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Assistance dogs, therapy dogs, emotional support animals….what does it all mean?

With so many posts on social media of puppies being purchased to be a therapy dog or an assistance dog, I thought it could be a good time to discuss what all of these terms actually mean. Dogs are popularly pictured on social media in roles aimed at improving the health and well being of family members and the community. There are loads of images online of dogs being petted…

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Resource guarding

Our beloved pooches can develop guarding behaviours around any resource they value. This could be their food, favourite toys, favourite sleeping spot, their owner, anything. There are a number of factors to consider when your dog is showing resource guarding behaviour. Management is vital. When we are working on a behaviour modification program to reduce resource guarding behaviours, we want to initially set up safe and controlled environments. If situations…

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Raising Bennett: Choosing your new family member

So how do we decide who to add to our family? It's such a difficult decision and one that we have to remember may be living in our home for the next 15 years. There are so many options when it comes to choosing your next dog. Will you be getting a puppy or an older dog? Will that puppy or older dog be from a rescue, from a registered…

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Toilet training puppies

Toilet training your new puppy..... First of all, congratulations! It is such an exciting time welcoming a new puppy into your family. However it can also be a challenging time when you are faced with so much differing knowledge and opinions on how best to raise a new puppy - especially if this is the first time you have owned a baby puppy. One of the biggest challenges for many…

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“So how long will this take? – When will it be ‘fixed’?”

These are two of the most common questions I hear from owners regarding problem behaviours with their dogs. Understandably owners are frustrated when living with a dog that might be jumping all over guests when they arrive or are displaying reactive/aggressive behaviours towards other dogs, people or a variety of other triggers either inside or outside of the home. When working with dogs to rectify any type of behaviour problem,…

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Are dog parks good for my dog?

Dog parks, the burgeoning daily routine of the urban dog. Don’t get me wrong, councils providing safe spaces dedicated to dogs enjoying an off-lead romp, stretch of the legs, a good sniff and some play time is fantastic. After all, many dogs are being left home alone for longer periods, not getting out as much, and they are highly social animals. Does this mean that they want to meet their social needs through dog-dog play…

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Training for an independent puppy

Separation training - preparing your puppy for being alone:  We live busy lives, that’s a fact. And we are only getting more and more busy. So how do we help prepare our puppies for that alone time? Our puppies come from being with their litter mates and Mum to being in a totally new environment. It's often their first experience of being alone when we bring them into our homes…

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Teaching a reliable recall or “come”

The recall is easily the most important behaviours to teach your dog, and also the most common reason dog owners will want to attend a dog training class or get a dog trainer out to their home. Most dog owners will say that their dog comes when they call them at home, or when they have food, or 'when their dog feels like it'. So how do we teach our…

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Puppy mouthing and nipping

Mouthing, nipping, tugging at your clothes? Sounding familiar? It is a very normal behaviour for puppies, but one that is important to address, and quickly.  Puppies teach each other how to have a soft bite by yelping when the teeth clench a little too painfully hard. Following this they will stop playing with their sibling and the biter will learn next time to not bite so hard in order to keep the…

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