I see every day how hard it is to find the right way to stop dogs pulling on the leash. There are too many traps and too little good advice.
For these dogs, an appropriate restraint needs to be more than just comfortable and secure; it has to also be effective. So I put the question out to a select group of professional dog trainers. Continue reading “What Is The Best Way To Stop A Dog Pulling?”
Everyone has an opinion about what makes a great obedience class. I’ve got a lot to say on the subject, but I’ll start here: obedience has nothing to do with it!
The evidence is clear and consistent. When measured by results, reward-based training outperforms more ‘traditional’ methods. It’s also much less likely to cause pain or anxiety.
That’s why this article is going to help you tell the difference. By the end, you should be able to choose the right class for your dog. I will go through some clues you can use, and then use an example of two very real classes. Continue reading “How To Find A Good Dog Training Class”
It seems like that, doesn’t it? You search for a “dog trainer” in your area and instead of a simple answer you get all this:
- Dog Obedience
- Positive Training
- Dog Whisperers
- Private vs Group Classes
It’s not even clear what the differences are. At last not yet. But you don’t want to find that out the hard way. Continue reading “Tinker, Tailor, Whisperer, Trainer…”
This lovely photo by Julie Wilson shows Jack, one of our Puppy Preschool graduates. It’s the way we like to see them: making the most out of life.
Did his puppy classes help him become the dog he is now? To answer that we need to know not what puppy classes promise, but what they actually do.
You have a right to be shown the evidence behind any veterinary recommendation. Here’s what we know. Continue reading “Puppy Preschool: The Evidence”
‘At A Glance (Much More Below)’ What To Do
How To Reduce Leash Reactivity
A good start is to accept it for what it is: common and no cause for shame
- Get help: it’s going to be much easier with expert guidance
- Discover tricks to keep your dog focused or distracted
- Avoid interactions with other dogs when on leash or near fences
Now dive deeper…
Do you have a dog who is hard to walk on a lead, but almost never a problem when off it? If so, you’re not alone. I’ve come to realise from my daily conversations with dog owners that we may actually be in the majority. It’s time we stopped feeling embarrassed and started to look into why our dogs behave the way they do on a leash and what we can do about it.
Here is a typical story. I was walking my Loki to school the other day and met another dog walker going the same way. Her dog immediately started barking and yelping in response. Before too long the behaviour turned to lunging and snapping.
She said (a little embarrassed) “he’s not aggressive”. My kids said (in disbelief) “he’s out-Loki’d Loki”. And it was true. The pipsqueak who has made leash reactivity his signature move was completely overwhelmed and confused. Continue reading “Help! My Dog Is Terrible To Walk On Leash”
25 years ago, in my very first week as a vet, a lovely bouncy Cocker Spaniel puppy taught me a hard lesson. Innocently enough, I asked his owner “so, how’s everything going?”
Right in front of me, without another word, his owner burst into tears. Back then I really didn’t know what was going on. I sure do now.
Toilet training, house training or potty training. Call it what you will, but it’s the greatest challenge most puppy owners will face. As vets, we might consider ourselves masters of keeping puppies healthy, but we often look on helplessly at training problems. Continue reading “Help! My Puppy Keeps Peeing In The House”
Here’s a checklist to help you get ready for the big day your puppy arrives. It might seem like a lot to do but that’s only because you’re actually thinking about things in advance. Continue reading “What You Need For A New Puppy”
True or false: early social exposure in a puppy reduces aggression to other dogs later in life. Easy, right?
After all, that’s why vets (like us) push early finish vaccination programs and puppy preschool classes. Get that puppy out socialising in the ‘sensitive period’ before 16 weeks and they’ll get to enjoy the company of other dogs FOR LIFE.
Well not so fast. A recent Australian study has shown the exact opposite. I’m not even that surprised; I’ve been warning puppy owners about this for years. Continue reading “Good And Bad Puppy Training”
Thanks to my big mouth I was in trouble from the outset. As a litter of five 10kg puppies were brought in by the scruffs of their necks, all I had to do was shut up. Continue reading “Why Banning Dog Breeds Doesn’t Work”
Here’s some bad news for people with barking problems. Humans may have deliberately selected dogs for their ability to bark. It’s one of the big differences between wolves and dogs. Continue reading “Stopping Dogs Barking”