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Why Canine Coaching Is Important

What is Canine Coaching and why do we do it?

There’s an idea that training our dogs is only for the professionals, or that unless dogs are “misbehaving” they don’t need training. This isn’t so. We can only just about provide life enrichment and enhance our dogs lives without giving them the chance to learn. In fact, just like you are learning by reading this.

Dogs live in a human dominated world. They often have to guess…

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Is Your Dog Naughty Or Confused?

When our dogs get confused they show us in no uncertainty exactly how they feel. Confusion is defined as uncertainty about what is happening, intended or required. When a dog becomes confused or uncertain he may become stressed, particularly if pushed too far despite his confusion – without being given any extra information.

If a dog becomes confused about what we expect, he is likely to feel conflicted. He knows that we want something but doesn’t know what that something is. He…

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A Lifechanging Dog

I went away this week on a retreat with one of my dogs, Chips. He’s a lovely, lovely boy and despite a bit of random barking he was very well behaved. He listened when other dogs asked for space, played with the right ones and avoided the ones who didn’t want to play. He was relaxed and happy.

Chips is around eleven now and has turned into the loveliest old man. His grey face and huge eyes are typical of ageing dog. He’s always been a barker and he’s the reason why my books ex…

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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 Coaching Is Good Guardianship

Everyone who has a dog in their home should learn at least some practical canine coaching, it’s an integral part of good guardianship. Not only does coaching give our dogs the chance to learn new things and big boosts in their self-esteem when they do – it also helps them in situations they might find uncomfortable in the future.

Whilst there are dog trainers in every town, not all of them are equal and even if you do need professional help – you will need some knowledge of good coaching meth…

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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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Canine Communication - The Neutral State

Whilst dog behaviour and communication are universal there is also a need for every dog to learn competent communication from litter mates, their mother and from their first home when they get to it.

If there is a gap in learning, for example if they are isolated away from other dogs altogether between eight weeks and twelve weeks, they will often not learn effective and respectful communication. Or if a puppy tries hard to show he is uncomfortable over and over again early in…

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