ADVICE


"DON'T WORRY MY DOGS FRIENDLY"
If I had a pound for everytime a dog ran up to my dog on lead and heard the above I would be a millionaire!
See a dog on lead?
Don't assume just because your dog is friendly that it's ok to say hello.
Dogs are ALWAYS on lead for a reason... whether it is for a medical reason, it has poor recall or is anxious, just follow the
ONE SIMPLE RULE:
***NEVER let your dog approach dogs on lead***

The only exception to this rule is if you have sought consent first.

OUR DOGS NEED SPACE...

It's making my life and other dog owners lives very difficult. We want to train or rehabilitate our anxious/young/reactive dogs around other dogs (at a safe distance) but always run the risk of ruining a successful training session or even worse making our reactive dog go over it's threshold. What makes life even more frustrating is the severe lack of 'safe spaces' to let our dogs off lead and until this has changed its simply unfair to expect us to always walk our dogs away from other dogs.

Out of control 'pushy' type dogs

Many dog owners feel a need to meet and greet or socialise their dog with as many other dogs as possible, not taking into consideration the situation and type of interaction. Over excited or pushy dogs often don't understand boundaries when it comes to appropriate play and instead of being taught the importance of polite, calm introductions they are free to run up to other dogs. Shy dogs often are frightened, becoming anxious and the pushy dogs excited behaviour becomes reinforced. Polite and 'two sided' interactions where both sets of dogs have good social skills, successfully reading each others body language, are becoming much more rare. How many times have you had an out of control friendly dog run up to yours where the owners response was 'don't worry he's friendly'.

You can help

If you have an out of control dog or one with poor recall and you see a dog on lead, simply put it back on its lead or use a long lead on walks. Remember the other dog is on lead for a reason. By letting your off lead dog approach that dog you could set back it's training or frighten it. An out of control dog does not necessarily mean an aggressive one, I've walked many out of control dog type dogs but as a responsible dog trainer have managed their behaviour by training and walking them on a long lead. Long leads help give the dog some freedom to run, are a great training aid and offers control of your dog to help get it back.
Puppy and young dog socialisation.

I always say prevention is better than cure. By socialising your dog at a young age with appropriate dogs of size and temperament in the right situations you will give it the best start. But as above you need to supervise all play sessions and ask; is it two sided? Is your dog getting over excited? Are both dogs happy? If needs be you may need to step in and reinforce short appropriate play sessions and meet and greets and reduce the likelihood of pushy type behaviours. It can be helpful to teach your puppy or dog to understand when the other dog has had enough and by stepping in you can prevent a possible confrontational situation occurring, preventing the puppy playmate becoming fearful.
                                 ***EASTER TIPS FOR YOUR ANXIOUS OR REACTIVE DOG***

Easter time is a great opportunity to spend time with family, friends and of course your dog.
So it's important to remember that with the possible increase in people coming into your home, a change in routine and the likelihood of easter goodies around you are prepared!
So here's my top tips to help this Easter be stress free and enjoy your weekend off.

🐕 Enrichment From a stuffed kong to an empty egg box full of dog safe treats, this gives your dog an opportunity to be not only physically but also mentally stimulated. Enrichment can offer an alternative outlet to frustration and also keeps your dog busy as guests enter. Remember enrichment should not be used as an alternative to training/behavioural therapy but an added extra to act as a management strategy.

🐕 Assess   It's important to remember that all dogs have their limits, assess how comfortable your dog feels with visitors, at a safe distance, and make sure you are mindful of how your dog's feeling. It may mean assessing the environment and ensuring your dog has a safe area.

🐕 Safety Safety is a number one priority. Keep chocolate out of reach and ensure if your dog is anxious of new people that visitors do not approach. It may mean staggering visitors, even going to their house instead.

🐕Tricks Trick training is a great way to keep boredom at bay. Especially if there are too many dog walkers outside, sometimes it's better to swap exercise and training from outside to inside. Let's not forget that mental stimulation can help tire a dog too.

🐕 Engage I love practicing different focus games with my dog. One of my favourite is the engage and disengage game.

🐕 Rest Remember all these new changes can be tiring for your dog and if you are doing training inside make sure to have lots of breaks.