Blogs on Dogs

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 | 7 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 »

[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 …

Blogs on Dogs »

[18 Sep 2014 | No Comments]

The DEFRA draft practitioners’ manual “Tackling irresponsible dog ownership” outlines the measures that can be taken to deal with people and their dogs, introduced and consolidated by the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. This is the same act that extends the Sec 3 Offence of “dog dangerously out of control” to private places and introduces the offence of “attack on an assistance dog”.
There is a range of measures; starting with the lowest level of behaviour right up to the main offences.
In order of severity we now have available:
Acceptable …

Blogs on Dogs »

[22 Jun 2014 | One Comment]

People ask “Are dogs dangerous?”
On a recent holiday in Italy I came across a peculiar phenomenon that illustrates the answer. All over the town different species were calmly going about their own business, without any interference from humans.
 
 
 
 
 
They differed in their level of dependency on humans for a living. There were some that were sometimes fed by folks, some that were feeding themselves courtesy of people, and some that just seemed to be living alongside humans, fending for themselves.

 
 
 
 
 
And, d’y’know what? They all looked pretty contented. No aggression, no fighting each other, no …

Blogs on Dogs »

[13 May 2014 | 6 Comments]

On the day when the law changes to criminalise the owners of dogs deemed to be dangerously out of control on private, as well as public, property it is interesting to note that the 2013 NHS figures for hospital admissions as a result of dog bite (or strike) show another an annual increase of 6%  http://www.hscic.gov.uk/4722
We’ll be looking at these in more detail in our seminar for Suzanne at Learning About Animals in Bookham on Saturday (details for booking at https://www.dog-secrets.co.uk/dogs-that-bite-and-fight-bookham/) and at our other Bite and Fight seminars later …

Blogs on Dogs »

[20 Feb 2014 | 53 Comments]

It is with horrible irony that whilst the press were reporting another fatal dog attack on a baby, I was in Court all day, explaining why a five year old collie that had never before shown any aggression to anyone, had bitten the face of a two-year-old girl.
I only have press reports to go on, so details are sketchy, but the latest sad death appears to be of a baby from attack by a Malamute that had recently been acquired from unknown provenance. Once again I find myself offering heartfelt …

Blogs on Dogs »

[11 Feb 2014 | 5 Comments]

 
Once again we hear of a tragedy in which a human being has lost their life through the actions of a dog. I have the greatest heartfelt sympathy for anyone whose lives are affected by such a traumatic event.  I can only imagine the heartache and sorrow, not to mention the guilt, that one must feel at the loss of a loved one, especially a child.
One should never judge, or even offer an opinion, on individual circumstances without being fully aware the all of the events that led up to …

Blogs on Dogs »

[23 Dec 2013 | 3 Comments]

A recent study shows… research proves… science tells us…
What? What does science prove about dogs? (It applies equally to cats, horses, rabbits and all the other companion animals too, but let’s keep it simple).
Or to put it another way, as behaviourists, dog trainers and pet owners, should we bother with reading any scientific studies? Isn’t owning and training pets an intuitive skill? We all know the magic old guy or gal that’s been doing it brilliantly all their life and they’ve never read a scientific paper, “self-taught, me – never …