Blogs on Dogs

Blogs on Dogs »

[12 Nov 2016 | One Comment]

In these uncertain times we all have to try to scrape by as best we can and, to coin a phrase, “look after the pennies …” or as those on the Scottish side of my family would say, usually after several pints of heavy, “mony a mickle maks a muckle”.
So I got to thinking, pound coins are quite small and people often lose them. I know I do. Many’s the night I’ve come home thinking, “Where did all those pounds go?” and conclude I must have a hole in my …

Blogs on Dogs »

[30 Oct 2016 | No Comments]

Yes folks, it’s what we always knew, but now we have proper evidence that playing with your dog makes them clever, in the findings of a great new study out from Lincoln University[1].
I’m on record as saying that there are no really robust dog behaviour studies, mostly because they lack numbers, and in that respect this one is no different as they only used sixteen dogs – comparing eight in one group to eight in another – but, hey, you try training a hundred dogs in an object discrimination task. …

Blogs on Dogs »

[4 Jul 2016 | 6 Comments]

It is Royal Mail’s Dog Awareness Week (no, I wasn’t aware of it either!) and they’ve published the dog attack figures for April 2014 to April 2015, which are DOWN by 10% from the previous year to 2660.
Whilst even one attack by a dog is one too many, to place this in context the Royal Mail deliver to 29million addresses in the UK, but many will not be households (business addresses for example), so let’s take half as being family homes, and about one in four households owns a dog …

Blogs on Dogs »

[30 Apr 2016 | 8 Comments]

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 …

Blogs on Dogs »

[25 Jan 2016 | 12 Comments]

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 …

Blogs on Dogs »

[15 Oct 2015 | No Comments]

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, …

Blogs on Dogs »

[29 Sep 2015 | 2 Comments]

Those of you who have been to one of my seminars will have seen video of our last dog Fox stooging for me (that’s her on the front of the Bite & Fight book). She was a fantastic communicator and helped many dogs. When she died we knew we couldn’t replace her, and we won’t – ever. And many of you will have heard me say that we have no intention of adopting another dog.
Well.
Meet Ted.
I help the Dumfries and Galloway Canine Rescue with some of the dogs that come …

Blogs on Dogs »

[23 Jul 2015 | 5 Comments]

I hate socialisation. Well, not socialisation, but “socialisation”. You know, puppy “socialisation”; that thing where you take your pup to three “puppy socialisation classes” on consecutive Tuesdays in the village hall when they are twelve weeks old, unless the last one coincides with a specially gripping episode of your favourite soap, when you can officially give it a miss – after all, you’ve paid for the course so it’s your choice to go or not. And that’s it done and dusted – your dog’s been “socialised”.
Now, don’t get me wrong, …

Blogs on Dogs »

[23 Dec 2014 | One Comment]

You thought it was a good idea to get a puppy for Christmas? Right, well now it’s time to shape up because you have just become responsible for a life. You’ve done the jokes – “A dog is not just for Christmas, with a bit of luck there’ll be some left over for sandwiches on Boxing Day” and you thought you’d thought it through – after all, everybody knows  it’s just a dog – they basically look after themselves don’t they?
Except they don’t. This little pup has just become your …

Blogs on Dogs »

[8 Oct 2014 | 13 Comments]

This week we went to the Galleria Dell’ Academia in Florence to see a statue of Dave by one of the Ninja Turtles. I can see why he named it after me, because some of the physical attributes are clearly modelled on mine (no, I was thinking of the feet). Anyway, go see it if you can – it’s brilliant.

But imagine my concern when, in the exhibition of music, I saw an 1685 oil painting of “Grand Prince Ferdinando with his musicians” in which you can clearly see a …