4 Ways to Fix Hit & Miss RECALL!

For dog owners, hit and miss recall can be both frustrating and anxiety-inducing. Walks shouldn't be dictated by chance, but should instead offer moments of leisure and bonding. If you find yourself battling with this issue, here's a guide to understanding unpredictable recall, full lessons are on 1. Addressing Frustration The Root of Desperation: Many dogs are innately frustrated. This makes them desperate to chase every scent or dog they come across. Understanding and addressing this pent-up energy is crucial. They often feel this way because they aren't provided the right outlets to expend their energy. 2. The Significance of Vet Checks Health Matters: A lot of dogs manifest behavioural issues due to underlying health concerns. Hyperactivity can sometimes be a symptom of issues such as stomach problems. Ensuring regular vet checks can rule out medical causes for erratic behaviour. 3. Understanding Your Dog's Window Beyond Walks: It's a common misconce

Understanding the Hidden Causes of Dog Behaviour Issues

Picture this scenario: your dog starts barking incessantly, guarding possessions with aggression, or showing signs of separation anxiety. But here's the twist - you're not at the beginning of a new problem; you're halfway through it. The key to resolving these issues permanently lies in a fundamental shift in mindset. This isn't just about fixing a barking problem; it's about recognising a deeper underlying issue. In our quest to solve these problems, we often seek quick fixes from various sources. Yet, the danger lies in finding unqualified individuals or relying on methods that only address the surface. Consider this: imagine a pond losing water. It's easy to find someone to refill it, temporarily resolving the issue. However, the root cause, the hole causing the water loss, remains unattended. Likewise, quick fixes may momentarily suppress the behaviour, but the real issue endures. To truly heal these behaviours, we need to approach them differently. Rather t

How To & Not To Use a Smelly Plug-in

  The Hidden Truth About Smelly Plug-ins for Dogs We've all been there: a loud bang, a thunderstorm, or the vacuum turning on, and our beloved furry friend starts trembling in fear. Seeking out a quick solution, many dog owners turn to those smelly plug-ins that promise to calm your pet. But are these plug-ins truly the answer, or could they be worsening the problem? The Intended Use of Calming Plug-ins The idea behind these scented plug-ins is straightforward: they're designed to release calming aromas that can help soothe anxious dogs and promote sleep. On the surface, it seems like a brilliant, hassle-free solution. However, there’s a catch. The Unintended Side-Effect: Conditioning Fear Imagine this: every time your dog shows signs of fear, you rush to plug in that calming scent. Over time, instead of associating the aroma with peace and relaxation, your dog might start thinking, "Every time I smell this, something bad or scary happens." This is classical condition

The Power of Mental Enrichment in Recall Training

Did you know that mental enrichment plays a vital role in improving your dog's recall? While many people believe that giving dogs something to chew on or lick, like a Kong or a Lickimat, provides sufficient mental stimulation, it may not be as effective as it seems. In this blog, we'll debunk this common misconception and explore how mental stimulation can truly enhance your dog's recall abilities. The Limitations of Traditional Dog Toys: While toys like Kongs and Lickimats have their benefits, they primarily serve to calm and entertain dogs rather than providing substantial mental stimulation. While these toys can keep dogs occupied and in a positive state, they don't necessarily tire them out mentally. So, how exactly does mental stimulation contribute to improved recall? The Importance of Mental Stimulation: Mental stimulation is a fundamental aspect of a dog's life. By providing true mental enrichment and outlets, we can address underlying issues such as frustra

Why Training Fails: Loose Lead Walking

Have you ever wondered why I advocate for using harnesses and food as the primary tools for dog training? In a world filled with prongs, haltis, and slip leads promising quick results, it's essential to understand the underlying causes of your dogs Behaviours. In this blog post, I'll delve into the reasons why we prioritise harnesses and food and why that truly is all you need when you’re doing things right. Open your mind and get ready for a life-changing perspective on dog training! Addressing the Whole Dog: As your mentor, my role extends beyond addressing simple behaviour issues like lead pulling. Dogs can pull on the lead and the training fails for various reasons, such as high arousal, under stimulation, frustration, or stress. It's crucial to recognise that relying solely on equipment doesn't train a dog; it only forces the behaviour to stop. The root causes of pulling still persist, and the dog needs more help in the future as they develop further issues. The Po

Preventing Resource Guarding Around The Food Bowl

The Right & Simplest Way Resource guarding around the food bowl is a behavioural issue every dog owner wants to prevent. Surprisingly, there is one common thing that most of us do which inadvertently increases the chance of resource guarding. Today, I'm going to show you one simple technique that can help decrease the likelihood of this problematic behaviour.  Understanding Resource Guarding Resource guarding can emerge due to one of three primary reasons: physical pain, a lack of trust and relationship, or as a learned behaviour. In the case of learned behaviour, a dog may guard their resources because they anticipate negative experiences. This last cause is quite prevalent and is often inadvertently encouraged by pet owners. Many people interfere with their dog's food or even the dog itself while the dog is eating, all under the pretext of training or play. Unfortunately, what this communicates to the dog is: "Hey, every time you're eating, bad things happen whe

Dog Treadmills: A Professional's Perspective on Canine Behaviour

As a professional dedicated to educating people about the impact of lifestyle on mental health and behaviour in dogs, I often get asked about doggy treadmills. Are these pet fitness gadgets genuinely beneficial, or are they merely a waste of time and money? Many advertise dog treadmills as fitness tools that can physically tire out your dog and keep them fit. However, it's essential to consider if that's what you truly want for your pet. Increased physical exercise, for humans and dogs  alike, leads to better fitness levels. In dogs, this often translates into a need for more exercise as they essentially turn into canine athletes. It’s a common issue I see is with dog owners who frequently play fetch. They wonder, "why is my dog not sleeping?" The answer lies in the fact that their dogs have become athletes, always highly aroused due to constant chasing. If you're considering a dog treadmill because of your pet's behavioural issues or their seemingly insatiabl

Rethinking Separation Anxiety

Rethinking Separation Anxiety: Understanding Separation Distress in Dogs Do you suspect your dog suffers from separation anxiety? It's time to reconsider. Your pet might instead be experiencing separation distress, a less severe but equally impactful condition. By understanding this distinction, you can better address your pet's needs and improve their quality of life. Separation Distress: More Common Than You Think Unlike separation anxiety, separation distress is not as extreme but still impacts a dog's well-being. It's often triggered by lifestyle factors and mental issues such as noise phobias, fear, stress, boredom, frustration, and high arousal, among other things. The Telltale Signs: Separation Anxiety vs Separation Distress A key distinguishing characteristic lies in the dogs' activity levels during separation. Dogs with separation anxiety maintained their activity level throughout the entire separation period. On the other hand, dogs with separation distres

Changing dogs behaviour on walks, without training

It's All About Your Dog's Window! This window is what ruins recall, creates obsession, and leads to hyperactivity in your dog. By "window," I mean their window of opportunity! Two hours a day is the most common duration I see people taking their dogs out for, and that's amazing, so keep it up. However, one thing you have to keep in mind is, if you aren't providing your dog with outlets or mental stimulation at home, you're training your dog to empty their energy reserve within those two hours every day, because that's their window of opportunity to live their life. Side Note: We also have to consider the nature of these walks. If we have a dog that isn't bred for exploring and hunting, like our sight hounds, scent hounds, or terriers, relying solely on walks for stimulation may not be enough. Many dogs are bred for specific tasks, and it's perfectly fine to fill most of their outdoor time with those tasks. Remember, that time is for them, and t

Fixing the Whole Dog: Why Training Alone is Not Enough

  As dog owners, it can be a distressing and frustrating experience when our furry companions exhibit behavioural issues.  It is essential to understand that just like humans, dogs also experience emotions like anxiety, fear, and stress, which can manifest as problematic behaviour. To effectively train and manage our dogs, identifying the root cause of the behaviour is crucial. For instance, if your dog is exhibiting destructive behaviour, they may be experiencing stress or anxiety. On the other hand, if your dog is growling or snapping at other dogs or people, they may be feeling fearful or in physical pain. Unfortunately, many dog parents tend to rely on punishment or food-based training methods without addressing the underlying cause of the behaviour. While these methods may produce short-term results, they do not provide a long-term solution. In fact, using punishment can even worsen the behaviour and increase the probability of different issues arising. Dogs do not misbehave out o

Stress in Dog: Causes, Signs and Solutions

 Do you know that dogs can experience stress? Yes, dogs are not immune to stress and can develop it just like humans do. However, a common misconception among many people is that dogs need to experience stressful situations to develop stress. This is not entirely true because that is the least common way dogs develop stress. So, what is stress? Stress is a natural response to a perceived threat or challenge. There are three types of stress: acute stress, episodic acute stress, and chronic stress. Acute stress is a sudden and short-term response to a perceived threat, like a loud noise or a scary person. This is commonly known as their fight or flight response. Episodic acute stress is when a dog experiences acute stress on a regular basis, such as when living in a chaotic environment or being exposed to certain triggers repeatedly. This is very common when a dogs human isn’t noticing how stressful walks are for a dog and they just keep taking them there. Chronic stress, on the other ha

The Best Way To Use A LickiMat!

My dogs really enjoy spending time licking these mats. LickiMats are great for stimulating the senses, calming dogs down and making them feel good! Please note, lickimats will not stimulate your dog because something that is mentally stimulating is something that will work the dogs brain and tired them out, this means the task must be hard. For Example, doing maths and watching a movie are both classed as ways of mentally stimulating our brains, but only one is going to achieve a more tired person and it's just how dogs work too!   Stimulating the senses is a great way to make your dog feel happy, relaxed and drop arousal. LickiMats are perfect for this as they are microwave and freezer friendly. I love to crack an egg open on them and cook the egg in the microwave, or alternatively, I cover them in yoghurt and freeze them! I use these to help regulate my dogs' arousal levels, if we have just had a bit to much of a crazy fun time and sometimes I use them just as a treat, leavin