But I don’t have 10,000 hours!

It takes 10,000 hours to become an expert, as Malcolm Gladwell discusses in his entrancing book Outliers. (Well, 10,000 hours to become a chess grandmaster in fact.) Isn’t that, like, a lifetime??? It’s a large chunk of your dog’s lifetime anyway. Here’s the secret <shhhh!> You don’t need to be an expert. Sure, your dog trainer […]

Lies, damn lies, and dog training

I’m completely, totally and utterly overwhelmed. They’re everywhere. Dog training lies. “You have to be top dog”. “Don’t let your dog on the couch / bed.” “Go through the door first.” “Don’t smile when you talk to your dog.” “Roll your dog over and growl at it when it doesn’t listen.” “Leaders eat first.” (Simon […]

All trousers are not jeans

In fact, all jeans are not jeans. (Actually, that’s probably a bit meta. Basics first.) Ok, what are jeans? Well, first and foremost, they are trousers.  But they are not JUST trousers. Jeans are special. They last a long time, they are practical, they fit well, they are the trusted friend you turn to when […]

It’s all in the preparation (creating the perfect dog)

I had the most perfect lunch today. Perfectly prepared, from perfect ingredients, a perfect antidote to the effects of the terrible glass of wine I shouldn’t have drunk last night! I also sat next to the perfect dog. Cute, relaxed, friendly but not OTT, the little love seemed quite happy to lie on the floor […]

But there’s no value in an expected extra

So. Following my recent post on the value of the unexpected extra, I’ve had some very interesting conversations. Mainly with people think you should never present your dog with a surprise additional tidbit because “he’ll just learn to EXPECT extra rewards”. The unspoken part of that statement is that if you don’t then meet expectations, there […]

If you want perfection, buy a cup of coffee (not a dog)

I’m talking a decent, handcrafted espresso here obviously. Made from freshly ground single-estate beans. By a bearded, tattooed, hat-wearing hipster of course.  (That is how coffee-perfection is defined these days right?) But do not buy a dog. Trawl all the funky coffee start-ups in your neighbourhood. Attend their free cuppings. Keep notes if you wish […]

The unexpected extra

Yesterday a box was delivered to my door. Not a gift, rather an anticipated delivery of something I had ordered.  Well packaged, with each item carefully handwrapped in gorgeous red tissue paper. Unpacking it should have been a pleasure. But something was missing. Don’t get me wrong, the order was complete. Everything was there as […]

Always nag with a smile

Go on then. Hands up. Who actually *enjoys* being nagged? Exactly. Not only is nagging really annoying for the person being nagged, it is also really frustrating for whomever is doing the nagging. Because, fundamentally, it doesn’t work. Nagging is not an effective strategy for behaviour change. Got kids? A partner? Housemate? Give me one example […]

I hate the dentist

5 tips for vet visits It all stems from a bad experience when I was a teenager: 4 “space-creating” extractions on one day, not enough anesthesia, teeth flying across the room… It was horrific. (I try not to talk about it.) I tend to avoid the dentist at all costs. In fact, between the ages […]

The Wrong Dog

This is a tricky one. Not tricky for me, because I’m fully cognisant of the facts. But tricky to talk about, because the subject is more than a little emotive. Last week I put my favourite dog to sleep. Ouch. Right? “That’s so horrible!” “I love my dogs the same!” “They’re like my children – […]