Canine behaviour can be complex and the reasons for the ways that dogs behave can be difficult to unravel sometimes, but “Dog Secrets” is nevertheless an ironic title. Dog behaviour is like any other discipline in that if it is studied and practiced you can acquire a greater understanding of it. Also like other disciplines, the depth of study and practice are integral to the understanding.
David has combined practical experience at the top levels of professional dog training as a police dog handler and home office accredited instructor, with a post-graduate diploma, with distinction, in companion animal behaviour counselling from the University of Southampton, an internationally recognised centre of excellence for animal studies. He is also independently certificated as a Clinical Animal Behaviourist by the Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.
For twenty-six years to 2007 he handled and instructed others in the handling of police dogs used for general purpose, public disorder, firearms support, drugs, firearms, cash and explosives search; he competed in police dog trials and participated in public displays, developed systems of dog assessment, protocols for dogs working in conjunction with police firearms officers and in large scale public disorder; he developed safe systems of work for the risk assessment of police dog related duties, instigated a police dog breeding programme and participated in the monitoring of police dog bites.
Between 2002 and 2012 David worked as a veterinary referred companion animal behaviour counsellor, dealing with a wide range of canine behaviour problems, helping over one hundred clients in 2011 alone. He continues to help local and national charities in assessing and re-homing dogs.
He has been Chair of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (2009-2012), the UK’s leading organisation promoting the best in pet behaviour, and remains a full member.
David is currently a lecturer on Newcastle University’s MSc in Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare, providing him with strong links to those conducting the most up-to-date research into canine behaviour.
There are many versed in practical dog training and there are some academics versed in the theory of canine behaviour, but very few people have combined practical training skills with a high level of academic study in the way that David has. This makes him uniquely placed to understand all aspects of canine behaviour and training.
David is now able to offer to a consultancy into the many facets of canine behaviour and training, for example since 2008 he has been an independently verified member of the Register of Expert Witnesses and provides expertise in both criminal and civil cases.
He has also lectured to the Companion Animal Behaviour Therapy Study Group, BSc Animal Behaviour Students at various colleges, and to Pet rescue/rehoming Centres, including Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Merseyside Dogs Trust and the Wood Green Animal Shelter. He has worked on projects with the RSPCA and the SSPCA and in 2011 oversaw the production of a training day for local authority authorised officers on behalf of the Scottish Government for the new Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act. He presents seminars for those interested in dog behaviour and training for many organisations around the country.
If you would like to take advantage of any of the areas of David’s expertise you can contact him here.Read the full story »
There’s a bit of a furore on t’internet. Apparently “Science says” dogs don’t like to be hugged, and the face-twitter-sphere is awash with the repercussions.
I like “science”. I like the way it informs and changes over time.
So where did this “science” come from? It was widely reported in the Telegraph and the New York Times, so it must be true – but where did their “science reporters” get it from?
They lifted it from the University of Columbia’s respected Dr Stanley Coren’s Psychology Today article entitled, “The Data Says ‘Don’t Hug The …
She will not be grateful for you adopting her. Why should she? You are just one more thing that has happened to her over which she had no control, some of which have been worse than others. She may come to love you and her new home in time but don’t expect gratitude for “rescuing” her, because she doesn’t understand what you did.
Adopting an adult is not easier than adopting a new puppy. Okay, she may be house-trained (but not necessarily in your house) and not need to toilet through …
Teaching your dog to make eye contact on request is extremely useful because it is an easy behaviour that you can reward with any of your reward options (food, interaction or activities – see Guide & Control for an explanation). It can be variously described as teaching a “look” or “watch me”, or simply paying attention to you. Use it as a preamble to any other request or as an alternative behaviour to anything you would rather your dog didn’t do. I use it extensively in Dogs That Bite & Fight, …Read the full story »