it, and naturally know how to do it. Food fulfils a primary need and tasty food is motivating and interesting enough to merit a little sniff effort. The beauty of food games and foraging is that we can start the dog off so easily, that he can’t possibly find a way…

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Choices and Touch - Consent Is so Important.

Choices are so vitally important to our dogs and in fact they have very few. We chose them after all, they didn’t choose us. Even when we offer them a happy home with plenty of love, they still have few choices. Think about the freedom we have. We might think we are stuck for a multitude of reasons: money, relationships, people or necessity all give us the impression that we have little choice. On a wider scale, government, taxes and world politics allow sinister beliefs to grow, beliefs that …

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Helping A Reactive Or Scared Dog

The more we know of dogs, the more we can meet their needs, which is excellent, particularly when we expect them to live in a human dominated world. General needs include a good diet, sufficient and suitable mental and physical exercise, a safe place to rest, the ability to communicate their needs and freedom from pain, suffering, fear and abuse.

The Environment


Environmental factors that trigger fear/anxiety are important to consider. Management is key to h…

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Your Dog Or Your Phone?

To really understand our dogs we must first observe them, which is the dog guardian’s version of listening extremely carefully - and is something you can start right now. Stop reading for a moment and look up. What is your dog doing, how is their body language looking, did they look back at you? How are their eyes, do they look comfortable? How often do you just stop and look at your dog in this way?

Observation is so powerful, and listening is so effective but most of us …

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On Lead Greetings - Risky Business!

Dogs communicate really well with each other when they have learned to and are given space to do so. A competently social dog will never go directly towards an unknown dog eye to eye, or even face to face. They would curve around and sniff. They offer signals that unless we watch really carefully will go unnoticed by us. A blink, a glance away, a lick of the nose can be a definite request for space and if the other dog is socially savvy, they will respect that, and everyone will stay hap…

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Are You Mindful Of Your Dog's Finer Needs?

As friends and family, dogs have to put up with a lot from us as naturally we speak before we listen. We are a busy species always thinking of the next thing we need to do and we are mindless because we rarely sit back and just enjoy the moment. We often don’t give them time to adapt in their own minds to what we are asking of them. We are great at rushing dogs through the things we have to do with them, so we can tick those things off our list for the day.

Walk check, food check,…

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Canine Fear - Why You CAN Comfort A Scared Dog

There is an idea that to comfort or even interact with a scared dog will make them practise fear more often, because our behaviour towards them has made fear worthwhile for them. Often, people have been told to ignore their scared dogs, as comforting would either give the dog an idea that there’s something to be scared of or reward their fear through attention.


The idea that we may teach a dog to be scared in the future by comforting or protecting them when they are scared in the pres…

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