For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction

What Newton didn’t say (as far as I’m aware) is “or at least there should be”. (Otherwise known as why purely positive dog training isn’t effective.) I had a fun evening out with a very longstanding friend this week (we met on our first day at nanny training college some 25+ years ago). She is […]

Get some help!

The teckel is proving to be a valuable learning experience. This is code for “what have I done?” The adolescent challenges just keep coming and progress has not only stopped, we are heading rapidly backwards. My marvellous plan of just sticking with it is seeming less and less practical as the days pass and the […]

Training your dog to be home alone – as easy making a sandwich

Being alone is not a natural state of affairs for a highly social animal such as a dog. But teaching your dog to stay home alone is no different to any other skill: do it gradually, with many practice sessions, until it becomes automatic. What you are doing in fact is teaching your dog that […]

Trust your gut

One of the perils of being human is over-cognition. We think and think and talk and talk and often end up going against our initial instinct, in the name of reason, science or who-knows-what. It’s how we tell ourselves it’s ok to sit 1000s of miles up in the sky in a tin box. Or […]

“And though she be but little, she is fierce.”

With thanks to Shakespeare for the quote, otherwise known as “small dog syndrome”. The pup and I have been facing some challenges together this week. It’s fair to say, I think her first season is imminent and her hormones are likely all over the place. But I’ve also been thinking about the reputation of small […]

The 3 things you need to train your dog

What can they be? Different “professionals” would say different things. Trainers who style themselves as positive-only would certainly mention treats, a clicker, maybe some kind of splendid leash with magic powers (if only…)! Those at the punishment end of things (I like to think of them as dinosaurs: failing to adapt to environmental change will […]

Out of the frying pan…

Oh the joys of the smaller dog. There are many benefits to the more diminutive breeds: they eat less, take up less floor space, cost less to treat at the vet (and are therefore cheaper to insure), and so on. But there are hidden surprises. Like earlier maturation. No sooner are you out of the […]

Happy Holidays!

Tis the season to be jolly… Doesn’t it get earlier each year? Maybe I’m just getting old. If you have kids, you *might* just be able to drag it out until December 1 when advent-chocolate-eating-season begins. My husband is American so in our house “Holiday” chaos starts today, Thanksgiving. Firstly, the house is adorned with […]

Starbucks for dogs (creating a safe space)

No. I’m not suggesting that you and your dog toddle off for a daily pumpkin spice latte. Although, if your local branch is dog-friendly and you like your hot beverages sugar-rather-than-coffee-based it’s as good a place to do some socialisation as any I’m sure (see last week’s post). Starbucks for dogs isn’t about Starbucks. It’s […]

1000 good experiences

Your puppy’s first week at home is crucial. Most people spend it feeling exhausted and worrying about housetraining (which is difficult, time-consuming and important. More on that another time). The thing is, you won’t get to ‘housetrained’ in a week and, in fact, you can train your puppy where to pee at any time. But […]